EMDR Relational Advanced Style
EMDR is the use of an eye movement method and a set of protocols to help desensitize clients to the effects of trauma. It is research evidenced and NICE recommended for PTSD and trauma work. Basic EMDR is a very simple process which is used by both psychotherapists and “EMDR Practitioners” who have completed a basic therapist training. EMDR is not superior or very different to a number of other methods, indeed it was designed to make training in trauma processing more easily available to psychotherapists. Previously advanced training in Hypnotherapy or NLP methods was required, with EMDR protocols a basic framework is available to psychotherapists not trained in these more complex models.
EMDR combines older eye processing methods from 1959 with NLP based methods from the 70’s (which were cut down Ericksonian Hypnotherapy methods), with some additional ideas by EMDR’s “creator” Shapiro, launching in 1989, before being repeatedly revised and improved. Its highly simple protocol driven method is both it’s strength (its simple) and a weakness (it is inflexible and therefore multiple modifications have emerged). Ironically with each modification EMDR becomes more like the original complex models of hypnotherapy.
Relational EMDR is an advanced model of EMDR combined with relational therapy, and is used for mode complex trauma and relational cases where life events of a traumatic nature have made significant negative impacts on the development of the client.
There is a huge about of overlap between trauma processing methods from analytical hypnotherapy and “trauma runs”, parts work and NLP resource anchoring based trauma processing. Stuart is not an “EMDR Practitioner” (a specific stand alone training route with Trade Marked logos). Stuart is a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist with CPD Relational EMDR training and provides relational analytical hypnotherapy processes almost indistinguishable from EMDR.
Major therapeutic organisations are now saying what we knew before. Recall therapy is really out of date… if the therapy is not about a single simple event, then these methods can actually make it worse.
Is EMDR a new therapy?
EMDR was developed by Shapiro after she claimed to notice that eye movement helped her to manage negative recall from her own trauma. This is debated since she just happened to have spent several years sharing an office with a leading NLP eye processing researcher! Investigation and research has indicated that this is because eye movement replicates the phenomenon of rapid eye movement that we experience as part of sleep. Thus the method mimics the restorative, processing and memory modifications of a natural sleep cycle, but on demand. It also interrupts the anxiety circuits very briefly with each movement, and is thought to assist in increased neuroflexibility.
NLP eye processing cues predate EMDR and are very similar, and many of the associated protocols of EMDR application are simply taken from existing psychotherapy methods.
EMDR therefore represents a very useful new tool for psychotherapists to use, but is really just an additional adaptation of existing knowledge. The 7 stage protocols draw heavily from counselling interviewing, mindfulness and psycho-education.
Stages of Classic EMDR, brief 8 stage breakdown with therapy comparisons:
Stage 1: Taking a History of the client case. (used in all therapies)
Stage 2: Preparation
- Safe Place
- Moments of feeling loved / safe (resource anchor)
- Moments successful or competent (resource anchor)
- Imagined allies (Protector, Wise figure, Totem Animal, Angel)
These stages are all used in analytical hypnosis processing
Stage 3: Develop Target
- “Light up” the neural network by following the somatic or emotional triggers.
- Identify “Touchstone Target” – seek memory associated
- “Floatback” or “Affect Bridge” process, seek even earlier memory
- “Set up Target”, client describes image and event using multiple sensory descriptions. Include old belief, validity of belief and modified beliefs / cognition. Normally rank the level of each.
These stages are all used in NLP processing
Stage 4: Desensitisation with EMDR
- Eye movement, finger movement or other bilateral movement
- Reorientation back to now protocols of too intense, or pendulating between image and resources.
Similar stages are used in NLP and traditional hypnosis inductions
- This is done within window of tolerance of the client, avoiding “flooding” or over-stimulation, and only working to client’s tolerance level.
- Clients with disassociation may not tolerate typical bilateral stimulation and may need alternatives.
EMDR is not a magic / rapid cure and should only be used to the tolerance level of the client.
Stage 5: installation of positives
- Embody positive state, install new positive interpretations and beliefs (historical collapsing anchor in NLP, reframing in hypnosis)
Stage 6: Body Scan
- Mindfulness process
Stage 7: Closure
- Resource, contain, possibly Light Stream (from hypnosis / visualisation)
Stage 8: Re-evaluation
- Review, discuss additional objectives, feedback
With the exception of the bi lateral stimulation, all the other stages are used in certain existing NLP, mindfulness and hypnotherapy processes. Bilateral stimulation and eye movement are used in certain hypnosis and NLP processes.
Previously hypnotherapists often used a pendulum, metronome or finger movement to reduce anxiety during induction or processing. We now know that physical cues (like the client patting one knee and then their other knee) replicates the purely visual method.
What can EMDR type therapy help with?
Basic EMDR is used for PTSD and single event trauma. Basic EMDR can be used to process a series or combination of traumas over time. Analytical hypnosis, NLP, and regression processes almost indistinguishable from EMDR, with or without eye movement have been used for decades before the “discovery” of EMDR. Indeed leading expert Bessel Van De Kolk has been interviewed stating that EMDR is not better than hypnosis, it’s just that you have to be “really smart” to use hypnotherapy like Milton Erickson!
Relational EMDR is designed to tackle more complex cases, and cumulative PSTD, such as abuse survivors who have had multiple incidents and traumas over time. Analytical hypnosis, NLP, and regression processes almost indistinguishable from EMDR, with or without eye movement have been used for decades before the “discovery” of EMDR.
Whatever the method of EMDR or the more advanced hypnotherapy methods, these are memory processing methods that belong in Stage 2 of complex trauma treatment.
- Rushed use of EMDR or hypnosis causes harm in complex trauma cases!
- Leading experts such as Bessel Van de Kolk, Pat Ogden, Steven Porges and B Rothschild all agree that to leap into EMDR or other similar techniques before self regulation has been achieved is harmful and is unethical!
Who provides Relational EMDR type therapy?
Stuart is a fully accredited psychotherapist who has taken Master Class CPD training in relational EMDR for psychotherapists (see competences page). This advanced training contained nothing not already covered in Stuart’s existing extensive psychotherapy, NLP and hypnotherapy training, even bilateral eye movement stimulation inclusing MEMI multilateral eye stimulation. He is also accredited in advanced hypnotherapy and is very experienced in trauma work, having been in clinical practice for over 25 years. Stuart provides relational analytical hypnotherapy process far more advanced than EMDR. He has also compelted NLP trauma based training and advanced post graduate certification in the use of Hypnosis for trauma treatment.
Stuart is not an “EMDR practitioner”, he is a fully accredited psychotherapist and hypnotherapist with CPD training in Relational EMDR and Integrative Complex PTSD Body Mind Psychotherapy. Stuart is a Certified Clinical Trauma Practitioner (CCTP I, CCTP II and CCTP S ), and a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP), all international standards set by experts, requiring competency in treating these issues in a wide holistic range of ways. Stuart’s training and certification allows him to use bi lateral eye movement stimulation in the context of his psychotherapy work.
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EMDR, relational EMDR, trauma processing, eye movement processing for trauma, hypnosis and EMDR, psychotherapy and EMDR, trauma counselling, trauma psychotherapy, working with trauma, abuse trauma, long term trauma, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk, Scotland, Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Hypnotist, Mindfulness.