Bellavista 3+4

Preconference Workshop 3

Adverse childhood experiences and attachment: treatment with EMDR

Adverse childhood experiences and early trauma can affect the developmental trajectory of the future adult profoundly. In clients with a history of trauma, early attachment disruptions increase the risk of developing complex trauma disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and dissociative disorders.

Understanding the role of attachment is crucial for case conceptualization and treatment. Overt abuse can be targeted and resolved through EMDR reprocessing in a pretty straightforward manner when there is secure attachment, but insecure and disorganized attachment can interfere with reprocessing in different ways.

Tools to enhance EMDR reprocessing in cases with attachment disturbances will be illustrated through videos and case examples. Treatment of adverse childhood experiences including particularities of sexual abuse will also be illustrated.

Dolores Mosquera, Institute for the Study of Trauma and Personality Disorders (INTRA-TP), A Coruña, Spain

Dolores Mosquera is psychologist and psychotherapist. She is the director of three Private Practice Clinics, specializing in the treatment of Personality Disorders, complex trauma and dissociation. She has been trained in several psychotherapeutic approaches and is an EMDR Europe Supervisor and Facilitator. She has extensive teaching experience, leading seminars, workshops and lectures throughout Spain and Europe. She has published 12 books and many articles on personality disorders, complex trauma and dissociation and is a recognized expert in this field.

For additional information:

  • Institute for the Study of Trauma and Personality Disorders, A Coruña, Spain
  • Mosquera, D., Gonzalez, A. & Leeds, A. (2014). Early experience, structural dissociation, and emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation. 1:15:
  • Mosquera D., Leeds, A. & Gonzalez, A. (2014) Application of EMDR Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder. Journal of EMDR, Practice and Research. 8, (2): 74-89.
  • Mosquera, D., Gonzalez, A., & Van der Hart, O. (2011). Borderline personality disorder, childhood trauma and dissociation of the personality structure. Persona, 11 (Supp.1): 44-73. (Spanish version pp:10-40)
  • Mosquera, D. & Gonzalez, A. (2011). Del apego temprano al TLP [From Early Attachment to BPD.]. Revista Mente y Cerebro, 46: 18-27.
  • Van der Hart, O., Groenendijk, M., Gonzalez, A., Mosquera, D., & Solomon, R. (2014). Dissociation of the Personality and EMDR Therapy in Complex Trauma-Related Disorders: Applications in Phase 2 and 3 Treatment. Journal of EMDR, Practice and Research, 8 (1): 33-48.
  • Van der Hart, O., Groenendijk, M., Gonzalez, A., Mosquera, D., & Solomon, R. (2013). Dissociation of the personality and EMDR therapy in complex trauma-related disorders: Applications in the stabilization phase. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 7(2), 81-94.



Szenario 2

Preconference Workshop 4

Enactive Trauma Therapy for Complex Dissociative Disorders

Enactivism holds that organisms are embodied and environmentally embedded. To be more specific, their brain, wider body, and environment constitute and depend on each other, and always occur together. In this frame, organism-environment systems are also mental systems. They bring forward a self, a world, and a self as a part of this world in ongoing action. Primarily interested in their own perseverance, they feel and make meaning of themselves and the world they enact.

Traumatized individuals are such organism-environment systems. As autonomous centers of operation or action and passion they strive to survive the injurious, overpowering world they encounter(ed). Unable to integrate their horrible experiences, they create a more or less complex dissociation of the personality. Keeping this division up for a longer time constitutes a work of art, however tormenting its consequences may eventually become.

Overcoming a dissociation of the personality takes intense communication, coordination and cooperation among the various dissociative parts, and between these parts and the therapist. Enactive trauma therapy, then, is the sensitive and dedicated effort to raise consciousness to levels of communication that allow the emergence of new, benevolent, and healing experiences in the steps that patients can manage. This wound healing takes embedment in an interpersonal frame that helps them to integrate and realize their traumatic past as well as the consequences it had and continues to have. It also takes that therapists are highly consciously aware of, and integrate their own person perspectives and those of the patient.

The present preconference workshop offers an introduction into the indicated new paradigm for an understanding and treatment of trauma and dissociation. It offers explanations, demonstrations, and practical applications.

Ellert R.S. Nijenhuis, PhD

Ellert Nijenhuis, PhD, is a psychologist, psychotherapist and researcher. He has been working with severely traumatized patients for more than thirty years, and continues to be engaged in biopsychosocial research of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Ellert Nijenhuis provides supervision and courses on chronic trauma and dissociation. He has written many clinical and scientific articles, book chapters, and books.


  • Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2015a). The trinity of trauma: Ignorance, fragility, and control. Volume I. The evolving concept of trauma. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2015b). The trinity of trauma: Ignorance, fragility, and control. Volume II. The concept and facts of dissociation in trauma. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2016). The trinity of trauma: Ignorance, fragility, and control. Volume III. Enactive trauma therapy. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Website of E.R.S. Nijenhuis 


Bellavista 5

Preconference Workshop 5

To press charges or to remain silent after sexual violence: the difficult dilemma for victims and their therapists

I recently heard an interview with a representative of a victim protection organization. After the preconditions of stalking as a punishable offence had been extended, she commented that victims of stalking would finally be helped by justice. Is this assumption correct? Do criminal trials help victims? Or do they add an additional trauma for the victim?

The main aim of a trial is to prove the guilt of the accused, thus it cannot simultaneously have a therapeutic function. Based on this assumption, the workshop aims to establish:

  • Traumatized victims‘ needs and the meaning of a criminal trial for them.
  • Which protective measures do or should criminal proceedings offer to victims to prevent further harm?
  • Under which cirumstances is pressing charges contra-productive?
  • Which role could or should therapists play during criminal proceedings (victim supporter, witness, expert witness) and what are the consequences for ongoing therapy?
  • Based on victims‘ needs, we will finally determine alternatives to a criminal trial or supporting measures that could be claimed from the legal system.

The workshop is directed at therapists, victim supporters and lawyers/judges/public prosecutors.

Kirsten Böök (-Stang), Senior Public Prosecutor (Oberstaatsanwältin), Public Prosecutor's Office (Staatsanwaltschaft) Braunschweig, Germany

Bellavista 2

Preconference Workshop 6

Opfer von Gewalt im Strafverfahren Wie lassen sich die Bedürfnisse Traumatisierter mit den Anforderungen eines Strafverfahrens vereinbaren?

Traumatische Ereignisse sind Ereignisse, welche durch unsere üblichen Bewältigungsstrategien nicht bewältigbar sind. Gewalt zu erleben bewirkt bei den meisten Menschen Traumafolgesymptome oder sogar Traumafolgestörungen.

In diesem Workshop werden die menschlichen Reaktionen auf traumatische Ereignisse aufgezeigt, deren Folgen besprochen und die daraus resultierenden Bedürfnisse der Gewaltbetroffenen erläutert.

Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt im Workshop wird sein, wie Aussagen von traumatisierten Personen im Rahmen der Glaubwürdigkeits- und Glaubhaftigkeitsprüfung von Gerichts- und Untersuchungsbehörden adäquat zu würdigen sind und was es bei Einvernahmen mit traumatisierten Personen besonders zu beachten gilt.

Zielpublikum: Dieses Seminar richtet sich speziell an Fachleute aus Polizei und Justiz. Experten aus Prävention, Beratung und Therapie sind aber ebenfalls eingeladen, an diesem interdisziplinären Seminar teilzunehmen.

Regula Schwager, Psychotherapeutin Zürich & Winterthur

Regula Schwager, eidgenössisch anerkannte Psychotherapeutin, Traumatherapeutin mit eigener Praxis in Winterthur. Co-Leiterin Opferberatungsstelle Castagna für sexuell ausgebeutete Kinder, weibliche Jugendliche und in der Kindheit betroffene Erwachsene.

Adrian Kägi, Jurist, Staatsanwalt Zürich

Adrian Kaegi, lic.iur., Staatsanwalt auf der Staatsanwaltschaft IV des Kantons Zürich, Gewaltdelikte. Spezialisiert auf schwere Gewaltdelikte und Straftaten gegen die sexuelle Integrität. Ehemaliger Dozent an der Zürcher Hochschule Winterthur im Fach Strafprozessrecht und materielles Strafrecht. Spezialstaatsanwalt für Ärztefälle.