Attachment-focused EMDR, developed by Dr Laurel Parnell, integrates the use of attachment theory, EMDR, Resource Tapping, and other techniques into an approach to provide permanent healing.
Clients who have experienced childhood traumas that have impacted their sense of safety and capacity to form close emotional relationships in adulthood require adjustments to traditional EMDR. These relational traumas can include neglect, childhood physical or sexual abuse, early losses, birth trauma, medical trauma, caregiver disconnection and vicarious trauma. That’s where Dr Parnell’s approach steps in.
Attachment-Focused EMDR is proven to be effective to heal these attachment wounds and address the damage sustained from neglect or poor parenting in early childhood. It combines the science of early attachment relationships and the practice of healing with EMDR. Science has shown that connections with caregivers at a young age 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 our youth, these relational experiences stimulate the neural circuits and the growth of the integrative fibers of the brain. These neural circuits allow us to lead fulfilling, happy, and successful lives. When these circuits are not established, the individual typically has difficulty establishing relationships, low self-esteem, a tendency towards substance abuse, and difficulty with life decisions. Attachment-Focused EMDR reaches into the brain to establish those networks.
I have trained extensively with Dr Parnell and regularly use the techniques I was taught and documented in her books Attachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma, Tapping In, A Therapist’s Guide to EMDR, Transforming Trauma EMDR, and EMDR in the Treatment of Adults Abused as Children.
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