This video is Courtesy of EMDR International Association https://www.emdria.org
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is a specialized and highly effective approach to therapy. It should only be utilized by licensed therapists who have completed specific training criteria set forth by the EMDR International Association. Some EMDR therapists have completed basic training, while others have completed additional criteria for EMDR Certification.
Some of the ways we have seen EMDR used effectively with our clients include improving body image issues, social anxiety, relationship trauma, sexual trauma, and alleviating various types of fears. An EMDR approach can be effective for single stress events or single traumatic experiences as well as for long standing or repeated stressors and traumatic experiences. An example of these would be a single experience of a traumatic car accident or a long standing history of childhood neglect by a primary care giver. Although the specific treatments plans may look very different in these two examples (what the client is targeting to process) the way EMDR is structured will be very similar.
Your EMDR therapist will guide you through 8 phases of EMDR therapy. The first phase includes history taking and treatment planning. This is where you and your therapist will explore the major events and themes in your life that have had a significant impact on you. Because EMDR is a client centered approach, you will always have the final say on your goals for therapy. In the second phase, preparation, your therapist will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about EMDR. You will also learn some emotional regulation and containment strategies that will help you cope with any disturbances that may arise during your EMDR sessions. Phase three, assessment, is where your therapist will gather specific information from you about the target memory or incident you will be working on. This information includes the associated disturbing image, negative belief, emotions, and body sensations. Phase four, desensitization, is where the processing and bilateral stimulation take place. Your therapist will guide you through sets of eye movements or other form of bilateral stimulation and stop to check in with you so your therapist can be informed about how your processing is going and if any adjustments need to be made. Phase five, installation, is where we focus on replacing your original negative believe with a positive self-referencing belief. Phase six, body scan, is where you will be guided through a mental scan of your body to check for any lingering negative body sensations. If there are any, don't worry, your therapist knows what to do in these situations. Phase 7, closure, is how we address an incomplete target if it is not resolved within the allotted session time. We will need to resume processing this target in the following session. This may include utilizing some of the skills you learned during the preparation phase. Phase 8, reevaluation, involves the therapist checking back in with you about the work that has been done in the previous sessions. Your therapist will want to know how things are going between your sessions and if any disturbances have been present.
Joni Adams offers EMDR consultation services to therapists who have completed EMDR basic training and are seeking consultation hours toward their EMDR certification. Please contact Joni using the contact form for more information.