Dear Readers,

Excuse me for the dearth of posts this summer. Last night I sent in the the 26 chapters, "Front Matter" and Glossary for the book on which I've been spending 20 or 30 hours each week. I had whittled my practice down to two days each week. I belayed most of my social life. I lived at this computer. I had few other topics of conversation.

This is a big, fat book. Ten chapters more than the last one. Some chapters were easy to edit, on time, about EMDR, and clear. The others took the bulk of my time; some sent in changes until the last possible moment. The writing itself was fun. I've done enough of it that I have a lot of neural networks that light up and interact with each other–when I get going, it's like taking dictation from someone who is smarter and funnier than I am. I actually like editing, it lights up the part of my brain that likes word games and crossword puzzles. I didn't stop when I shut off the computer–I noticed spelling and grammar errors everywhere. In my experience, that function will calm down in a few weeks.

It's weird to send the baby off to its new home in the Norton computers. My brain woke me up at 5 to harangue me about the book. "Let me sleep! It's done!"

Here is the some of the introduction of the book:


The real name of this book won’t fit on the cover. It is EMDR Solutions II for Depression, Eating Disorders, Performance, Coaching, Dissociation, Attachment Issues, Complex Trauma, Somatic Therapy, Early Trauma, Medically-based Trauma, Sex Offenders, and Spiritual Issues. As EMDR matures, its clinicians are targeting the trauma at the heart of, or secondary to, nearly every emotional or behavioral malady. As clinical research shows us the confluence of temperament, attachment history, affect, and trauma in every complex client (Siegel, 1999, Schore, 2003 and many more), clinicians have found new ways to direct the EMDR’s Standard Protocol toward their healing. This book contains a broad sample of creative solutions to many clinical conundrums.

In the beginning, I imagined a Depression unit, David Grand’s Performance chapter, and a mixture of unrelated chapters. I put the word out, contacting the writers from EMDR Solutions: Pathways to Healing, online communities, and people whose work I knew about and admired. As the chapters came in, they fell into natural units.


Unit I: TREATING Depression

In the last decade, I’ve spent many hours explaining the signs of endogenous, trauma-based, and attachment-based depression to consultees. When I was invited to Boise to do a four hour training about EMDR in the treatment of Depression, the material was right on the top of my brain. I couldn’t go wrong quoting the results of Bessel van der Kolk’s groundbreaking study of the effect of EMDR on trauma-based depression or using Stephen Porges Polyvagal theory (2001) as a starting point. When I brought in my own clinical experience, I had a unit. Jim Knipe offered his Shame-Based Depression chapter and I knew that this master clinician would bring a great new perspective to EMDR treatment. He did. When Katherine Davis sent me her chapter, I thought it would be about Post-Partum depression. Instead, it was about Post-Partum PTSD (often disguised as depression) and it moved to the Medical Trauma unit.



Andrew Seubert wondered if he could invite the Eating Disorders Special Interest Group (EDSIG) to contribute overlapping chapters. A unit was born. When I read through the Eating Disorder (ED) chapters, I saw that they had applications for any disorders of desire, compulsivity, anxiety, affect dysregulation and affect avoidance, and dissociation. I hope that all of you take in these chapters. Any of them will improve your clinical skills, even if you never plan to work with ED clients. The unit includes DaLene Forester’s clear and elegant overlays of EMDR’s Standard Protocol to treat specific eating/body disorders for her two chapters on Bulimia and Body Dysmorphia. Other chapters deal with diverse pieces of the Eating Disorder (ED) puzzle. Andrew Seubert gives a survey of the etiology of EDs. Janis Sholom addresses early phases of the EMDR Protocol. Linda J. Cooke and Celia Grand dig into the Neurobiology of EDs. They give an illuminating tour of the research showing the physical and neurological bases of the disorders and how to use that knowledge to help clients regulate their affect. Janet McGee writes about how to future pace and contain the inevitable relapses in ED treatment. Catherine Lidov illuminates the nature of Desire and what to do when it goes awry. Andrew Seubert and Judy Lightstone wrote separate sections of the Ego State and ED chapter. They contrast their creative and useful approaches.



I admired David Grand’s performance work for years and was delighted when he agreed to contribute a chapter. His fifteen guidelines will help you guide athletes, performers, and others through the blocks that keep them from doing their best. Ann Marie McKelvey had written a rave review of EMDR Solutions: Pathways to Healing in the second issue of the EMDR Journal of Practice and Research. At the end, she complained that there were no chapters about Coaching or Positive Psychology. So I asked her for one. She gave me two . I paired them with the Performance chapter since all emphasize positive function, rather than dysfunction. I placed this positive unit between the ED and Complex Trauma units in order to give you readers a break from deep, dissociative trauma. Anne Marie became the cheerleader of the entire project. I hope that her enthusiasm infects you, too.


UNIT IV: Solutions for Complex Trauma

I asked Katie O’Shea if she would contribute her Early Trauma Protocol. As she began to write she realized that she had two different chapters, the Early Trauma chapter and one on Preparation Techniques, including a thorough and understandable explaination of the EMDR process, affect “containers”, and emotional resetting. Sandra Paulsen and Ulrich Lanius each wanted to write a chapter on Somatic Therapy and Ego States. I had them talk to each other and they decided to collaborate. Sandra is one of the “big names” in Ego State/Dissociation work in EMDR. Ulrich is a master of translating obscure brain research into EMDR-friendly methodology. They are both master clinicians. Their chapter is a brilliant synthesis of research, somatic therapy, and treatment of dissociation. Elizabeth Massiah works with Canadian soldiers. She shows us how to work with clients who suffer extremely intrusive images. And I write about treating Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, a disorder of affect-tolerance and avoidance. If I had seen the Preparation Techniques and the Embodied Self/Somatic chapters earlier in editing process, I would have put them at the beginning of the book. I suggest that you read them first, since many of the other chapters refer to “containers” (Preparation) or “ego states” (Embodied Self).




Bodies get sick, get injured, and sometimes have babies. EMDR can clear the PTSD that arises from illness, developmental body processes, giving birth, injuries, and the medical treatment for them. I wrote a chapter about treating a variety of medical traumas. Katherine Davis contributed one about clearing traumatic stress from the birth process. And I present a protocol for using EMDR to treat Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. It’s amazing what EMDR can undo!



Ronald J. Ricci and Cheryl Clayton share their experience and advice about working with Sex Offenders. If you don’t plan to work with this population, read it anyway. You will learn even more about affect tolerance, denial, and working with other clinicians and systems.

Martha S. Jacobi’s chapter about Religious and Spiritually Attuned Clients shows us how to elegantly navigate through issues of belief and spiritual community. It takes a broad topic and gives us precise interventions.


Using Solutions II



This book is a manual for doing EMDR with diverse client populations. If you took both parts of the EMDR training and have experience and knowledge of a specified client population, you should be able to use the procedures with few problems. If you aren’t schooled in EMDR (the Basic training is at least 50 hours long), get the training before you mess up your clients with this powerful psychotherapy! If you know what you’re doing, know your client well and remember that the therapeutic relationship must be strong before you try any technique, you will find uses for many of the solutions in this book.

You might think about reading about your specialties and skipping the rest of the chapters. Yet, I hope you read them all. There are gems in every chapter. Even if you don’t work with eating disorders, you can use many of the techniques in that unit with other addicted, dissociated, or complex clients. If you don’t work with offenders, Ricci and Clayton’s chapter speaks to trauma treatment in complex cases, impulse control and other issues that are germane to many clients.

Research considerations



                EMDR’s Standard Protocol has stood the test of peer-reviewed research and hundreds of thousands of individual clinical experiences. EMDR’s full protocol is empirically validated when used on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Most chapters in EMDR Solutions focus on trauma targets and thus conform to the research. Some of the uses in this book must be labeled “experimental”. When the writers point EMDR toward a non-trauma target, it may work very well or even be the most efficacious use of EMDR in a specific circumstance. Any readers who would like to do research on any of the topics should talk to the writers. 


Case histories


            Every case history in EMDR Solutions is either a composite or is here with the client’s permission. All names and life circumstances are changed in order to preserve anonymity.


Chapter conventions



            What the therapist says or should say to a client is in italics, with or without quotation marks. Occasionally, italics are used for other emphases, and I’ll leave it to you to know the difference. Numbers are written out, unless they refer to SUD, VoC, NAS, dates or dosage levels. Common EMDR terms are capitalized, especially those referring to a step of the Standard Protocol. If you’ve forgotten some of the terms, there’s a glossary near the end of this book.





Francine Shapiro created and named EMDR, the Standard Protocol and most of the common EMDR terms. (For which we are forever grateful.) Assume attribution to her and her invention in every chapter. Her definitive guide to EMDR is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures (Second Edition). If you are an EMDR clinician and you haven’t read it; go get it now!



Porges, S.W. (2001) The Polyvagal theory: Phylogenetic substrates of a social nervous system. Physiology & Behavior, 79, 503-513


Schore, Alan. 2003. Affect Regulation and Disorders of the Self. New York. W.W. Norton & Company


Shapiro, Francine. 2001. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures (Second Edition)


Siegel, Daniel. 1999. The Developing Mind. New York. Guilford Press