Knipe, J. (2014). EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. ISBN: 9780826171269.
Paperback. 256 pages. Includes index and bibliography.
Key words: EMDR, trauma, states, adaptive information processing.
EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation provides a framework for employing supplementary Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) techniques to treat more complex disorders involving psychological defenses and dissociative symptoms, such as complex post-traumatic stress disorder. The book is meant to introduce additional techniques to therapists with prior experience in performing standard EMDR therapy.
Experienced practitioners can quickly and effectively treat clearly-recalled, single-incident traumas with standard EMDR procedures. However, many patients present with conditions that indicate internally discordant personality structures such as anxiety and depression. Distinct states of minds are activated at different times by certain memories, specifically the young emotional part (EP) and apparent normal part (ANP). The ANP attempts to maintain a sense of normality, while the EP is intrusive, recalling the fearful ego state at the time of the traumatic event.
EMDR therapy is founded on the adaptive information processing (AIP) model, which assumes that there is a human mechanism for processing and resolving disturbing life experiences that is natural and physical. The AIP model states that these memories, even if disturbing, are subject to the natural tendency of the mind to move away from a reactive response and towards “realistic” consideration. The book explains how AIP applies to the treatment in three parts, regarding complex PTSD, psychological defenses, and dissociative personality structure.
Author Dr. Jim Knipe, a practicing psychologist, has been using EMDR since 1992. Knipe, throughout the book, offers anecdotes from his practice, many pictorial aids, and even two patient session transcripts, thereby personalizing and clarifying the material. The professionalism and transparency in these details is important because, as Knipe writes, “this process is not primarily cognitive but occurs naturally, ‘off the radar’”.
EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation is a valuable resource, inviting and informative, for psychotherapists already trained in standard EMDR that desire to expand their practice and better treat complex patient cases.