Healing Relationship Wounds

New Possibilities for Strength and Support

by Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC


Do you avoid conflict and criticism at all costs?

Or do you jump into conflict or blame before you know it?

Conflict is one of the universal patterns of behavior that Murray Bowen (a pioneering Family Systems Therapy researcher) found humans use when stressed or anxious.

Do you tell yourself: “Just get over him/her/it,” but you find it’s not that easy?

Or is it simpler for you to walk away from people rather than try to make things work?

These are just two possible challenges that come from the pattern of emotional distance or cutoff.

Do you fear being abandoned or betrayed by a group, and find it hard to trust?

Or are you at your wits end with children (or coworkers or friends) who tattle on each other or find subtle ways to torment one another?

Bowen discovered that often when a problem exists between two people, a third person gets included in some way.  This can multiply distress.  He called this pattern triangling.

Do you tend to dive into the super-responsible role, and get burned out and lonely?

Or do you feel helpless when someone else takes charge too much, leaving little wiggle room for you to be yourself?

Bowen named these behavioral habits overfunctioning/underfunctioning reciprocity, commonly known as codependency.

Integrated Bowen and EMDR Therapy (iBE) Therapy helps neutralize our feelings about these universal patterns of behavior.  Then it becomes much easier to practice the possibilities for health that Dr. Murray Bowen learned.

Bowen discovered that as we practice emotional maturity in relationship challenges, we gain inner strength.  Our relationships can improve in small or significant ways.  Bowen’s attitude was very positive: “Even microscopic progress is huge.”  He’s referring to the long-term benefits from moving toward health in our behavioral patterns.  Our own support system gradually grows in size and in quality.   Such a support system acts to inoculate us against stress.  It can also give us people of various strengths and talents to turn to when we have a particular need.

With Bowen theory alone, people could achieve an inner backbone and more authentic relationships when they make enough disciplined and motivated effort – but the progress comes slowly.

EMDR Therapy has been proven to help people heal rapidly from difficult experiences.  By resolving issues with EMDR, it is as if the light bulb goes off in our brains.  We have better access to our own strengths and talents.  Dr. Francine Shapiro, developer of EMDR, called this the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) system.  It is always present in our brains, but distressing experiences that kind of got “swept under the rug” of our skull can clog that system and leave it “stuck.”

A Bowen-trained therapist who experienced Bowen and EMDR combined in iBE Therapy said, “This is like Bowen on steroids!”  We not only get unstuck from age-old patterns; we find it easier to behave in more healthy ways. Many of Dana’s iBE clients have been surprised to gain more comfort and confidence, and see themselves handle a variety of relationship challenges with increasing ease.

Dana’s iBE participants have said:

“I LIKED this work on Conflict!!  And I didn’t expect to!”

One woman had an epiphany:  “The more I gave, the more they took.” (She was referring to her overfunctioning pattern.)

“I feel like I am more ‘myself.’”

“I liked Dana’s ability to remain calm and that allowed me to be calm, too.”

“I felt safe in the workshop.”

What is unique about iBE group therapy?

iBE can be done quietly,  privately and affordably while in a group setting.

The feeling of an Integrated Bowen and EMDR, or iBE group is somewhat like a group meditation.  Once each memory-healing project is completed in the workshop, you can then share what the experience was like for you if you wish.  And others will learn from the lessons you or the other members of the group share.

Your presenter:

danabutterflyDana Terrell’s research integrating Bowen Theory and EMDR Therapy has shown that individual therapy using an iBE approach can produce a greater gain in emotional maturity in one year than Bowen thought possible in one lifetime.  She is currently researching the group protocol.

Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC (CA license #13773) has been practicing Bowen Family System’s Theory since 1979, and EMDR Therapy since 1997.  She’s been training EMDR therapists in her iBE protocols since 2009, and presented on her single case research design in 2014 at the EMDR International Association Conference.  She is passionate about her two specialties because both of them can make health contagious.  With Bowen Theory, Dana have been able to observe that when people change themselves, their changes become appealing and others slowly follow suit.  With EMDR therapy, the health within one part of your brain can spread to other parts of your being.  You and your loved ones will notice!

Dana looks forward to welcoming you to an iBE group workshop soon.


January 13 and 14, 2017 in Berkeley, CA

January 27 and 28, 2017 in San Diego, CA


Join other growth-oriented people for a fascinating way to increase your inner strength and outer success in relationships of all kinds.  This iBE (Integrated Bowen and EMDR) group treatment experience uniquely allows you as much privacy as you like, yet all participants are resolving and neutralizing universal relationship challenges together.
Individual treatment is available in San Diego with iBE developer, Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC.  To schedule an appointment, call (619) 283-5665 or email danaterrell.lcsw@gmail.com.