With EDMR Europe Consultant Mark Brayne and fellow East-Anglia-based Practitioners Richard Holborn and Sonya Farrell.
Scroll down to find a link to formal minutes for our EMDR Regional networking day in the social club of Ely’s old sugar beet factory (what a perfect venue, and thanks to Richard for organising).
For the third networking event of our new regional EMDR group, we enjoyed presentations from Richard Holborn on interweaves, from Sonya Farrell on Knipe’s Loving Eyes, and from Mark Brayne on Laurel Parnell’s bridging technique and modified protocol.
At a time of exciting new developments in EMDR as this therapy matures and becomes both more widely-used and widely-asked-for, the day saw rich exchanges of experience and opinion, in both smaller groups and – see the picture above – in a final Q&A big circle.
As Annabel Hare has usefully minuted, the day brought questions about levels of abreaction and windows of tolerance, and where to balance the need to end sessions without excessive distress, and the therapist’s role in holding clients with the use of proactive interweaves where processing is stuck or needing gentle nudges in adaptive directions.
Richard Holborn reported that he is reviewing existing smartphone EMDR/bilateral apps, and there was debate about how best to use EMDR with OCD, one of the most challenging of client presentations.
Questions were asked and explored about whether military clients successfully treated for PTSD would be more or less vulnerable to further traumatisation post-treatment. The conclusion? Some might indeed be at lesser risk thanks to improved coping mechanisms and installed resources, although there were felt to be no known formal studies to evidence this. Future template work could be important to check feelings of tolerance for combat situations etc.
What also of the impact on EMDR of medication, for example pain relief and anti-depressants. Mark noted that while anti-depressants don’t seem to get too seriously in the way of EMDR processing, clients could be advised to pause anxiolytic medication at least on the day of the session, as this numbs the ability to process. Also, EMDR isn’t entirely complete until clients are off the meds they were previously using to manage their presenting distress.
Research-in-progress was reported from Germany, with apparently encouraging results so far, and participants who also attended last year’s EMDR Europe Edinburgh conference reported on promising studies about EMDR for fibromyalgia, for example, and even for allergies.
As ever on such occasions, there was debate about the (traditionally inadequate) availability of Consultants for supervision. As one such, Mark encouraged those trained to get on with actually using EMDR, and to find more experienced colleagues, for example those already accredited as Practitioners, for peer-supervision where possible, including also via Skype or similar.
There was empassioned discussion about Laurel Parnell’s modified protocol vs the traditional EMDR approach – would a divergence of approaches be a problem in the future, including with research? It was acknowledged that care should be taken not to confuse colleagues at earlier stages of EMDR training.
Before concluding with elections of officers, the Ely meeting confirmed the regional group’s next meeting in Norwich on May 30, with a presentation planned from Joe Kearney on Robert Miller’s Feeling State protocol.
EGM Election of East Anglia EMDR Regional Group Committee:
Proposed by S.Farrell for Chair – M.Brayne … seconded by A.Eldred
Proposed by S.Farrell for Secretary – R.Holborn…seconded by A.Hare
Proposed by A.Hare for Treasurer – K.Hebden…seconded by A.Eldred
Meeting ended 5.10pm.