Integrated Bowen and EMDR (iBE) Therapy is a individual and/or group protocol developed and
researched by Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC.
Since 1997 Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC brought her decades of practice of Bowen Family Systems Theory into her practice of EMDR therapy. By 2013 she reported her single case study research at the EMDR International Conference in Denver, Colorado. She demonstrated that her client’s* emotional maturity could increase 10.7 points according to the Differentiation of Self Scale. Murray Bowen only believed very modest improvements (he used the word “microscopic”) were possible in one lifetime. Even so, he said even small progress would make a major difference in one’s life course. Dana thinks Bowen would have been stunned to see such a significant result in one year.
How could such successful efficiency result? EMDR has a wonderful ability to enhance the existing emotional and mental health that is your natural capacity. Research shows that clients who complete their EMDR therapy gain more Post-traumatic Growth than other therapies. Francine Shapiro, PhD, the developer and first research of EMDR, hypothesizes the reason for this. She says our brains have an Adaptive Information Processing system. This system of health gets stuck by distressing, stressful or traumatic experiences. It becomes hard to utilize your full intelligence, wisdom, love and creativity. Self-confidence and self-esteem become a challenge. Negative thoughts and feelings seem more true than positive thoughts and feelings. Positive change becomes very hard work under those conditions.
Do you have high anxiety when you have to differ from parents, children, bosses, co-workers, etc? Would you like the freedom to just be yourself?
I noticed that clients working with the Bowen theory were mostly using mind power to make their changes. Overcoming emotional anxieties and tendencies with mind power alone is tough though not impossible, thankfully. However, growth was slow and not all clients had the patience to stick with it.
With EMDR’s holistic approach desensitizing negative memories, beliefs, emotions and even physical sensations, the client no longer has to push and slog, on and on, through heavy emotions. They can address them quickly and efficiently with EMDR. Then they feel freer. They are much more motivated to make changes because it is easier, and many report it is kind of exciting! In fact, my clients report spontaneously making healthy changes in relationship within weeks rather than within months or years, as Bowen work had required.
But don’t take my word for it. Here are their words:
“I knew I should do this, and now I feel more peaceful.”
“I LIKED this work on Conflict!! And I didn’t expect to!”
Looking at her own overfunctioning pattern: “The more I gave, the more they took.”
“I liked the presenter’s ability to remain calm and that allowed me to be calm, too.”
“I felt safe.”
A therapist trained in Bowen and EMDR took my iBE training and said,
“This is like Bowen on steroids!”
iBE work can be done individually or in group. Either way, it begins with a individual session or an Introductory Introspection session to gain a history of your experiences with relationship stress from 4 different categories:
- Conflict (including blaming and controlling)
- Distance (including avoidance and abandonment)
- Triangling (including gossip, affairs and child focus)
- Codependency (Bowen called it “overfunctioning/underfunctioning reciprocity)
iBE work can be done in a unique group approach. The EMDR Group Treatment Protocol allows people to work on their own memories quietly using a drawing (stick figure) protocol. They don’t have to share what they are working on unless they want to when the memory has been resolved. This saves the members of the group from getting secondary traumatization by hearing stories that are too distressing for them. The EMDR Group protocol has been proven to overcome a PTSD diagnosis in research with child survivors of natural disasters and for adult cancer patients.
And the group protocol saves money and time as well. The fee for my individual sessions are $160. The early bird rate to enroll for the Group plus the individual intake session is $360 for 6 hours of group therapy plus 1 hour intake. If you enroll in the last week before the scheduled first morning, the rate is $460. This is still a bargain for EMDR therapy because the group sessions are only $50 per hour.
To receive an email schedule of coming groups, and a link to register for the workshop, please email my assistant Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the researched EMDR Group Treatment Protocol developed by Lucina Artiagas and Ignacio Jarero, link here.
To learn more about Dana Terrell, LCSW’s practice, link here.
*who qualified for no psychological diagnosis but still had relationship concerns and problems
©2016 Dana Terrell, LCSW