Original Paper

Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 191-200

First online:

EMDR and the Adaptive Information Processing Model: Integrative Treatment and Case Conceptualization

  • Francine ShapiroAffiliated withMental Research Institute
  • , Deany LaliotisAffiliated withEMDR Institute Email author 

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EMDR is a comprehensive psychotherapy approach that is compatible with all contemporary theoretical orientations. Internationally recognized as a frontline trauma treatment, it is also applicable to a broad range of clinical issues. As a distinct form of psychotherapy, the treatment emphasis is placed on directly processing the neurophysiologically stored memories of events that set the foundation for pathology and health. The adaptive information processing model that governs EMDR practice invites the therapist to address the overall clinical picture that includes the past experiences that contribute to a client’s current difficulties, the present events that trigger maladaptive responses, and to develop more adaptive neural networks of memory in order to enhance positive responses in the future. The clinical application of EMDR is elaborated through a description of the eight phases of treatment with a case example that illustrates the convergences with psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and systemic practice.


EMDR Adaptive information processing Integrative treatment Memory networks