In this video the client presents with anxiety, trouble sleeping and irritability related to a future move. She was distressed and tearful as she described her fears and concerns about leaving her friends and family to move to a city only three and a half hours away by train. Though she realized her fears were irrational–she knew she could and would keep in touch with the people to whom she was close—yet was still wracked with anxiety and fear of separation. She believed her anxiety was linked to early separation from her mother as an infant when she was taken to India to live with her grandparents, and then later returned to live with her parents when she was around two years old, losing her grandparents and extended family in India to whom she was attached. The client believed that her mother had a hard time attaching to her in part because of the early separation and also because she was working intensively in medical school during the client’s childhood. As a result of her mother’s lack of availability, the client reported feeling abandoned, lonely and angry as a child, even having temper tantrums and biting other children.
The client believed that these early separations and losses made it difficult for her to securely attach to her mother and trust that she wouldn’t be “abandoned” again.
We began the session by talking about her presenting problem, current symptoms, and related history, choosing the type of bilateral stimulation to use and then developing and installing resources. We then explored possible targets, finally bridging from the emotionally charged negative cognition “I’m not going to have my mom” to find a scene from early childhood as our target. Using the modified EMDR protocol we began the bilateral stimulation. She processed this scene going down many different channels of association. We checked the target and her child self several times, and employed resource and imagination interweaves to provide her child self what she needed to repair the early losses and separations. Near the end of the session a split-screen interweave was used to help her sort the past from the present and quickly reduce her anxiety. After the target scene was completed and a positive cognition installed, she brought herself to the present and then imagined future scenarios of moving. She found herself forgiving her mother for the past and letting go of her anger and need to punish her, saying, “I can forgive my mother.”
After checking her body she felt grounded, at peace and more ready for the move.
Finally we debriefed the session and answered questions from the group.
This video shows:
- How to use Attachment-Focused EMDR with trauma from early childhood separation and loss
- The use of the three-part protocol
- The development and installation of resources
- Therapist-client attunement
- The use of the bridging technique to find an early target from a present negative cognition
- The use of imagination and resource interweaves for the repair of early childhood attachment trauma
- The use of the split-screen interweave to separate the past from the present
Formats available: digital download
Length: 84 minutes