April Steele is an EMDRIA-Approved Consultant and Credit Provider who offers consultation and continuing education for psychotherapists trained in EMDR. She specializes in the areas of attachment and trauma.
After 20 years of working with clients with histories of trauma, neglect, and abuse, and with attachment issues, she has retired from client work.
Working with Attachment in EMDR Therapy
EMDR has been central to my work since 1998 because of its incredible effectiveness in moving disturbing memories into the past; however, there is more to our clients than their trauma histories.
What EMDR does not directly address are the aspects of present-day issues rooted in early deficits. As an infant and/or child, the client may have missed out on the sensitive, attuned, and loving presence and responsiveness needed for healthy development. This deficit may lead to problems in adulthood such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and if there is also a history of abuse, complex PTSD and dissociative disorders. Such individuals may suffer from impaired emotional skills, addictions, and eating disorders.
In response to the needs of my clients and drawing on attachment theory and research, I developed an approach that recognizes the therapeutic relationship as one of attachment, and that with Imaginal Nurturing, helps client to develop a new relationship with themselves through externalized younger parts of self in the present.
This approach provides an attachment context for therapy and is a natural complement to trauma work as well as being valuable for those not stable enough to tolerate trauma processing. Imaginal Nurturing is not simply an intervention or protocol. It is a way of conceptualizing the psyche and therapy, and is an approach to be woven throughout the therapy. It’s gentle work, and can be playful, satisfying, and transformational.
Developing a Secure Self
Developing a Secure Self is an attachment-based, ego-state approach to adult psychotherapy that I created in the early 2000’s, in response to the needs of my clients.
I provide an online Developing a Secure Self training, which is a continuing education program for psychotherapists working with adults.