EMDR, Dissociation and the Rejected Self
Thompson (1990) defined body image distortion as a persistent state of dissatisfaction and worry related to some aspect of physical appearance. It is important to identify the degree of the dissatisfaction that the person feels about her image. Lorraine Bell (2010) indicates that negative body image can range from dissatisfaction about some element of physical appearance to an extreme obsession that limits normal functioning. A body image may be negative to a degree that does not harm the person and may even provide the resource of awareness of the need for self-care and healthy habits. The negative body image that presents problems is the one that has negative repercussions on the life of the person. Janet (1903) talks about “being obsessed with shame regarding the body,” which implies fear of being considered ridiculous. Within the inner world of clients with EDs, this obsession with shame towards the body is held in the dissociative part of the “rejected self” (Seijo, 2000). This dissociative part plays a crucial role in the inner world, mostly in cases of anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where their world revolves around body image.
The concept of the “rejected self” may be explained by the idea of who the person never wants to be again, someone who actually existed in the past but who is now rejected and represents the image of what embarrasses and worries her. Dissociation begins through body image distortion, the dissociative defence of the rejected self and the main cause of many blockages in treatment. When working on the rejected self, we are integrating not only one of the parts most resistant to change in Eating Disorders, but also the body and everything that led to dissociation. Integrating this part implies a great step forward in the treatment of the disorder. The work with EMDR and the Rejected Self provides the therapist a great tool to make a solution for one of the most difficult steps are found in the treatment of Eating disorders.
This session was originally presented as a live webinar in May 2022.
Potential to Distress
Upon Completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:
- Discuss body image, distortion, trauma and dissociation
- Identify different body image disorders
- Describe rejected self and how life can be affected in those who suffer this type of disorders
- Explain the Rejected Self EMDR Therapy. Protocol for Body Image Distortion
Presenter: Natalia Seijo, Psychologist
Presenter Bio: Natalia Seijo is a psychologist and psychotherapist who specializes in eating disorders (EDs), dissociation and complex trauma. She is the director of an outpatient clinic which she founded 25 years ago in A Coruña, Spain. She is a EMDR Europe consultant and facilitator by the EMDR Institute. She is currently developing her doctoral thesis on the Prevalence in Dissociation of outpatients in Spain and is also researching on different projects on EDs. She has presented in various international conferences and frequently presents workshops on eating disorders and psychosomatic disorders. Her publications on the eating disorders field link trauma, attachment and dissociation. She collaborates with several universities in Spain with programs to train students. She teaches in the EMDR Master in the UNED university and she is co- director of the masters in Eating disorders and Obesity in the Complutense University of Madrid.
- Eating Disorders and Dissociation. 2015 ESTD Newsletter. Vol 4 number 1 (author)
- The Rejected Self working with Body lmage Distortion in Eating D sorders. 2016 ESTD Newsletter.Vol 5 number 4 (author)
- Seijo, N. Protocol for EMDR and Eating Disorders. In M. Luber (Ed.), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy Scripted Protocols and Summary Sheets: Treating Eating Disorders, Chronic Pain and Maladaptive Self-Care Behaviors. 2018 New York: Springer. (author)
- Seijo, N. EMDR Therapy Protocol for Body Image Distortion. In M. Luber (Ed.), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy Scripted Protocols and Summary Sheets: Treating Eating Disorders, Chronic Pain and Maladaptive Self-Care Behaviors. 2018 New York: Springer (author)
- 1.50 APAThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
- 1.50 ASWB ACEThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 continuing education credits.
- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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