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Dissociation of the Personality and EMDR: Treatment of Chronically Traumatized Clients


This one-day workshop addresses the utilization of EMDR with complex trauma clients focusing on failures of integration of experience in personality and therefore adequate realization necessary for using the EMDR protocol.  Presenting the work of his collaboration, Onno van der Hart, on the Theory of Structural Dissociation of the Personality, Roger Solomon, Ph.D. will address the EMDRI consensus that the EMDR standard protocol needs to be modified for dissociative clients as it may destabilize them. Thus, the therapist needs to have a good understanding of the dissociative personality structure that exists in their clients including dissociative status, strengths and deficits, and interrelationships.


Using the framework of phase-oriented treatment as proposed by Janet and the theory of structural dissociation of the personality this workshop will help participants understand essential preparatory work needed to be completed before integrating traumatic memories and become more knowledgeable about using modified EMDR approaches.  After a discussion of dissociation and stabilization, utilization of phase-oriented EMDR to process traumatic memories will be discussed and illustrated by videos of client sessions.  EMDR’s application will take the form of a spiral in which these different treatment phases can be alternated according to the needs of the patient or client. 

Workshop program:


  • Basics of the Theory of Structural Dissociation of the Personality 
  • Phase-Oriented Treatment
  • Working with dissociative parts of the personality


  • Utilization of EMDR during stabilization phase, and in doing memory work.  
  • Video case presentations

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Who Should Attend

Practitioners and clinicians who serve trauma survivors, especially mental health practitioners.

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Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Introduce participants to the theory of Structural Dissociation of the Personality
  • Expand skills of EMDR certified practitioners to serve dissociative clients utilizing the EMDR protocol.
  • Instruct participants in a phase-oriented EMDR protocol for clients who have no memory of their trauma.

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Must have completed EMDR Part 1 and preferably Part 2 as well
Although not required, it would be helpful to read prior to the workshop:
Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis, & Kathy Steele. (2006). The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation of the Personality and Treatment of Chronic Traumatization. New York: Norton.

Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis, & Roger Solomon (2010). Dissociation of the personality in complex trauma-related disorders and EMDR: Theoretical considerations. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 4(2), 76-92.

Dates and locations to be announced.
Fee: $120
CEUs: 0.7
Email us with your interest, contact:
Pa Vang, Program Director,, 414-227-3277


Fall 2015 Human Services Catalog
Or download the pdf