Ep 11: Adapting The 8 Phases of EMDR to the EMDR Intensive Model: Phases 5-8

Adapting The 8 Phases of EMDR to the EMDR Intensive Model: Phases 5-8

Hello, I’m Carolyn Solo, an LCSW EMDR certified therapist and consultant. Today, I want to share an exciting update from my recent appearance on the Future Template Parent Podcast. We discussed various aspects of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, focusing on the transformative power of specific phases. Let’s delve into the highlights!

Phase Five: Reflecting on Beliefs and Resonance

In Phase Five of EMDR therapy, I encourage my clients to reflect on their beliefs about themselves while keeping the memory in mind. This phase centers around trusting the client’s internal system to discover what resonates and feels true to them. It is a deeply introspective process that opens the door to healing and transformation.

The Attachment-Focused Approach by Laurel Parnell

Laurel Parnell’s attachment-focused approach has deeply influenced my therapeutic practice. I firmly believe in establishing a strong therapist-client relationship built on collaboration and choice. Each therapy session should be a journey where clients feel heard and empowered. To achieve this, I tailor the therapy to meet individual needs, embracing a holistic approach that feels authentic to each person’s unique experience.

Parnell challenges the use of the Voluntary Opening and Closing (VOC) technique in the standard EMDR protocol. She believes that it can slow progress by moving clients into the left hemisphere of the brain, taking them away from the trauma experience. Instead, Parnell encourages therapists to adopt a holistic approach that engages all aspects of the client’s being.

Phase Six: The Body Scan for Unveiling Unprocessed Trauma

In Phase Six, known as the body scan, I guide my clients to slow down and consciously scan their bodies. This process allows us to uncover any unprocessed trauma that may be lingering within. It is essential to approach this phase with patience and understanding, as not all clients are naturally attuned to their somatic experiences. By investing the time to explore physical sensations, we pave the way for successful outcomes.

Embracing the Embodied Experience of Traumatic Memories

Phase Six takes us deeper into the embodied experience of traumatic memories. By addressing the physical sensations and physicality of these memories, clients can find resolution and relief. It is about facing these challenges head-on, acknowledging the pain, and working towards a brighter future.

Phases Seven and Eight: Reflection, Closure, and Self-Care

As we progress to Phases Seven and Eight, our focus shifts towards re-evaluating completed targets, engaging in closure rituals, reflecting on progress, and prioritizing self-care. These phases are crucial in nurturing oneself during the transformative EMDR journey. Reflection allows us to appreciate the progress made, while closure rituals provide a sense of completion and release. Prioritizing self-care is essential for sustained growth and healing.

Aftercare: Building a Supportive Foundation

I cannot stress enough the importance of aftercare in EMDR therapy. After sessions, clients are reminded to lean on their support systems, which may include family, friends, pets, and a comforting home environment. Strong emotions and new memories can arise, making it vital to have a plan in place for self-care and support. Rest assured, therapists like myself are here to guide and support clients every step of the way.

The Power of RTEP: Resolving Trauma One Step at a Time

The Recent Traumatic Event Protocol (RTEP) is a comprehensive approach that allows us to scan the mental movie of trauma, resolving points of disturbance one by one. Through this protocol, clients can experience profound shifts and lasting healing. It is a testament to the power of EMDR therapy in transforming lives.

As I reflect on my journey as an EMDR therapist, I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to guide individuals towards healing and resilience. Each phase of EMDR therapy plays a vital role in the process, allowing clients to explore their beliefs, embrace their embodied experiences, reflect on progress, and nurture themselves along the way.