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Forming a More Perfect Union for the treatment of Complex Trauma: EMDR meets Narrative Therapy

Friday and Saturday, Oct 21, 22, 2016
Location and Times


Mary Ewing Rixford, M.A., LPC

Professional Counselor in Private Practice
Certified Therapist and Approved consultant with the Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing International Association (EMDRIA)

This class is open to non-EMDR trained mental health professionals as well as EMDR trained therapist.  EMDRIA credit is not given. 

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Michael White, an Australian Social Worker, developed Narrative therapy with his colleague David Epston in the late 1970s and 1980s. Narrative therapy is a collaborative form of therapy. White developed an inquisitive approach through “therapeutic conversations.”

Principles of Narrative Therapy are based on White’s assertion that human beings hold on to what is precious and meaningful regardless of what is happening to us. Similar to Viktor Frankl’s principles of Logo Therapy, Whites approach focuses on the meaning of a person’s life instead of the “problem soaked identity” many of our clients bring to our offices. Narrative therapy sees the problem as the problem, not the person as the problem. Clients introduce themselves to us by telling us what is wrong with them. Narrative Therapy focuses on what is right with them through dialogues that elicit the implicit narrative of what the client holds precious despite adversity. White’s work is particularly effective with clients who have experienced multiple traumas.

EMDR elicits the same implicit themes through desensitization and reprocessing. The two approaches appear antithetical when they are more identical than expected. Use of Narrative Therapy enhanced with EMDR allows the client’s preferred identity to emerge at a neurological level. A centerpiece of White’s work is the Definitional Ceremony. The ceremonies elicit an on-going life narrative which reveals the client’s preferred identity based in what they hold precious. This workshop will present a protocol modeled after the Definitional Ceremony created by White as a form of RDI which will enhance the standard eight phase protocol in all three phases of the treatment of complex trauma

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the philosophy and principles of Narrative Therapy
  • Learn how EMDR and Narrative Therapy mirror one another despite use of different interventions
  • Learn and practice externalization, double listening, listening and expanding subordinate themes in client’s narrative in place of the client’s problem soaked identity, definitional ceremony enhanced with EMDR Resource development and Installation (RDI); scaffolding interviews through RDI and therapist reflection
  • Models of multiplicity of the personality will be reviewed with a focus on use of the core self as a leader of the personality
  • Learn use of the Self as an empowering resource in all three phases of trauma treatment

Date and Times:

Friday & Saturday, October 21 & 22, 2016
Registration:  8:00 am to 8:30 am with coffee and donuts
Workshop:  8:30 am to 4:30 pm both days. (Lunch on your own).



Holiday Inn Express
205 Central Expressway N.
Allen, TX  75013
(972) 727 2000


Registration Rate: $159.00

To Registration Page

Cancellation Policy:

  •  Your tuition is refundable less a processing fee of $75.00 up to 10 days prior to the workshop date.  After 10 days prior, no is refund is given.

Continuing Education Information

This training offers 12 hours of  continuing education upon completion.

CompassionWorks offers:  Texas LPC, Texas MFT, Texas LCSW and EMDRIA Credits.





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