The protocol designed especially to support couples’ therapy is called Eye Movement Relationship Enhancement.a In this protocol, one partner at a time participates in EMDR work while the other watches the process in the background. The focus of the work lies on the person’s emotions that reflect negatively on the relationship (e.g. anger. disappointment, grief, distrust) as well as on the related memories, mental images and negative cognitions. EMRE makes the feelings and their background factors visible to the other party and increases understanding, compassion and attachment between the partners. One therapeutic goal is, in fact, to increase empathetic interactions between the partners.
Using EMRE as a part of couples’ therapy always requires a confidential and supporting atmosphere between the couple. The timing of the treatment in relation to the couple’s therapy should also be carefully considered. EMRE is a particularly good option in a situation, where a person feels like they have ‘gotten stuck’ to a certain feeling or memory during couples’ therapy and feels like they cannot overcome it emotionally.
a Protinsky, Flemke, & Sparks, 2001 a ja b