Attachment-focused Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (AF-EMDR) is client-centered and emphasizes a reparative therapeutic relationship using a combination of (1) Resource Tapping™ (Parnell, 2008) to strengthen clients and repair developmental deficits, (2) EMDR to process traumas, and (3) talk therapy to help integrate the information from EMDR sessions and to provide the healing derived from therapist-client interactions.
AF-EMDR extends the use and benefits of EMDR and bilateral stimulation for people who have been typically less responsive to traditional EMDR protocols, due to acute or chronic relational trauma and attachment deficits. Those deficits include the effects of childhood physical or sexual abuse, neglect, early losses, birth trauma, medical trauma, parental drug or alcohol abuse, caregiver misattunement, secondary trauma, and the cumulative effects of all. These people often seek therapy for depression, relationship difficulties or problems at work. They don’t feel fully alive. Childhood trauma has impacted their sense of safety and capacity to form close emotional relationships in adulthood.
(adapted from http://parnellemdr.com/emdr-and-af-emdr)
How do AF-EMDR sessions differ from talk-therapy sessions?
Because these sessions tend to dive a little deeper, and are often more emotionally activating than talk therapy sessions, a 90 minute appointment is recommended. This allows time to ensure that any difficult emotions or experiences are adequately contained. Clients frequently report feeling fatigued but relieved after an AF-EMDR session.
Do you have specialized training in AF-EMDR?
Yes! I have been very fortunate to study under Dr. Laurel Parnell, a pioneer in AF-EMDR and founder of the Parnell Institute. As of May, 2019, I have completed the EMDR Advanced Clinical Training and am in the process of completing the necessary supervised hours for full EMDRIA certification.