OCD is a notoriously challenging condition to treat, in part because exposure is not enough to extinguish the high levels of anxiety. Research clearly indicates that response prevention, simultaneously with exposure to obsessional thoughts, is needed to eventuate extinction or reduction of anxiety.

Dr. Paulsen teaches how EMDR Therapy can potentiate the anxiety reduction through desensitization and reprocessing, making an arduous treatment not only efficacious but time efficient and more comfortable than pure exposure and response prevention.

Additionally, OCD sometimes appears to be a response to developmental trauma sequestered at ages when magical thinking is normal. In such cases, ego state maneuvers will help access the locus of developmental arrest at the time of trauma, and disarm loyalty to the aggressor as manifest in perpetrator introjects, where appropriate.

The workshop describe the taxonomy of the disorder, details the specifics of treatment of OCD with exposure and ritual prevention, and integrates that methodology within the phases of EMDR Therapy as an overarching approach. It also instructs in the integration of ego state maneuvers as needed to take off the “brakes” of loyalty to the aggressor as part of the phased approach.

Presented by Sandra Paulsen, Ph.D.

May 19-20, 2018 9:00 – 5:00          

Plymouth Creek Center–14800 34th Ave., N., Plymouth, MN 55447


  1. Describe six types of OCD variants;
  2. Describe the cycle of anxiety increase through obsessional thinking and decrease through compulsive responses;
  3. Utilize the Yale/Brown Inventory to assess for OCD types and severity;
  4. Design an intervention of exposure to obsessional thoughts and response prevention for compulsive behaviors;
  5. Describe how to integrate exposure and ritual prevention within the eight phases of EMDR Therapy;
  6. Identify where in the phases of EMDR Therapy to use ego state therapy to reduce loyalty to the aggressor.


Continuing Education

The following CEUs have been approved:

EMDRIA: 13 CEUs (for those who have completed an EMDRIA Approved training in EMDR Therapy); MN Social Work = 14; MN Psychology = 13; MN LMFT = 13 and SD Counselors and MFTs = 13.

A Certificate of Completion will be awarded for full participation in both days, including the Board Log Numbers. Jill Strunk, Ed.D., L.P. maintains responsibility for this program in accordance with EMDRIA standards.

EMDR Sandra Paulsen CEU flier OCD 2018