Course and CE Info – Paradigm Shift: Defense mechanisms through the EMDR therapeutic framework

Paradigm Shift: Defense mechanisms through the EMDR therapeutic framework, presented by Michelle Gottlieb, Psy.D. and Deborah Silveria, Ph.D., is an intermediate to an advanced workshop for clinicians who have completed both levels of EMDR Basic Training.

Clinicians often work within particular definitions of defenses and the ways these defenses may block psychotherapeutic work as taught in other modalities. This workshop assists the clinician in making a paradigm shift from defenses to the AIP perspective within the EMDR Therapy model of maladaptive memory networks, which protect other, more vulnerable, memory networks. With the instruction of this course, the clinician will develop a stronger case conceptualization, reduce his/her own countertransference, and utilize installing resources effectively.

Course Objectives:

Through video lecture, slides, case examples, and accompanying materials, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe adaptive and maladaptive memory networks from the AIP perspective.
  2. Explain the neuroscience supporting this view.
  3. Apply the AIP model within the context of maladaptive memory networks and their uses.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of skills in working with blocking beliefs.
  5. Utilize installing resources that build the scaffolding enabling the client to create adaptive memory networks.

Advanced Training level: Intermediate/Advanced


Michelle Gottlieb, Psy.D., MFT, LPCC is an experienced clinician with over twenty years of private practice, currently in Fullerton, California, specializing in complex trauma and chronic pain/illness. She is also adjunct faculty at California State University, Fullerton in the counseling department, graduate division, for ten years with exemplary reviews. Dr. Gottlieb has been facilitating and handling logistics for EMDR HAP/Trauma Recovery and the EMDR Institute for three years, as well as organizing the largest training ever for EMDR HAP/Trauma Recovery. Michelle has also been invited to be a Trainer Candidate for EMDR HAP/Trauma Recovery.

Deborah Silveria, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and LMFT. She works at the Amen Clinics in Costa Mesa, California. She specializes in complex trauma. She has been practicing EMDR since 1996 and has traveled to areas providing EMDR after disasters (Haiti, San Bernardino terrorist attacks). Dr. Silveria is a Trainer for EMDR Trauma Recovery Network and a facilitator for the EMDR Institute. She is also an Approved Instructor in Critical Incident Stress Management for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. She is the EMDR consultant and program coordinator for a week-long retreat for first responders with PTSD.

Course Schedule

Time Segment


30 minutes

Theory of Defenses versus Maladaptive Memory Networks

Introduction of the paradigm shift from defenses to the AIP theory of maladaptive memory networks.

Paradigm Shift re: maladaptive memory networks. Reducing the clinician’s countertransference.

Identify the use of blocking beliefs and other maladaptive memory networks.

Dissociation as a type of a maladaptive memory network.

Learning Objectives 1 & 3


30 minutes

Neuroscience of Maladaptive Memory Networks.

As neuroscience research advances, brain and nerve circuitry are more plastic than previously believed.

Rewiring in adult life is possible.

Reducing defenses, or maladaptive memory networks in the AIP model, produces a less dysregulated state which facilitates the therapeutic alliance. Involves the mylenated branch of the vagus nerve (social engagement system).

Learning Objective 2


30 minutes

Practical Applications

Participants work through cases understanding the use of maladaptive memory networks by clients and how best to work with those blocking beliefs to gently transform them into adaptive memory networks.

Flash Forward technique — helping clients stay within their windows of tolerance.

Targeting blocking beliefs and creating resources early in the treatment — allows clients to progress much quicker.

Paradigm shift — help the client unlink uncomfortable affect, beliefs, negative behaviors from positive experiences, such as the high from addictions.

Dissociation — conceptualized as a maladaptive memory network.

Using resourcing to build the scaffold that will become positive memory networks.

Learning Objective 3, 4 & 5

CE Information


This course is a 1.5 CE course. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state. Continuing Education Credit is approved through Commonwealth Educational Seminars for the following professions. CEs approved through EMDRIA.


Commonwealth Educational Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Commonwealth Educational Seminars maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.

Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LPCs/LMHCs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

If applicable: Social Workers – New York State

Commonwealth Educational Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. #SW-0444.

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LMFTs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


As an American Psychological Association (APA) approved provider, CES programs are accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These courses can be utilized by nurses to renew their certification and will be accepted by the ANCC. Every state Board of Nursing accepts ANCC approved programs except California and Iowa, however, CES is also an approved Continuing Education provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider # CEP15567) which is also accepted by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

EMDRIA Credits: 1.5

EMDRIA: EMDR Professional Training is an EC Provider (#18023) and this program (#18023- DL16) is approved for 1.5 EMDRIA Credits. Eligibility for EMDRIA Credits is restricted to those who have completed an EMDRIA-Approved Basic EMDR Training.