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“EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy: Working with Complex
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”
Bart Rubin, PhD
EMDR has been found to be a very effective treatment for trauma
processing. However, there are clients, many with Complex PTSD,
who are not yet ready for trauma processing, or who have ineffective or
incomplete trauma processing. The Internal Family Systems Model
(IFS) developed by Richard Schwartz, is an elegant, efficient and
powerful ego state treatment modality that can increase the range of
effectiveness of EMDR. IFS has been hailed by the world’s leading
expert in trauma, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, as the method that all
clinicians should know to treat trauma effectively,
IFS views multiplicity of mind as our natural state and our “parts” as sub
personalities that may be healed and transformed by bringing the Self
into its rightful role as leader of the internal systems. Helping clinicians
work with the various “parts” of the client’s internal system and their
often problematic relations amongst such parts will be a specific focus of
this workshop. Additionally, therapists will learn effective ways of
identifying their own parts that may interfere with treatment and identify
innovative and creative ways of working with “counter-transference.”
In this workshop, I will introduce IFS concepts that can be used
effectively in the seven phases of EMDR treatment. Workshop
participants will learn how to work with specific parts of the client’s
psyche that can interfere with the tasks of different phases of EMDR
treatment. In the Preparation Phase, they will learn to address those
parts that are frightened, skeptical or ambivalent about EMDR. They
will learn how to develop IFS inspired cognitive interweaves for parts
that interfere during the Processing Phase. Parts work can also be used
very effectively to help close incomplete sessions and build compassion
for the client throughout the process. We will also address parts that can
interfere at any phase of EMDR treatment, such as Dissociative parts
and inner perpetrators (Critics).
“EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy: Working with Complex Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder”
At the conclusion of the program, participants will be able to:
1. Apply an understanding of Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) theory to
help create more effective treatment plans for their traumatized clients.
2. Identify the ways that IFS can help “prepare” fragile or resistive clients for
the EMDR process by developing relationships with the client’s Protectors
3. Apply IFS interventions when EMDR Processing gets stuck or is
unsuccessful. Clinicians will learn IFS-specific interweaves.
4. Design effective interventions to help close EMDR sessions that are still
highly charged. Clinicians will learn how to work with “exiles” and develop
5. Utilize IFS theory and techniques to manage their own “counter-
transference” with challenging clients.
6. Identify the power of the “Self” as a healing agent in both client and in
Hour One: Overview of IFS Theory (PowerPoint presentation) [see Learning
Hour Two: Overview of how to work with client’s Protectors in Preparation Stage
Of EMDR. (PowerPoint Presentation and Video Clip) [see Learning
Hour Three: Working with Client’s Protectors cont. (Practice session in Dyads)
[see Learning Objective 2]
Hour Four: Overview of how to utilize IFS intervention with stuck processing and
blocking beliefs. (PowerPoint presentation and video) [Learning
Hour Five: Working with Exiles; Using self-compassion in closing EMDR sessions.
(PowerPoint presentation, video and dyadic practice sessions.
[See Learning Objective 4]
Hour Six: Working with Therapist’s Counter-transference; Bringing Self into
Sessions (video, PowerPoint presentation) See Learning Objective 5
info for Bart Rubin, PhD
668 Quinan Street
1036 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
1398 Solano Ave.
Bart Rubin, Ph.D.
Rubin works with couples, families, children and adults and his areas of specialty include
family/couples therapy, trauma, ADHD, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse,
supervision and training. He has been teaching and training family/child therapists
for the past 30 years and was an Adjunct Professor at Alliant International
University-CSPP for twenty years. He was a certified trainer and supervisor in Brief
Strategic Family Therapy and is trained in both Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy and EMDR.
He was also the Founder and Executive Director of The Family Institute of Pinole (FIP),
one of the leading couples/family therapy training programs in the country, the Founder
and Executive Director of the Trauma Center for Family and Community Violence of the
Family Institute of Richmond, and is the Past President of the Association of Family
Therapists of Northern California. His institute were one of the few intern programs
that placed EMDR treatment at the center of their clinical approach.
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