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What is iBE?

Integrated Bowen and EMDR Therapy

Since 1997 Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC brought her decades of practice of the traditional Bowen Family Systems Theory into her practice of EMDR therapy.  In 2013, she presented her single case study research at the EMDR International Conference in Denver, Colorado.  She demonstrated that her clients' emotional maturity could increase 10.7 points according to the Differentiation of Self Scale in just one year. (hint: That's a huge improvement!) Dr. Murray Bowen only believed very modest improvements (he used the word “microscopic”) were possible in one lifetime.  Even so,  he said small progress would make a major difference in one’s life course. 

How did Dana's patients have such incredible results?  This magic combination of Bowen Theory and EMDR. When brought together, these therapies enhance the existing emotional and mental health that is your natural capacity.  Research shows that clients who complete their EMDR therapy gain more Post-traumatic Growth than other therapies. And at a much faster rate! 

Since 2020, Dana has integrated Jarero's Ongoing Traumatic Stress protocol into iBE therapy, because relationship issues tend to be ongoing throughout life, to one degree or another. If we can clear six examples of that from each category of Anxiety Binding Mechanisms, her recent research is demonstrating that it makes a difference especially when combined with a skills component enhanced by EMDR. Thus, the protocol is now the:

Comprehensive Relationship Protocol

Have you experienced traumatic events in relationships

Do you have high anxiety when it comes to disagreements or conflict or the drama of triangles?

Would you like the freedom to just be yourself?

Francine Shapiro, PhD, the developer and first researcher of EMDR, explains the science behind the results as this:  She says our brains have an Adaptive Information Processing System.  This System gets stuck when it's been impacted by distressing, stressful or traumatic experiences.  It becomes hard to utilize your full intelligence, wisdom, love and creativity.  Self-confidence and self-esteem become a challenge.  Negative thoughts and feelings seem more true than positive thoughts and feelings. It can feel like your brain just doesn't work. 

I noticed that clients working with the Bowen theory were mostly using mind power to make their changes.  Overcoming emotional anxieties and tendencies with mind power alone is tough though not impossible, thankfully.  However, growth was slow and not all clients had the patience to stick with it. With EMDR’s holistic approach to desensitizing negative memories, beliefs, emotions and even physical sensations, the client no longer has to push and slog, on and on, through heavy emotions.  They can address them quickly and efficiently with EMDR.  Then they feel freer. They are much more motivated to make changes because it is easier, and many report it is kind of exciting!  In fact, my clients report spontaneously making healthy changes in relationship within weeks rather than within months or years.


But don’t take my word for it.  Here are their words:

“I LIKED this work on Conflict!!  And I didn’t expect to!”
Looking at her own overfunctioning pattern:  “The more I gave, the more they took.”
“I liked the presenter’s ability to remain calm and that allowed me to be calm, too.”
“I felt safe.”

To Learn More about Dana's upcoming workshops, click here

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