Trouble Finding an Individual Memory in EMDR Therapy when Trauma was Daily: A Topographic Approach

Using age, space, and topography to find an individual representative memory related to a presenting issue or a theme.

• Identify a negative cognition.
• What age do we need to work related to that theme and negative cognition?
• Home, school, or community?
• Where (what room) in that space do we need to work?
• Put yourself in that space at that age and related to that theme and negative cognition, what memory comes?
• Target that in EMDR Therapy.

Understanding the AIP Model: The Whale Metaphor and the Mount Everest Metaphor

The AIP Model

  • The Difficult Stuff Connects to Right Now/Existing Adaptive Information
  • Enough Adaptive Information Must Be Present
  • You Can’t Easily Connect Maladaptive Information to Maladaptive Information
  • What’s Complex About Complex Trauma Related to the AIP Model?
    • A Different Way of Thinking About Complex Trauma
    • Mountain Ranges of Adaptive Information vs Mountain Ranges of Maladaptive Information

The Mount Everest Metaphor

  • You Cannot Metabolize a Trauma the Size of Mount Everest into Adaptive Information the Size of a Walnut—You Can’t
  • Where to Start with Complex Trauma?
    • Where Not to Start
    • Types of Targets that Make Good Early Targets with Complex Trauma

The Whale Metaphor

  • What are the Whales?
  • What is the Size of the Client’s Boat?
  • You Cannot Land a Whale into a Canoe
  • Helping the Client Build a Bigger Boat
  • What Clients Learn when Working with “Smaller” Wounds First
    • Test the Gear
    • Learn How to Notice Effectively
    • They Learn that the Can Heal
    • Healing Builds Adaptive Information/Makes the Boat Bigger
  • If the Client in a Canoe Connects to a Whale we Need a Strong Pair of Scissors to Safely Disconnect

Developing and Using Attachment Figures in Attachment Wounding

  • Problems Communicating Between/Connecting Parts Across the Lifespan
  • The AIP Model and Attachment Wounding
  • Judgements of the Child State in the “Adaptive Self”
  • When the Right Now Selves Isn’t Healthy Enough
  • The Whale Metaphor and Attachment Wounding
  • Attachment Wounds “Sound” Small, but they are Existentially Awful
  • Existential Loneliness
  • Attachment Figures are for the Child State in the Memory
  • Attachment Resources as a Very Powerful Pair of Scissors to Disconnect from the Whale
  • Creating an Attachment Resource
  • Client Obstacles to Creating an Attachment Resource
  • Putting the Attachment Figure in the Neighborhood
  • Attachment Figures are Not Identical to Actual People in Childhood
  • Borrowing Qualities
  • Keeping Difficult Stuff Out
  • Deciding on a Relational Slot
  • Adding Qualities to the Attachment Figures: Food, Presence, Nurture, Reading, Attending, Protection, Guidance
  • Expect that Grief May Appear When You Imagine Getting What Didn’t Happen
  • Using the Somatic Memory of Rocking One of Your Own Children or Grandchildren
  • Leveraging the Capacity to Imagine
  • Naming the Attachment Figure
  • Avoiding Relational Slots that are the Same Slot as an Abuser
  • How to Use an Attachment Resource Between Sessions
  • This is a Resource for Living, Not Just in Session
  • Assessing for Attachment Wounding
  • When You Can and Can’t Borrow Qualities from a Deceased Person

Complex Trauma Modifications Overview: Phases One – Four

This episode is a quick overview of some of the core skills that we will cover in more detail. When I suggest a modification to standard protocol, I try to explain the reasons for the modifications as clearly as possible.

Skills Covered:
  • Additional Questions to Consider in Phase One, Including Assessing for Complex Trauma
  • Conducting a Trauma Sensitive Phase One that Avoids a Detailed or Chronological Trauma Timeline
  • Starting the Process of Developing Attachment Resources for Attachment Wounding
  • Metaphor: Difference Between Walking Across Ohio and Riding in Bus Across Ohio
  • Metaphor: Don’t Tackle Mount Everest First with Clients With Complex Trauma
  • Events Have a Beginning, Middle, and End… Attachment Wounds are About Everything
  • Using the Videotape Approach with Complex Trauma