Jamie Marich and Mark Brayne explore EMDR Online, with a live session for real.

With warm thanks again to my friend Jamie Marich over in the US for our online seminar on Sunday on how one can do EMDR online, colleagues might wish now to know that the full two-hour recording, including our EXTREMELY interesting live session with me badgering Jamie, over a real live issue, to find a good and juicy target as a three-year-old, is now available for perusal on YouTube here.

For ease of access (and prepare to hunker down with a cup of cocoa and slippers – this stuff beats Netflix for drama at points) once again the link:

JAMIE MARICH AND MARK BRAYNE EXPLORE ONLINE EMDR ONLINE – CLICK HERE TO VIEW in full on YouTube

Jamie and I had 500 passionately-engaged viewers on the Zoom call on Friday and livestreamed on Facebook it’s had many more thousand views there, so we’re both seriously humbled, as well as delighted that so many colleagues have found this useful at this time of such massive and sudden change in how we work. 

Do let us know what you think of the session itself, where I work for 30 minutes full-on with Jamie on a presenting issue of ambiguity over a possible relationship. 

Real stuff in Jamie’s real present life, and although not directly Covid19 related, an illustration, we hope, of how in EMDR, whether online or in person, one can take a client’s presenting distress and use it to disentangle what’s legitimate (Covid should be alarming us, that’s what trauma responses are FOR in evolutionary terms) and related to the present, and what’s old and usually attachment-related stuff about how said client, Jamie in this case, deals with emotional challenges to safety in their current lives. 

A couple of colleagues have wondered in private messages what I meant on this call when I spoke, using Francine Shapiro’s language, of ecologically valid distress as opposed to stuff we can and should shift in EMDR.

With a solid recommendation to use any downtime in the coming weeks to read (hopefully re-read, perhaps, though my trainees on workshops are usually and shockingly, bless them, uninformed about Shapiro’s thinking in the final years before she died) Francine’s 3rd edition EMDR manual. 

While a fairly solid read (some of those on this list took exception to my comparing it a couple of years ago to a German car instruction manual…), it’s full of wisdom and context, and reminds us that there’s stuff at the end of processing that it was never necessary or appropriate to clear. 

Ecologically valid stuff, in other words, like grief over the loss of a loved-one, which will mature and metabolise over time, or, I would argue, in the case of present planetary disruption, a certain fear and alarm at what this pandemic means for our species’ very survival on earth, and the economic and social systems that drive that threat. 

That gives us a good focus for EMDR work in these Covid days, where we don’t have to reconcile ourselves or our clients to the difficulties of dealing with today, but can work to separate out and work with distress that’s actually about the client’s individual past and how they still-dysfunctionally learned to deal with stress. 

I hope that clarifies what I am trying to convey in this video, where you will see me at work (from about one hour 20 in) as I actually do this EMDR thing with clients in person or online. No difference. 

And yes, I don’t take prisoners, as colleagues know who work or have worked with me, focusing relentlessly down on an attachment-relevant target, usually earlier than 10 years old (so often around 7), and then complete that target as very best we can, returning to presenting target by close of session (“always landing the plane” as one client put it to me the other day) and wherever possible, as in, usually, doing a future template. 

Session structure and precise attachment-informed case conceptualisation (“How did this person get to be this way, how, where and in what context did they learn to self-soothe in childhood, and therefore, what is the REAL target we need to go for”) make this possible, and are, in my experience, even more important in online work than in person, so do enjoy. 

Anyone who’s survived a workshop with me knows how relentlessly I focus on this key elements of Shapiro’s 8-phase and three-pronged protocol in supervision, training and practice. 

It transforms our work, and makes online work much safer, as one aims with every session to conclude with installation/tapping in of a good PC and a nice and clear body scan.

Lots more one could say, but if you’ve read this far and are curious about my passion for the attachment focus, can I once again appeal to all consultants and colleagues to consider Attachment-Focused and -Informed EMDR as mainstream, and entirely consistent with the Standard Protocol. 

It’s a point I make very firmly in the work with Jamie, and if there’s one good thing that comes out of the Corona catastrophe for our own EMDR field, I passionately hope that we can all put the tribal wars of recent years behind us and work all of us to the same goal of best-practice EMDR built on Shapiro’s Standard Procedural Steps and the amazing work of visionaries in our field who have followed her. 

There, enough for the moment. Stay safe and enjoy the show.


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Cyclist, therapist, singer, former foreign correspondent and climate change aware...


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