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Pain, Parts, Illness and Identity: EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology for Chronic Pain and Illness: Video Course


Speaker: Dr Arielle Schwartz

Product: Video Course
Price: £65

CPD Hours: 3

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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It is commonly accepted that emotional stress can contribute to physical discomforts including headaches, stomach-aches and frequent colds. As therapists, we also recognise that the relationship between stress and illness is amplified for clients who have a history of trauma – unresolved traumatic memories can even lead to somatic symptom disorders, while unresolved PTSD can manifest itself as bodily inflammation and autonomic nervous system imbalances.

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Full Course Information

At this engaging and informative video course with Dr Arielle Schwartz, we look at a biopsychosocial model of care which takes into account objective physical and biological factors of pain and illness as well as factors that are psychological or psychogenic in origin. The aim of considering such an approach is to assist clients in increasing their sense of control, self-efficacy and self-regulation with regards to the intensity and duration of distressing physical symptoms.

We recognise that therapy for somatic disorders and illness can be challenging, especially when the etymology lies in complex, developmental trauma. Which is why the course specifically explains how we can assess for dissociation, lack of affect tolerance, or secondary gains that may block successful resolution of traumatic events.

In addition, we will be introduced to the integration of EMDR Therapy and somatic psychology to enhance our client’s embodiment for the treatment of chronic pain and illness. Through the lenses of the EMDR-8 phase model, somatic psychology and structural integration theory, we will consider:

  • Therapeutic tools to address client experiences relating to medical mismanagement, invasive medical procedures or the lack of control that arises when the perpetrator is the client’s own body
  • The cognitive, emotional and physiological impact of stress, Trauma and PTSD
  • A biopsychosocial approach that helps you partner with clients to address psychological components of pain and illness
  • How to assess for dissociation and identify client’s parts or ego states as related to pain and illness
  • Resource development skills to help clients develop greater control over pain and illness symptoms
  • The six stages of trauma responses within the neurobiology of PTSD as it relates to therapy
  • Examples of top-down and bottom-up interventions in trauma therapy
  • Containment of somatic distress and the development of Affect Tolerance
  • Sequencing and somatic re-patterning

About the speaker

Dr Arielle Schwartz, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist, international speaker, EMDR Therapy consultant, and certified yoga instructor with a private practice in Boulder, Colorado. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University and holds a Master’s degree in Somatic Psychology through Naropa University. She is the author of The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Emotional Control and Becoming Whole (Althea Press, 2017) and EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology: Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in Trauma Treatment (W. W. Norton, in Press). She is a core teacher with The Maiberger Institute offering Advanced Workshops on topics of EMDR Therapy, Somatic Psychology, Attachment Trauma, and Chronic Pain. Her psychotherapy practice is called resilience informed therapy; an integrative, strength-based approach to trauma treatment. Learn more at

Course Schedule:

Session 1: Trauma within Pain and Illness

  • PTSD and Illness
    • The ACE Study
    • Somatic Symptom Disorder
    • Pain and Memory
  • The Neurobiology of PTSD
    • Stress Response vs. Trauma and PTSD
    • Polyvagal Theory
    • Trauma and the Immune System
    • Understanding Dissociation
  • Treatment Considerations
    • Working with the Window of Tolerance
    • Heart Rate Variability
    • Pain and Neural Networks

Session 2: Treatment for Chronic Pain and Illness

  • Case Conceptualization
    • Gathering Client History
    • Body Mapping
    • Postural Awareness
  • Self-Care and Resource Development
    • Breath and Body Awareness
    • Grounding
    • Self-Care Mental Movies
    • Containment of Somatic Distress
  • Develop Affect and Sensation Tolerance
    • Assessing for Dissociation
    • Parts Work
    • Build Affect and Sensation Tolerance
    • Focusing
  • Processing Trauma Components of Pain and Illness
    • Pendulation between Distress and Resource
    • Focusing
    • Sequencing and Somatic Re-Patterning
    • Case Vignette Presentation

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