From Half-Baked to Beautiful Cakes:
The Value of Consultation for Effective EMDR Therapy
EMDR Therapy is the most powerful approach to resolving the trauma of painful experiences that I have encountered as a therapist. My own work with clients has become exponentially more effective because of the hours I have spent in consultation with experts in the field. I approach the role of being an EMDRIA Approved Consultant with an intense sense of responsibility and passion. I want to provide a safe place for consultees to share where they are confused or stumbling in applying the complexities of the EMDR treatment model. I also want to challenge them to go far beyond memorizing steps and instead understand each component of the EMDR protocol in depth, so that they can adeptly address the unique needs of each client.
I have found that learning how to provide EMDR Therapy is far more like baking than cooking. If you try to bake a cake by throwing in a little bit of this and a little more of that, as you would with a spaghetti sauce, you will end up with a very sad sort of cake. Successful baking requires knowing ratios of ingredients and adhering carefully to formulas. EMDR Therapy is similar in that a therapist needs to understand how to follow the Standard EMDR Protocol in its entirety. Research has shown that therapists who drift, in that they apply parts but not all of the protocol when treating PTSD, do not provide the efficacy in trauma resolution seen with those who are careful and complete in their application of all 8 phases of EMDR Therapy.
Once a therapist has become adept in the application of the Standard EMDR Protocol, they can then broaden their skills to effectively address the needs of more intricate cases, such as those involving very early childhood neglect and abuse, dissociation, or addictive and compulsive behaviors. There is no cookbook for treating complex trauma, thus it is essential at this stage that the therapist is not limited to “following a recipe.” Instead, the therapist must have the skills to assess thoroughly when it is necessary to deviate from the Standard EMDR Protocol, be able to navigate treatment so modifications are made with appropriate timing, and be fully able to articulate why each adaptation is necessary. Therefore, the therapist is able to become like a master baker, who doesn’t need to rely on a cookbook but understands the formula of ingredients and order of steps necessary to create a myriad of elaborate confections.
I offer consultation to those seeking to become EMDRIA Certified Therapists and EMDRIA Approved Consultants. I also provide consultation to EMDRIA Certified Therapists regarding complex trauma and dissociation. I offer consultation both in my Encinitas office and via VSee, an encrypted HIPPA-Compliant internet video platform.
You can find contact info and more info about Susie’s Encinitas practice. Just…