Cultural Competence and Healing Culturally Based Trauma with EMDR Therapy

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Cultural Competence and Healing Culturally Based Trauma with EMDR Therapy

SKU# 9780826142863

Innovative Strategies and Protocols


  • Mark Nickerson LICSW


This is definitely a book whose time has come. One of the brilliant aspects of the EMDR therapy approach is that it makes it clinically possible to cut through social issues, and yet maintain its cultural consonance. From multiple contributions around the world, each chapter brings significant insights into how EMDR therapy can be culturally attuned and yet efficacious in preserving the individuality of each client. Highly recommended for those therapists who work in multi-cultural settings.

-Esly Regina Carvalho, Ph.D., Trainer of Trainers, EMDR Institute/EMDR Iberoamérica and President TraumaClinic do Brasil/TraumaClinic Edições, Brasilia, Brazil.

Underscoring the importance of cultural competence, this groundbreaking book focuses on using EMDR therapy with specific populations, particularly those groups typically stigmatized, oppressed, or otherwise marginalized in society. Drawing on social psychology research and theory as well as social justice and social work principles, it delivers general protocols for EMDR intervention for recovery from the internalized effects of cultural mistreatment. Employing best-practice methods for cultural competence as EMDR therapy is introduced to new cultures worldwide, the editor and esteemed EMDR clinician-authors relay their experiences, insights, guidance, and lessons learned through trial and error while adapting EMDR interventions for cross-cultural competency and therapeutic effectiveness

The text defines cultural competence and validates the need for a multi-culturally aware approach to psychotherapy that embraces authentic socialidentities and attends to the impact of socially based trauma. Chapters address using EMDR therapy to heal the trans-generational impact of Anti-Semitism,working with the LGBT population, treating an immigrant woman suffering from social anxiety, healing individuals with intellectual disabilities, thetraumatizing effects of racial prejudice, harmful cultural messages about physical appearance, EMDR therapy attuned to specific cultural populations andsocially based identities, and many other scenarios. The text is replete with step-by-step treatment guidelines to help clients recover from traumatic lifeevents, dos and don’ts, and common adaptive and maladaptive cultural beliefs.

Key Features:

  • Defines cultural competence and validates the need for a multi-culturally aware approach to psychotherapy
  • Offers innovative protocols and strategies for treating socially based trauma within the EMDR model
  • Presents best practice methods for cultural competence
  • Includes step-by-step treatment guidelines and dos and don'ts
  • Written by highly esteemed EMDR clinician-authors

Product Details 

  • Publication Date August 04, 2016
  • Page Count 368
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826142863

About The Author(s) 

Mark Nickerson, LICSW, is a psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience. He practices as a trauma treatment specialist in Amherst, MA. Mr. Nickerson is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Michigan School of Social Work. He is on the faculty of the EMDR Institute and the EMDR Trauma Recovery Humanitarian Assistance Program, for whom he provides basic and advanced EMDR training sessions. He is a past president of the EMDR International Association, where he has served on the Board for the past 5 years. Mr. Nickerson conducts EMDR and other training sessions nationally and internationally on topics including treatment for problem behaviors and problematic anger; cultural competence and treating culturally based trauma and prejudice; conflict resolution; serving the needs of veterans and their families, and the effective use of EMDR protocols.

Trained as a social worker, Mr. Nickerson has a long-standing commitment to integrating the psycho and the social in his clinical work and teachings, as well as a passion for breaking down the barriers that divide people. Mr. Nickerson cofounded the Men’s Resource Center of Western MA, a unique organization that developed violence intervention services and offered support and educational services for men. He is the Director of Parent Education for the Hampshire County Court’s Bar Association, where he has developed two national award winning innovative programs designed to reduce and resolve interpersonal conflict. Mr. Nickerson is author of The Wounds Within (2015: Skyhorse,, an exposé on the challenges for war veterans and their families. He also provides training sessions with the Veterans Education Project (

Table of Contents 



Foreword Rosalie Thomas, PhD, RN





1: Cultural Competence and EMDR Therapy

Mark Nickerson

2: Integrating Cultural Concepts and Terminology Into the AIP Model and EMDR Approach

Mark Nickerson

3: Healing Culturally Based Trauma and Exploring Social Identities With EMDR Therapy

Mark Nickerson

4: Dismantling Prejudice and Exploring Social Privilege With EMDR Therapy

Mark Nickerson


5: An Integrative Approach to EMDR Therapy as an Antioppression Endeavor

Rajani Venkatraman Levis and Laura Siniego

6: Placing Culture at the Heart of EMDR Therapy

Rajani Venkatraman Levis

7: Culturally Attuned EMDR Therapy With an Immigrant Woman Suffering From Social Anxiety

Barbara Lutz

8: The EMDR Approach Used as a Tool to Provide Psychological Help to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Paola Castelli Gattinara, Antonio Onofri, and Cristina Angelini


9: Legacy Attuned EMDR Therapy: Toward a Coherent Narrative

Natalie S. Robinson

10: EMDR in a Group Setting (GEMDR)

André Maurício Monteiro


11: EMDR Therapy as Affirmative Care for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients

Sand C. Chang

12: EMDR Therapy With Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Clients

John M. O’Brien

13: Sex Assignment, Gender Assignment, and Affectional Orientation: Applying Continua of Congruence to Dismantle Dichotomies

Earl Grey


14: The Transgenerational Impact of Anti-Semitism

Ruth Heber and Karen Alter-Reid

15: Left Out and Left Behind: EMDR and the Cultural Construction of Intellectual Disability

Joseph C. Yaskin and Andrew J. Seubert

16: “People Like Me Don’t Get Mentally Ill”: Social Identity Theory, EMDR, and the Uniformed Services

Liz Royle

17: EMDR Therapy and the Recovery Community: Relational Imperatives in Treating Addiction

Jamie Marich

18: EMDR With Issues of Appearance, Aging, and Class

Robin Shapiro


19: Learning EMDR in Uganda: An Experiment in Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Rosemary Masters, Elizabeth McConnell, and Josie Juhasz

20: Teaching and Learning EMDR in Diverse Countries and Cultures: When to Start, What to Do, When to Leave

John Hartung