Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR Frequently Asked Questions
Question: I am considering signing up for your EMDR Course and have a question: After this seminar, am I ethically authorized to use EMDR in therapy with my patients or is further training and certification required? If your seminar teaches the essential points of EMDR and we are allowed to use it in therapy settings afterwards, that would be wonderful
Answer: Regarding Certification: Certification in EMDR is-to say the least- misunderstood. Certification is offered by the member organization EMDRIA; it is completely voluntary; and according to EMDRIA’s executive director, only about 5% of all those trained in EMDR go on to become certified (personal communication, 2009). (*See below for EMDRIA’s requirements for certification). For further questions regarding EMDRIA and this question, see section below: Questions from EMDRIA Consultant, Jamie Marich, PhD
*EMDRIA Certification Requirements (from EMDR International Association’s website)
Question About Products: Would you kindly remind the name of your book? Can I get it on Amazon?
Answer: The book is TRAUMA COMPETENCY: A CLINICIAN'S GUIDE Sometimes you can get it on Amazon, but lately it’s price seems to be extremely inflated! Please do not ever pay more then the cover price because you may always get it through PESI.
Question: What is the difference between your CD (the one on your website) and PESI’s DVD’s (looks like they’re on your website and PESI’’s)?
Answer: The "CD": EMDR Essentials is the CD that was available @ the seminar. This CD download is the only product that sold by my company, Integrative Trauma Treatment, LLC, the others are PESI products- (starring me :)- but distributed by PESI. You may obtain the EMDR Essentials easily from the website as a digital download-meaning you download all the files in pdf format (which contain all the forms listed below) and then they're yours forever; once you've downloaded them, feel free to print them out and distribute them to whomever you like. Download EMDR Essentials - Digital Download - $24.95 here
Question: Initial installations are showing large positive gains for my trauma clients. I did discuss with you (and have read in the training manual) using the installation process as a stand alone treatment protocol for affect regulation and distress tolerance. My Client of over 2 years is experiencing a sense of mastery unknown to her before...so yes...I am developing an even stronger interest in "multi-sensory" trauma work. I have read over the manual about 6 times now...so if you want a recital just ask!) in keeping in mind that the "processing" is a late-stage intervention is there any inherent risk in beginning installation earlier on in treatment for trauma clients? ( I suspect this would be beneficial and low risk for the following reasons)
Answer: Of your statements above, we are in agreement.
Question: The internal support offered by installation (by the way I am finding that applying the ABS for every experienced sense "sight, sound smell, taste, touch, body sensations, emotions and anchor word) AS LONG AS THE SENSATION AND CORRESPONDING AFFECT IS COMPLETELY POSITIVE during installation is even more effective than experiencing these sensations sequentially, "holding them" and then applying ABS as originally instructed. Again, I feel this type of experimentation is safe and ethical because we are working with positive resources and not processing traumatic material. I also find that repeated positive ABS and corresponding "checking in" ensures a greater sense of prevention from any unwanted contamination during the installation process.
Answer: I'm happy to hear your enthusiasm! For resourcing: Parnell's, "Tapping In" is a Must Read read. Get it! :) Tapping In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation... And for everything else:
Question: Regarding frequency and intensity...is it best to use the same "strength" of vibration with "installation" as we would use for pending reprocessing?
Answer: Intensity and frequency are client's choice for resourcing (you need not change either one during resourcing, as the Theratapper is on only 5-10 secs). Reprocessing-same thing for intensity client's choice, but frequency you will be altering constantly.
Question: I have gotten the Theratapper out and been playing with it and have read through the manual a few times now and nowhere in there can I find what I remember which is that we were regularly turning the pulse rate knob as we were doing the rounds of abs (alternating bilateral stimulation...right?) Am I remembering wrong?? Aren't we supposed to be doing that -- varying the pulse rate so that the brain can not attenuate to it?
Answer: Essentially, we vary the rate of the tactile stimulation so that the brain-that fantastic organ of pattern detection and prediction- is forced to keep orienting toward this novel stimulus (the buzzing in the hands). The brain is forced to keep paying attention (consciously or unconsciously) to novel stimuli. If we leave the rate alone (i.e. forget to continuously turn the rate dial) the brain quickly picks up its simple pattern, i.e. the pattern of buzz...buz ...buzz.....buzz.....buzz.....buzz.....buzz.....buzz.....buzz.....buzz..... buzz.....buzz.....etc. becomes quite predictable; once predictable, there is no reason to-consciously or unconsciously- pay attention to it. Why orient toward or attend to something so mundane? Since the buzzing (the stimulus) is neither new, dangerous nor interesting, the brain is once again free to attend exclusively to the traumatic memory. However, if we continuously vary the rate, the pattern of: buzz............buzz...buzz.....buzz.............buzz....buzz..........buzz....buzz...buzz.. (you get the picture) is not so predictable, thereby insisting that the brain keep orienting toward the stimulus and keep trying to predict a pattern. It will fail, but that’s the point; it must keep paying attention to the tactile stimulus (which, notably, is in the here and now). The brain tries to figure out this "dis-tracting"stimulus’ pattern, while simultaneously attending to the traumatic memory (which, notably, is in the there and then), the memory is unable to gain “traction”, allowing the brain to be changed.
Question: I’m going over the notes I took, and you mentioned that the CBS Farmer’s Market Tragedy was on your website, but I’m not finding it. I would really like to have this particular broadcast to show to my superiors as a means of informing them of the treatment in order to get their blessings on my using your techniques and the thera-tapper.
Answer: Here is the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBtqWrs2-K0
Question: I am seeing a 20-year-old female, with a history of fibromyalgia and seizures...docs have told her that these are both epileptic and non-epileptic however cat scans do not show any abnormalities...one doc called them 'startle seizures' another says they are her being dramatic ... wonder if they are psychogenic and trauma related but the client reports no real traumas prior to seizures (onset at 15yo)...my question is...should I avoid EMDR with this young woman because of the seizures?
Answer: Addressing your immediate concern, my answer is: not necessarily. As her clinician, you need to contact her neurologist and have them sign off on it, i.e. say it's okay with him/her. It's not just a cover your ass move, it may well be a helpful consult not only to get information from him/her but an opportunity and to educate him/her about trauma and its sequel. Again, if (s)he doesn't know what EMDR is, I’d recommend looking for a new neurologist :) You may want some references from physicians (just saying) to pass on regarding traumatic stress and subsequent health issues. For that I will refer you to the leading authorities: