Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 153–168 | Cite as

EMDR and Emotionally Oriented Couples Therapy

  • Howard Protinsky
  • Kimberly Flemke
  • Jennifer Sparks


When reviewing past and current research on the role of emotion in couples therapy, there appeared to be a lack of articulation concerning how emotional expressions and relational dynamics are affected by emotional trauma that has not been accessed. The authors demonstrate how emotionally and experientially oriented therapy with couples can be enhanced by accessing stored trauma through the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This approach is called Eye Movement Relationship Enhancement (EMRE) therapy and includes key clinical areas such as accessing and tolerating previously disowned emotion, reprocessing emotional experiences, and amplifying couple intimacy. These key areas are discussed and illustrated with case examples.

emotionally oriented couples therapy EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) stored trauma couple intimacy family therapy Eye Movement Relationship Enhancement (EMRE) therapy 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard Protinsky
    • 1
  • Kimberly Flemke
    • 1
  • Jennifer Sparks
    • 1
  1. 1.Marriage and Family Therapy PhD Program atVirginia TechBlacksburg

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