Laurel Parnell Institute:
Attachment-focused EMDR extends the use of EMDR and bilateral stimulation (BLS). It’s typically for clients who have been less responsive to traditional EMDR due to any kind of acute or chronic relational trauma or any attachment deficits or issues. Deficits can include childhood physical or sexual abuse, neglect, birth trauma, medical trauma, parental drug and alcohol abuse, misatunement from a caregiver or a parent, or any kind of secondary trauma and its effects.
These clients are going to present differently in therapy; they can present as depressed with relationship issues at work or they don’t feel like they’re fully alive. EMDR, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily enough, but attachment-focused EMDR allows the client to access a team of support attachment figures that we then bring into this EMDR.
If childhood trauma has impacted their sense of safety, attachment-focused EMDR tries to heal those attachments by addressing that sense of safety and allowing them to form close emotional relationships in adulthood.
In AF-EMDR, I use BLS to help resource clients. Resources are people, places, images, qualities, memories, experiences—real or imagined— that we can draw upon to create a sense of safety, signaling to the brain that we are safe. Resources may include inherent qualities such as love, wisdom, and joy.