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Session 412: Transforming Personality & Attachment Patterns: PAC System & EMDR Therapy


Attachment-Focused Trauma Therapy for Adult (AFTT-A) adapts Parent-Adult-Child (PAC) theory for a multimodal, step-by-step approach to restructuring the internal personality system by differentiating child parts of self from unhelpful versions of parent and adult parts within EMDR preparation phase two. Through EMDR resource work, unmet childhood needs for nurturing and protection can be met within clients themselves, strengthening the competent adult part of self to be in charge of inner and external attachments, and transforming all parts of self into healthier versions that play more helpful roles; thus enabling clients to move toward the "earned secure” end of the attachment continuum for healthier patterns in relationships. The model espouses some unique basic assumptions, including a core concept that every client retains a “spiritual essence,” a core of goodness, present from birth and the unshakeable belief that clients have within themselves all the resources and strengths needed for health and healing.   

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe to clients the impact of attachment trauma on personality and attachment patterns using the PAC diagram as a visual aid.
  2. Participants will be able apply protocols to assist clients with accessing their competent adult state to create an enhanced safe place that provides a protective and nurturing experience for a child or adolescent part of self.
  3. Participants will be able to provide guidance to clients to negotiate new roles for unhealthy aspects of their adult part of self to improve adult personality structure, functioning, and attachments.


Topic: Attachment Issues / Personality Disorders


CE Hours: 3


  • Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

    Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP, has specialized in treating trauma and attachment problems in adults and children for over 30 years and co-founded The Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska in Omaha, Nebraska. She is an EMDR trainer for the EMDR Institute and an EMDRIA approved EMDR consultant. Wesselmann has co-authored articles, chapters, and books related to attachment and trauma, including the recent treatment manual for the EMDR and family therapy integrative model as well as the companion parent guide, both published by W.W. Norton. She presents nationally and internationally.

  • Ann Potter, Ph.D.

    Ann E. Potter, Ph.D., has worked over 45 years in the mental health field as a psychiatric nurse, educator, therapist, psychologist, evaluator, researcher, writer, presenter, and consultant. She has been in private practice since 1989. She is a certified EMDR therapist, approved EMDR consultan,t and a certified RO DBT therapist. She piloted outcome research related to phase-based trauma treatment (DBT/EMDR) for adults and published articles on the roles adults played as children in alcoholic families, a therapist manual and companion client workbook on trauma treatment, and articles on EMDR therapy. 

September 18, 2022
Sun 12:30 PM CDT

Duration 3H 30M

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