Discuss the Psychotherapeutic Approaches reviewed in this Module(EMDR, Trauma Resiliency Model)

EMDR and Trauma Resiliency Model

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy whereby the individual being treated recollects tormenting experiences whilst executing bilateral stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movement (Hase, 2021). This model was introduced by Dr. Shapiro in 1987 and has ever since undergone dynamic evolution. According to Hase (2021), the model comprises designed protocols and procedures based on the adaptive information processing (AIP) model. AIP model is rooted in the assumption that the human brain can process stressful information to complete integration. EMDR therapy was initially developed for the treatment of PTSD since its principal focus was to process insufficiently processed and maladaptively encoded memories. Following continuous evolution, the model is effective in depression, anxiety-related disorders, and dissociative identity disorder. The model is composed of 8 phases namely; history and treatment planning, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, debriefing, and re-evaluation (Hase, 2021).

Meanwhile, the trauma resiliency model (TRM) is a “bottom-up” somatic innovative therapeutic method that deploys sensory awareness for emotional regulation and integration (Grabbe & Miller-Karas, 2018). This model is a holistic body-based approach that addresses the physical response to traumatic events. The model uses nine skills namely; tracking, resourcing, grounding, gesturing, help now, shift and stay, titration, pendulation, and completion of survival. TRM is scientifically proven to decrease anxiety, depression, and hostility as well as stabilization of the nervous system to achieve equilibrium following a traumatic event (Grabbe & Miller-Karas, 2018).

What do you like and dislike?

Honestly, I like both models. However, I prefer TRM to EMDR. The TRM model is slightly simplified compared to the EMDR model. In addition, TRM is a self-care model that addresses deep-seated and long-term physiological responses to cues, threats, and triggers related to trauma locked within one’s body (Grabbe & Miller-Karas, 2018). Similarly, TRM doesn’t necessitate the telling of any trauma story. On the other hand, the EMDR model is complex that entails the comprehension of the hierarchical levels as well as the client’s pathogenesis in a non-pathologizing way to correct dysfunctionally stored memory. Finally, EMDR being cognitive-based provides a critical new understanding of self and past experiences.

How do they compare to the other therapeutic approaches covered in previous Modules?

The aforementioned therapeutic approaches are similar to CBT, interpersonal psychotherapy, and other therapeutic approaches. Firstly, both models are well organized and structured. Secondly, as with other therapeutic approaches, the establishment of the therapeutic relationship is a prerequisite. Similarly, both therapies are used to treat multiple psychiatric disorders. Finally, both therapeutic approaches require training and are long-term therapies requiring several sessions.

Are they better for children or adults?

TRM and EMDR therapy can be used for any patient group with more than 80% success rates (Hase, 2021). However, these evidence-based therapeutic approaches are more effective for adults (Grabbe & Miller-Karas, 2018). This is probably due to limited studies regarding the effectiveness of these methods in children. Furthermore, the majority of the adults easily cooperate, pay attention, and usually have a clear insight.

Do you feel you will use it in your practice?

I feel I will use TRM and EMDR in my practice. The two models of therapy have been proven effective in PTSD which is a prevalent condition. Furthermore, these therapies are still undergoing evolution and further research to establish their effectiveness for the treatment of other mental disorders.


EMDR and TRM are well-structured evidence-based therapeutic approaches that are effective in the management of PTSD in both children and adults. However, further research is required to determine their effectiveness in the management of other psychiatric conditions.



Grabbe, L., & Miller-Karas, E. (2018). The Trauma Resiliency Model: A “bottom-up” intervention for trauma psychotherapy. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association24(1), 76–84. https://doi.org/10.1177/1078390317745133

Hase, M. (2021). The structure of EMDR Therapy: A guide for the therapist. Frontiers in Psychology12, 660753. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.660753

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