Overview of Established Modifications of EMDR Therapy for Dissociative Disorders

The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation has developed an EMDR therapy training that integrates trauma and dissociation education. In this workshop, authors of this curriculum will present an overview of the most important published modifications of EMDR therapy for Complex Trauma (CT) and Dissociative Disorders (DDs), both to highlight the complexity of treating this population and as enticement to obtain further training. We will discuss diagnostic evaluation, discernment of ‘red flags’ in the client’s history/presentation, and the known and potential challenges of applying standard EMDR therapy protocols with clients with CT and DDs. We will briefly describe, with examples, specific techniques in the stabilization phase (Resource Development and Installation, Ego-strengthening, and Enhancing Orientation) and memory processing phase of EMDR therapy (Flash Technique, Memory Fractionation, Wreathing Protocol, Targeting Avoidance Defenses, Constant Installation of Present Orientation and Safety and the Back of the Head Scale). EMDR therapy interventions spanning all 3 stages of complex trauma treatment include Paulsen’s ACT-AS-IF Model, Gonzalez and Mosquera’s Progressive Approach, Kitchur’s Strategic Developmental Model for EMDR, Knipe and Forgash’s Cross Training Model, Knipe’s Loving Eyes Procedure, Fraser’s Dissociative Table

This session was originally presented as a live webinar in October 2020.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Define pathological dissociation
  • List six reasons to thoroughly screen for dissociation in all clients before commencing EMDR therapy
  • Identify six questions and six client observations that provide information suggestive of pathological dissociation
  • Outline the targeting sequence of childhood memories in the Strategic Developmental Model for EMDR
  • Explain the basic principles of the Progressive Approach to EMDR and Dissociation
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 3.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Marilyn Korzekwa, MD, FRCPC
Presenter Biography: Marilyn Korzekwa, MD, FRCPC, completed medicine at the University of Toronto in 1982 and psychiatry at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1986, where she is an associate professor (part-time). She worked in general hospital outpatient psychiatry for 28 years, which included founding and running a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program and Day Hospital. She opened her private practice in 2014, specializing in trauma and dissociative disorders. Her 17 publications include first author on 6 papers about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and 5 papers about dissociation in BPD, collaborating with Paul Dell. She has completed both levels of training in DBT, EMDR and Lifespan Integration, and Level 1 in Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. She is a fellow of the ISSTD, a recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award, and has been a member since 1992. She has been a member of EMDRIA since 1995. Currently she is devoting her time to the committee that is developing the curriculum for ISSTD’s EMDR course.

Presenter: D Michael Coy, MA, LICSW
Presenter Biography: D. Michael Coy, MA, LICSW, is a Seattle-based therapist whose focus in the integrative treatment of persons who have struggled with the effects of pre-verbal and attachment trauma, addictions/compulsions, and complex trauma and dissociative disorders. Michael is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, has intermediate training in clinical hypnosis through ASCH, and is Level I trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. He served on the Standards & Training committee of the EMDR International Association from 2014 to 2017. Michael is co-author of the Interpretive Manual for the Multidimensional Inventory of Dissociation Analysis, 2nd Edition, and manages the MID website. He has presented and co-presented on the MID extensively both in the US and internationally. Michael currently serves as Treasurer, and in 2019 was named a Fellow, of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). Since 2017, he has co-chaired a task group developing ISSTD’s own, home-grown EMDR therapy ‘basic’ training.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 3.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
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"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at cfas@isst-d.org to receive the appropriate discount code.