Laurel Parnell (Part 1) – The Remarkable Transformative Power of EMDR Therapy: A Revolution in Trauma Treatment & Gateway to Transpersonal Openings

Laurel Parnell Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy Transpersonal trauma treatment

World renowned EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) therapy pioneer and trainer Dr. Laurel Parnell has used EMDR therapy with clients for decades with truly remarkable success. Laurel relates how EMDR therapy dissolves blocks caused by trauma, freeing clients from negative constructs so they can develop their own felt sense of truth, and express from and know their own true nature. After EMDR, she says, “singers sing, writers write, dancers dance.” Not only are clients freed, but the endpoint of EMDR therapy quite often rests in a transpersonal space that is invariably characterized by an upwelling of self-love and compassion for others, an opening to mystery and boundless possibility. Interestingly, because of the resonant field between therapist and client (interpersonal neurobiology), the therapist experiences the transpersonal opening when it happens as well. More often than not, Laurel tells us, the way the session unfolds is a surprise to both client and therapist, with long forgotten little “t” traumas turning out to be responsible for the client’s blocks rather than the expected major life traumas. 

Laurel makes it clear that the goal of EMDR is to empower the client; the therapist must allow the wisdom to reside in the client rather than in their own interpretation of what unfolds, and adhere strictly to a process of open inquiry. She describes how the therapist’s beliefs can limit the outcome and outlines the advantages of a therapist who has a spiritual practice and transpersonal awareness. Laurel’s leading edge at this point involves Multidimensional Integrative Healing, an evolution from her longtime experience with EMDR, where further dimensions of reality have so often emerged in her work, and her own spiritual journey. It is fascinating to hear her describe how we can not only install helpful inner resources for ourselves, but also counter intergenerational trauma by calling forward ancestral wisdom. A deeply intriguing, eye opening, and impactful conversation with a very wise, enthusiastic, far thinking trailblazer of a teacher. Recorded April 15, 2024.

How many trauma therapies have the upwelling of compassion for self and others as the typical endpoint?

❤️​ Our podcast is a labor of love funded solely by co-hosts Roger and John. If you appreciate the value we bring, please help us keep these meaningful conversations alive.

Buy Roger and John A Coffee

Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1

  • Introducing world renowned EMDR therapist & trainer, leading authority on Attachment-Focused EMDR, author, and longtime spiritual practitioner Dr. Laurel Parnell (01:11)
  • What is EMDR (Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy) and the power of alternating bilateral stimulation (03:20)
  • EMDR: a highly efficacious trauma therapy that rapidly processes our frozen memories/experiences and moves us toward health and wholeness (05:15)
  • Humanistic psychology theory underlies EMDR, and the difference between EMDR and other therapies based on similar theories (06:48)
  • EMDR clears what isn’t true; it eliminates places of holding in the mind/body, creating space for living in a free, fluid way & allows the expression and knowing of our true self (07:55)
  • Beyond theories, beyond talk therapy (10:30)
  • More often than not what underlies current symptoms and problems is a complete surprise: small “t” traumas (11:31)
  • What is important in any good therapy is the right brain to right brain connection between therapist and client (14:38)
  • The importance of spiritual practice for the therapist (17:55)
  • The most common transpersonal experience/typical result of EMDR is an upwelling of compassion for self and others (21:11)
  • Objective forgiveness: when you see things as they are, a broader context arises (23:57)
  • How therapists can limit the outcomes (26:19)
  • Where EMDR starts to blend with shamanic practices, opening the veil to transpersonal dimensions of reality (28:43)
  • The wisdom abides in the client and the therapist aligns to that (32:09)
  • The Golem effect: self-limiting beliefs do manifest (34:09)
  • No interpretations! This is about inquiry (35:53)
  • How our individual unique ways of self expression come forth (38:26)
  • Empowering people to come to their own truth, which they can then rely on day to day (39:28)
  • The problem with neoshamanism (43:23)

Resources & References – Part 1

Live Online Training at the Parnell Institute

* As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.


Laurel Parnell Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy Transpersonal trauma treatment

Laurel Parnell, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Parnell Institute and developer of Attachment-Focused EMDR and Multidimensional Integrative Healing. She is a clinical psychologist, author of several books, and leading expert on Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Since 1995 she has trained thousands of clinicians in EMDR both nationally and internationally. A meditation practitioner since 1973, she brings a transpersonal orientation to her teaching as well as to her clinical work.


Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell


Besides his passion for getting the invaluable conversations on the Deep Transformation Podcast out to the world, co-host John Dupuy is also dedicated to encouraging the use of brainwave entrainment technology for its transformative effects. John has been working personally and professionally with brainwave entrainment technology since 2004, and in 2010, he co-founded iAwake Technologies to help create high quality soundtracks using this technology, which supports the healing of emotional/shadow issues, deepens meditation, mental focus, creativity, and flow states, and enhances a daily integral transformative practice.

To experience the effects for yourself, you can download a free sample of the Stealing Flow Warm-up track here, for a 25-minute, full-spectrum, whole-brain workoutWe hope you enjoy it!