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Breaking the Cycle: EMDR Therapy Solutions for Problematic Anger, Hostility and Violent Behaviors

Presented by Mark Nickerson, LICSW

Friday, May 7, 2021

6 credits: EMDRIA, Psychologists, LCSW, LMFT, LMHC, LPC and other NBCC approved masters level clinicians

9:00 AM ET • 8:00 AM CT • 7:00 AM MT • 6:00 AM PT

Livestream/delayed viewing: This option includes participation via livestream during the training and/or access to the recorded training for 90 days following the live event.

Program Fees (includes 6 CEs):

$195.00 by April 18, 2021; $225.00 after April 18, 2021
$30 discount for clinicians working for non-profits (30+ hours a week)

Full refunds until April 18, 2021; then 80% until 1 week before training, no refunds after April 30, 2021.

LIVESTREAM/DELAYED VIEWING: When you purchase the livestream/delayed viewing (all one option), BeaconLive will provide you with instructions on how to access the program including tech support contact info. You can then watch any part or all of the program while it is happening and email in questions as it occurs. The pre-recorded program will be available within a few days after the live version. You can then watch the program whenever you’d like for 90 days (with a $40 per month extension available if you want more time). At the end of the program, you will see prompts to a quiz to demonstrate your participation. Once you pass the quiz (unlimited chances), you’ll have access to a downloadable CE certificate.

Comments about this training:

“Mark’s knowledge is exceptional. Mark’s teaching style is engaging, organized, clear and thoughtful.”
“Really well constructed and presented! Thanks!”
“Delightful presentation… challenging life/clinical issues brought to an understandable and doable therapy.”
“Best handouts I’ve ever received – thank you!”
“Clearly demonstrated the integrative quality of EMDR.”
“… Very useful – something I can use immediately.”
“Finally: an understanding about working with DV within a relational model. Most DV treatment recreates the power dynamics in treatment.”
“Very practical, useful information, thank you!”
“Wow – this will help with my angry adolescent clients.”

Program Description:

This workshop will teach practical strategies within the EMDR therapy treatment approach for clients presenting with problematic anger, hostility, and a range of related behaviors across a spectrum of severity. Relevant client issues include temper outbursts; an array of chronic or occasional hostile interactions with others such as verbal aggression, abusive behaviors including intimate partner abuse, marital hostility, post-divorce co-parenting animosity, angry parenting, bullying, self-directed anger, angry teens; road rage and low frustration tolerance, self-righteous anger, revenge obsessions, and ideologically based hostility and prejudice.

The Cycle Model for Treating Problem Behaviors offers a comprehensive framework for engaging clients in assessing and prioritizing treatment strategies to transform problematic beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. This workshop will describe an array of protocols, tools and strategies that address short and long-term goals; target selection strategies; ways to enhance client engagement and motivation; topic-related stabilization and preparation techniques; ways to transform abusive power and controlling behaviors; strategic skill building, and a protocol for addressing hostile attitudes.

Violent behavior is often a trauma reenactment, yet there are many clinical considerations including the safety of others in determining when, how and if to reprocess early trauma. Clients often need to be skillfully held accountable for present time risk factors without jeopardizing the therapeutic relationship. The workshop will describe further applications of the Cycle Model in the treatment of other problem behaviors including behavioral addictions and trauma driven “acting out”.

EMDR treatment has a remarkable capacity to go beyond the limits of common psychotherapeutic approaches to problematic anger and behaviors. With focused strategies that do not lose sight of the whole person, EMDR intervention offers realistic hope for true behavioral and personal change. This workshop will include multiple case examples and ready to use handouts scripts and other materials.

Learn about EMDR-integrated intervention strategies including:

  • The Cycle Model for assessment and intervention
  • Specific considerations throughout 8-Phase treatment protocol
  • Client engagement and motivation
  • Tactical target selection
  • Reprocessing acting-out experiences
  • Resourcing including redefining personal power
  • EMD and contained reprocessing
  • Integrating skill development
  • Behavior reinforcing, rescripting and rehearsing
  • Problem solving protocols
  • Maladaptive Positive Feeling States

Explore topic-related clinical concepts including:

  • Ego syntonic/dystonic problem behaviors
  • Addressing secondary gain
  • Locus of control
  • Externalized negative cognitions
  • State and trait driven behaviors
  • Psychophysiology of the acting out response
  • Managing arousal levels





Training Schedule Details (all times Eastern):

9:00am – Part 1 (90 minutes)

  • Dynamics and patterns of problematic anger, hostility, and violent behavior
  • Clinical presentations and challenges
  • AIP Trauma-informed conceptualization
  • Clinical Stance
  • Domestic violence awareness and considerations
  • Understanding acting out behavior- making behavior a clinical priority?
  • Triggers and Warning Signs
  • Time Out/ Time In Procedure

10:30 – Break

10:45 – Part 2 (90 minutes)

  • Cycle Model for History taking and case conceptualization
  • Treatment options for problematic anger, hostility, and violent behavior
  • Client motivation and commitment to treatment
  • Determining and updating treatment priorities
  • Understanding and managing dysregulation
  • Clinical examples

12:15pm – Lunch Break

1:00 – Part 3 (90 minutes)

  • Additional EMDR-based intervention protocols and strategies
  • Target selection and reprocessing strategies
  • Reshaping behavior
  • Managed Reprocessing Revenge Protocol
  • Clinical examples

2:30 – Break

2:45 – Part 4 (90 minutes)

  • Protocol to dismantle Hostile Beliefs and Prejudice
  • Other anger presentations
  • The Cycle Model for other Problem Behaviors
  • Treating behavioral addictions
  • Treating acting out behaviors
  • DeTUR and managed processing strategies
  • Maladaptive positive feeling states
  • Clinical examples

4:15 – Close


About the presenter:

Mark I Nickerson Mark Nickerson, LICSW has been a psychotherapist in Amherst, MA, USA for over 30 years. He is a senior lead trainer for the EMDR Institute Faculty, is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, served on the EMDR International Association Board for eight years including as Board President in 2014. He is currently Chair of the Clinical Practice Group of the Council of Scholars. He is the Director of EMDR Advanced Training and Distance Learning, LLC:

Mark conducts advanced EMDR trainings nationally and internationally on topics including treatment for problem behaviors, problematic anger, and violence, integrating cultural awareness in psychotherapy, and the effective use of EMDR protocols. He has developed award winning innovative programs designed to reduce and resolve interpersonal conflict. He is editor/author of Cultural Competence and Healing Culturally Based Trauma with EMDR Therapy: Insights, Strategies and Protocols (2016) and author of The Wounds Within (2015), an expose on the challenges for war veterans and their families. His Breaking the Cycle workshop has been presented in ten countries. Learn about upcoming and past trainings at

Objectives- Participants at this workshop will be able to:

  1. List reasons why treatment is needed for problematic anger and violent behavior.
  2. List reactions in the brain and body when a person is activated into an angry state
  3. Use Red Flag worksheets to record client triggering circumstances and warning signs
  4. Describe (with chart) clinically relevant components of the Cycle Model
  5. Identify uses of the Cycle Model for improved Phase I assessment and case formulation
  6. Identify protocols and procedures for topic-related effective Phase II client stabilization, problem solving and skill building
  7. Identify topic-related strategies that support behavioral change
  8. List possible types of memory targets that may be prioritized EMDR reprocessing
  9. Describe with training materials key guidelines for the EMDR Anger, Resentment and Revenge Protocol
  10. Describe an externalized negative cognition and its significance in reprocessing associations linked to hostile and prejudicial beliefs.


EMDR Advanced Training and Distance Learning, LLC (EMDR ATDL) maintains responsibility for this program and its content in accordance with EMDRIA standards and is approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (ACEP #6709) to offer masters level clinician CEs. Advanced Psychotherapy Trainings (APT) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. EMDR ATDL and APT maintain responsibility for this program and its content. NY CEs by arrangement.

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