Dissociation : Vol. 8, No. 1, p. 032-044 : Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: its cautious use in the dissociative disorders
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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is described in terms of clinical phenomena, the need for appropriate training in EMDR, and the consistency of neural network theory with BASK theory of dissociation. EMDR treatment failures occur in dissociative disorder patients when EMDR is used without making diagnosis of the underlying dissociative condition and without modifying the EMDR procedure to accommodate it. Careful informed consent and the use of the dissociative table technique can allow EMDR to move successfully to completion in a dissociative patient. Certain "red flags" contraindicate the use of EMDR for some dissociative patients. A protocol for EMDR with dissociative patients is offered, for crisis intervention (rarely appropriate), abreactive trauma work, and integration/fusion. The safety and effectiveness of EMDR's use in the dissociative disorders requires adequate preparation and skillful trouble-shooting during the EMDR.