The Integrated Protocol is a holistic approach that utilizes a combination of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and DeTUR (Desensitization of Triggers and Urges).
The Integrated Protocol works by weakening intrusive anxious/trauma related thoughts, reducing compulsive and avoidant behaviors while strengthening the client’s confidence through values and inner resources.
The Integrated Protocol evolved after my experience in treating clients with anxiety disorders, PTSD and OCD for 20 years. Initially, I utilized the empirically based treatment methods of Cognitive Therapy and Behavioral Therapy (CBT), specifically, the use of exposure therapy or Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). The results were good, but treatment was often slow and frequently uncomfortable for clients. Many, especially those with PTSD, severe OCD or OCPD, would terminate therapy prematurely due to the slow progress and discomfort. I always wondered: ‘Is there a better way?’
Over time, I merged Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with the use of traditional CBT; and improvements were noticeable but still incomplete. Once I became aware of studies that EMDR was reported to be much better tolerated than ERP for PTSD, I received training in and started using EMDR with clients under the mentorship of Dr. Curt Rouanzoin and saw significant improvements in client tolerance and outcomes almost immediately. The Integrated Protocol is the result of these experiments and experiences.