So, what are Laurel Parnell’s advanced EMDR courses like?


As bookings come in for Laurel Parnell’s three-day advanced EMDR training in London in September, I thought it might be useful to copy in here, as a post on EMDR Focus, a reply I’ve just sent to a colleague wondering what actually happens on the workshop.

So, Laurel’s three days is essentially her Part 3, and I’ve now watched and supported her doing this a surprisingly, and rewardingly, large number of times!

She assumes, obviously, a solid basic training and experience in Standard Protocol work, and an interest in working at greater depth with more complex clients, bringing in a very explicit attachment focus.

Each day is structured basically the same.

She starts out with a presentation/lecture (just talking, no Powerpoints), answering questions, exploring what the group needs to know (we’ll be just 45), then for the second half of each of the three mornings, she does a live session with a volunteer, working with her main tools of resourcing, bridging, modified protocol for phase three, and sometimes the most amazing and direct interweaves.

She always concludes a session with a positive, returning to the presenting issue to make sure there is change that makes a difference in the now, and that’s been, among much of what she demonstrates, the thing that’s transformed my own practice. (The bridging as an essential tool for attachment-related target identification is also critical.)

After lunch, we have a short wrap up and discussion of the morning’s session, if we haven’t done that already before lunch, and a bit more input from Laurel on the various aspects of her approach, then for the rest of the day, it’s supervised triads – and I believe these courses are, in fact, the only ones in the UK where colleagues get to work at depth and with facilitated input in a full session working, observed, with real issues.

In other words, much more than just lectures and demos and videos. She doesn’t actually use any videos either, it’s all in the room.

The difference with my two days is that, of course, Laurel is the master at this, and I’m only a tribute act. But I go over the same essential principles, and there are dyads on day two rather than triads every day – and of course, two days is quite a bit shorter than three. And cheaper….

I should also add that, in my view, Laurel’s way of working is entirely compliant with EMDR as researched and recommended for trauma by NICE, WHO etc.

My forthcoming research presentation in March to the national EMDR conference in London will be setting out my case for that argument, in the context of what I believe to be misunderstandings and misrepresentations of her work (including, let’s face It, by me in some of my earlier public comments on JISCMail and in EMDR Now) as in conflict with the Standard Protocol.)

Work in progress, as there are colleagues who still find it difficult to accept that line of reasoning.

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