What Therapists Need to Know to Treat Trauma Effectively

While EMDR is best known for the treatment of PTSD, it’s evolved into a comprehensive, attachment-based approach that addresses a broad range of clinical conditions.

In the following interview, EMDR pioneer Deany Laliotis explains how EMDR works, who it works with, and how it’s evolved over time.

Not only does Deany say a therapist treating trauma must keep the client close and connected to help manage their symptoms, but they should invite them to reflect and grow. “Help them appreciate that perhaps what they learned to do growing up was avoid their ‘inner life’ because they didn’t have the resources they needed. Our challenge is to help the client appreciate this, and validate them.” Then, she says, “invite them to stretch, to be curious. To approach their inner life.”

Deany Laliotis

Deany Laliotis, LICSW, is a trainer, clinical consultant, and practitioner of EMDR.  She’s the director of training for EMDR Institute, Inc., and is the codirector of EMDR of Greater Washington.


Lauren Dockett

Lauren Dockett, MS, is the senior writer at Psychotherapy Networker. A longtime journalist, journalism lecturer, and book and magazine editor, she’s also a former caseworker taken with the complexity of mental health, who finds the ongoing evolution of the therapy field and its broadening reach an engrossing story. Prior to the Networker, she contributed to many outlets, including The Washington Post, NPR, and Salon. Her books include Facing 30, Sex Talk, and The Deepest Blue. Visit her website at