Much has been written about trauma and neglect and the damage they
do to the developing brain. But little has been written or
researched about the potential to heal these attachment wounds and
address the damage sustained from neglect or poor parenting in
early childhood. This book presents a therapy that focuses on
precisely these areas. Laurel Parnell, leader and innovator in the
field of eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR),
offers us a way to embrace two often separate worlds of knowing:
the science of early attachment relationships and the practice of
healing within an EMDR framework. This beautifully written and
clinically practical book combines attachment theory, one of the
most dynamic theoretical areas in psychotherapy today, with EMDR to
teach therapists a new way of healing clients with relational
trauma and attachment deficits. Readers will find science-based
ideas about how our early relationships shape the way the mind and
brain develop from our young years into our adult lives. Our
connections with caregivers induce neural circuit firings that
persist throughout our lives, shaping how we think, feel, remember,
and behave. When we are lucky enough to have secure attachment
experiences in which we feel seen, safe, soothed, and secure-the
"four S's of attachment" that serve as the foundation for a healthy
mind-these relational experiences stimulate the neuronal activation
and growth of the integrative fibers of the brain. EMDR is a
powerful tool for catalyzing integration in an individual across
several domains, including memory, narrative, state, and vertical
and bilateral integration. In Laurel Parnell's attachment-based
modifications of the EMDR approach, the structural foundations of
this integrative framework are adapted to further catalyze
integration for individuals who have experienced non-secure
attachment and developmental trauma. The book is divided into four
parts. Part I lays the groundwork and outlines the five basic
principles that guide and define the work. Part II provides
information about attachment-repair resources available to
clinicians. This section can be used by therapists who are not
trained in EMDR. Part III teaches therapists how to use EMDR
specifically with an attachment-repair orientation, including
client preparation, target development, modifications of the
standard EMDR protocol, desensitization, and using interweaves.
Case material is used throughout. Part IV includes the presentation
of three cases from different EMDR therapists who used
attachment-focused EMDR with their clients. These cases illustrate
what was discussed in the previous chapters and allow the reader to
observe the theoretical concepts put into clinical practice-giving
the history and background of the clients, actual EMDR sessions,
attachment-repair interventions within these sessions and the
rationale for them, and information about the effects of the
interventions and the course of treatment.
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