Even though EMDR therapy is an 8-phase standard treatment protocol, every EMDR session will present slightly differently as all clients are unique. It can be normal to doubt yourself as a new EMDR therapist but remembering these basics can help you regain your confidence in your EMDR sessions.
The more present and grounded you can be in session with your client, the more likely you will have a successful session. Your warmth and presence will allow you to create a solid relationship with your client, helping your client to feel safer and more comfortable as a result.
This is extremely important because EMDR therapy can take time, and the sessions cannot be rushed. The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) estimates the average phase 4 for one EMDR target can take between 3-12 sessions for non-complex EMDR targets. Every client is different and there are many factors that may require slowing down each EMDR phase.
The SUDs may not drop right away and that is okay. As long as the material being reviewed during sets in EMDR phase 4 is not looping or getting stuck, you are likely on the right track. EMDR consultation can help you feel confident to remain client-led in sessions.
It’s okay to go back to the resourcing phase if some unexpected abreactions have come up and you believe the client requires more tools for phase 4 to be successful. Returning to phase 2 can also allow more time for a solid case conceptualization to be formed. Case conceptualization can give you and your client the needed perspective to continue forward with reprocessing distressing material.
Not every minute of EMDR sessions has to be serious. It’s okay to get creative and laugh with your client as long as it is appropriate and collaborative.
These five tips can help therapists get back on track with EMDR therapy, allowing you to resume progress. Here at Choice Point Psychological, we can provide you with more information regarding EMDR therapy, and we are always here to answer questions and address concerns. If you are an EMDR therapist and feel as though you are stuck with your client or are feeling lost introducing EMDR therapy into your practice, it may be time to pursue consultation. Choice Point can help you trouble shoot your EMDR sessions and regain your confidence. Contact us today to schedule an EMDRIA-approved consultation.