By Liam Spicer
With thanks to Judith, Mary, Marie, Lana, Lynne and Heather (and apologies for the cheesy illustration above of another form of triads), it's good to see sub-groups of our...
The global COVID-19 crisis has thrust mental health therapists into a new reality of needing to provide services via telehealth and other remote platforms.
While this can be challenging for any therapy, especially since training in this area of service has traditionally been scarce, there are special challenges for EMDR therapists.
In this discussion-based webinar, Dr. Jamie Marich (author and founder of The Institute for Creative Mindfulness) speaks to her long-time friend and colleague Mark Brayne from the U.K. about his clinical experiences offering EMDR therapy virtually.
The past week has brought some powerful and rewarding feedback on how we’re helping colleagues get online with EMDR – from my super green-screen studio in North Norfolk.
In response to a piece I wrote earlier about working with a client on a smartphone in his car, one newly-baked enthusiast for online EMDR contributed the following thoughts:
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...
Naomi Fisher is based in Paris, and has been working with EMDDR online for a good two years now – finding it, as I (Mark Brayne) and many of my colleagues do often at least as good as face-to-face (which of course it also is) and sometimes even better.
Naomi is an EMDR consultant and facilitator, and an independent clinical psychologist. She offers clinical supervision and therapy exclusively online, and can be contacted here.
And now, her guidelines, also downloadable here as a PDF: Using EMDR Online – Naomi Fisher.
Ten Tips for Using EMDR Online
Practice Based Article
I never thought it was possible to do EMDR online. As a clinical psychologist and EMDR Consultant who has been using EMDR since 2005, I occasionally did other sorts of therapy online if I had to, but EMDR? No. It seemed safer to keep that for my clinic room.
Then I moved to France. Suddenly I was not able to set up a practice or get a job, because here I had no core profession; my title did not automatically transfer. As I looked around for alternatives, working online – with people outside France – was an obvious choice. But I was still wary about using EMDR online.
As I started to build up my online practice, I couldn’t help trying out some EMDR preparation techniques. EMDR is the basis of my therapeutic practice, it forms the majority of what I do. I use CBT and ACT as well, but without EMDR I felt like there was a huge hole in my approach. So I started with some resource installation, installing a safe space, and tried out preparation techniques such as Flash, CIPOS and Loving Eyes. In order to do this, of course I had to work out how to best use BLS online. As I did this, I become more confident and started offering full EMDR processing to people who I felt confident could manage this.
It worked. Just like it does in the room. In fact, in some ways it felt even more attuned. I felt deeply in touch with my clients, thousands of miles away. We created a little therapeutic bubble, in virtual space. Now I’ve been using EMDR online for nearly two years, and this is what I’ve learnt.
First, a note from Miriam Chachamu about her excellent family-focused videos, including now on how to talk with children about Corona.
I am a family therapist, a relatively new and a bit silent member of this forum…
During the last year I have been developing a YouTube channel for parents, helping them understand their children and communicate better with them, to hopefully reduce attachment wounds for the future.
If you have time, please have a look! My last two videos are about talking to children about the virus and dealing with school closures, and my video about couples in self-isolation is scheduled for tomorrow.
If you like what you hear please subscribe and press the bell so you will hear from YouTube about new videos- usually every week or two
And to continue, my (Mark Brayne’s) response!
Our EMDR Consultant colleague Alexandra Dent has put together a particularly excellent draft client contract for using EMDR online, which we’re happy to re-post here, with amendments, both as a downloadable PDF (11BW Online Sessions Explainer for Clients – minus MB details) and inline as follows.
ONLINE CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY SESSIONS – v. March 2020
I would like to provide you with some practical information to help you understand what to expect with online sessions and also provide some tips to make sure the process runs smoothly.
It might feel scary or uncertain to have some sessions online but they can be as effective as meeting face to face, so long as you follow the sensible tips below. My goal is to create a safe and contained space to work with you.
If there are some material/documents that we need to use for the sessions (e.g. when I am going through psychoeducation and mindfulness), I will make sure that I have emailed this through to you before the session.
Heather asked a really useful question the other day on the Attachment-Focused Google Group, and I thought it might be useful to post my response here for more general perusal.
I would appreciate your thoughts. My question is….in working with a 30 year old woman whose cause of her low self esteem and overwhelm and anxiety is her mother. Life time of criticism, emeshment, invalidation etc.
Woman is intelligent and has a successful career. Has a partner whose moved in and she’s worried he’s taking advantage and she’s being treated badly. On the other hand she doubts herself and feels she always in the wrong. My gut feeling based on his negotiations and behaviour is that he is manipulative but can be kind etc. His mother is also dismissive of my client and treats her like her waitress.
What with Coronavirus and all, a lot of us EMDR therapists, I suspect, are going to be finding ourselves working online with clients in the coming weeks, so here’s copying in an email I sent just now (Sunday March 8) to a colleague contemplating doing this for the first time.
I don’t doubt that the ACTO training is very useful, but I have to admit to not having done it myself, and to be coping pretty well with the specific challenges of online work. Which aren’t really very different – technology and some of the basics permitting which are outlined in the discussions you’ve read – from working face to face.
So I’d just suggest giving it a go and seeing how you and your clients get on.