This was a well-attended and inspiring networking day and, without the usual focus on Powerpoint presentations, a relationally engaging experience!
Jamie started the day experientially by bringing us into presence in the way she starts her client sessions, guiding us to pay attention to the sensory experiencing of the room we were in: the sights, sounds, smells, physical sensations of touch and physical connection to chair and floor, and then our breathing, and finally encouraging us to move and stretch so we were bodily connected before she began engaging with us.
Jamie began by sketching out her personal journey of how she came to work with EMDR, both personally and professionally.
She highlighted the difference between having knowledge and understanding from participating in personal therapy and the 12-steps programme, and the effects of experiencing EMDR, allowing her to move into “becoming” as a result of a therapy that addressed bodily experiencing.
Around 70 of us met for a fascinating day of networking and helpful presentations and the usual opportunities for asking questions. The Q&A section and networking groups were enhanced by having the expertise of several EMDR Association Board members available to us.
Regional Co-Chair Mark Brayne introduced the day and welcomed the EMDR Association President Derek Farrell, President-Elect Lorraine Knibbs, co-ordinator on the Board for the regions Paul Keenan, and our first speaker (and himself also past President of the Association) Robin Logie.
Robin’s presentation introduced us to the FlashForward Procedure (FFP) or, as Cindy Browning named it in an EMDRIA newsletter, the float-forward technique.
Unlike the Future Template, which targets a predictable feared event, the FFP targets an imagined catastrophic event that is unlikely to occur but may preoccupy the client sufficiently to impair full re- engagement with their life.
Robin explained that while EMDR’s AIP model is about unprocessed traumatic events, our conditioned fear stimulus makes us susceptible to react to conditions that in some way remind us of the original trauma.
Our reaction to, or avoidance of, the trigger can be associated with our unrecognised belief about the imagined consequences of our most catastrophic outcome.
Targeting this imagined catastrophic event can uncover fundamental issues and even unresolved events that may have been missed in processing past and present events.
In describing the FFP Robin encouraged us to keep asking “what is the worst thing that could happen” and then “what would be the worst thing about that happening”. Dying isn’t enough!
It is important to illicit the full meaning of the catastrophic event following the scenario to its ultimate conclusion. Sometimes this uncovers surprising meanings for the client and may be helpful as an exercise even without processing.
The standard protocol is then used to process the catastrophic meaning of the event.
Robin shared the example of a lady frightened of being killed as a result of being knocked off her bike. Although the original trauma had been processed and she had attempted to re-engage with cycling, she was still too frightened to cycle.
Using the FFP her catastrophic outcome was not dying but that dying would mean she would lose her family, who would no longer be around her. When asked to choose what was worse – dying or losing her family – the client identified the latter. “Going with that” choice, she realised that dying actually wasn’t so bad!
Aside from Robin’s main presentation on the FlashForward, we explored also a number of other useful techniques. These included the narrative approach for helping process a child’s story, where the therapist writes down the story in appropriate language, drawing on all appropriate sources including the child and the parents, and reads it back to the child, with BLS as it unfolds.
We heard too of the vertical hand technique for helping calm arousal, and for soothing headaches/migraine. (I know that one delegate experimented with this during one of the breaks and reduced her headache with good effect!)
Our second presenter of the day was Derek Farrell. Before fielding EMDR questions from the floor, he was able to give us a helpful overview of EMDR internationally, drawing on his experience as vice-president of EMDR Europe and his involvement with Trauma Aid UK and Trauma Aid Europe.
Despite our frequent frustration with psychological services in the UK and the gap between what we know could be possible with the right funding and what is actually available, Derek helped us realise that we are, in fact, quite privileged.
Countries which have experienced violence and even genocide such as Cambodia, Iraq, and Pakistan have poor mental health services, and lack understanding about trauma and its effects. Our understanding that there is a correlation between adverse childhood experiences and poor physical health outcomes is now being clearly observed in these countries.
Derek conveyed the difficulties of introducing training in countries where one is not building on previous psychotherapeutic knowledge. Instead training involves building trauma capacity. This involves providing education about what constitutes trauma, and then how to assess risk, manage psychological triage, provide trauma first aid and identify who requires treatment.
Derek also noted that progress is often hampered by established professionals who struggle to allow para-professionals to work in new ways that challenge the status quo.
After this introduction Derek fielded a variety of EMDR-related questions.
A key theme that Derek highlighted was the need for research that moved away from practice-based to research-based evidence. The possibility of moving EMDR training to university-based training could address this issue.
He also noted that it was important to identify what data was required beyond purely psychological data if funding was to be forthcoming and the effectiveness of EMDR as applied to different situations was to compete with the research base for CBT.
EMDR Europe is trying to address the research issue by encouraging small RCT trials in different countries, with the view to pooling outcomes.
Mid-afternoon we split, as usual, into network groups well supported by the wealth of expertise on hand. Groups included DID, OCD, Accreditation, Depression, Accumulated trauma and Psychosis.
Before the day concluded Derek, Lorraine & Paul joined Consultants from our own network to provide a panel to explore further questioning from the floor.
All in all, this was a most satisfying day in a splendid venue with good food and the occasional amusement supplied by Treasurer Joe Kearney taking photos from the back and Mark fielding the technical problems caused by computers packing up and power disturbance.
A raffle in aid of Trauma Aid UK (TAUK) had more meaning after hearing Derek’s earlier presentation, and Robin has let us know that we made a total of £363.50, including £189.50 in sales of books and support materials, and £174 on the raffle.
Regional Co-Chair Sonya Farrell also let us know that Walid Abdul-Hamid, Chelmsford regional rep and accredited Consultant, had only just arrived back from Gaziantep in Turkey where he had been training for TAUK, and yet managed despite jetlag and lack of sleep to participate in our Q&A. There’s dedication and commitment!
With upwards of 70 colleagues attending from across the South-East, we had a fabulous local EMDR East Anglian regional networking day on May 7, with the renowned US-based EMDR guru Jim Knipe presenting and answering questions on Skype for a good hour and a half, focusing especially on working with complex trauma.
Credit and thanks to Sonya Farrell and the regional steering group for getting the day together, at Chelmsford Cathedral’s Chapter House.
Click the various links in this note to access PDFs of the presentations, and a minuted summary of the day and its concluding AGM, at which Sonya and Mark Brayne were confirmed as regional group co-chairs for the coming period, with Joe Kearney taking over as Treasurer and Shirley Young our new Secretary.
Warm thanks to Kerry Hebdon for getting the group’s finances up and running in the two years since we were formed, and to Annabel Hare and Maeve Allison for their sturdy minute-taking over the months.
Christine Habermehl from our Bedfordshire sub-group has also stepped back from the Steering Group, and will be replaced in due course with another local rep. James Thomas joins the committee as a member.
Read on for the feedback on the day, for the minuted summary, and note also for your diary that our next regional networking day will be in Cambridge, on Saturday November 26.
Details will be posted closer to the day, and click here to register.
Minutes and Summary
Mark Brayne welcomed everyone to the event and introduced the East Anglia Region Committee members. He encouraged participants to stay for the AGM at the end of the day and advised that the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and some member positions were becoming vacant.
Sonya Farrell explained the format for the day and welcomed the first speaker, James Thomas, EMDR Therapist.
James has 25 years experience working with mental health issues in the NHS. He is a CBT and EMDR Therapist now working mainly with OCD and trauma in tier 4. James explained the different approaches that he utilises to promote engagement with EMDR, recovery and change.
These include 3rd wave CBT, ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) and mindfulness along with thorough EMDR resource installations. James provided examples by talking through two client cases and showed short videos on ‘Making a choice’ and ‘Values v Goals’.
Mark thanked James for his presentation and invited questions from the audience.
Sonya welcomed the next presenter, Ulf Jarisch, Managing Director of EMDR Equipment Europe. Ulf Jarisch introduced himself and provided the history behind the formation of his business. He explained how the EMDR light bars, audio and tactile sensors work and their adaptability to suit each individual client (different colours, brightness levels, speed, volume and add on toy characters for working with children etc…).
Ulf talked through the Pros and Cons of using EMDR equipment and noted that equipment was not essential for effective EMDR and in certain situations it may be better to use physical hand movements/taps. Ulf explained that he is in the process of developing a combined EMDR/ bio feedback machine that will give a print out reading and he talked about how this may be used in the future.
Ulf finished his talk by sharing details of his humanitarian aid work with refugees.
Mark thanked Ulf for his presentation and invited questions from the audience.
Participants were then invited to split into specialist groups for a networking and sharing session. These groups were Children & Adolescent, IAPT, PTSD, OCD, Military, Psychosis, Attachment and Pain.
Roger Kingerlee gave us a presentation on “EMDR Through the Qualitative Lens”. There is a respected tradition of qualitative research leading to quantitative investigation. Qualitative research is a method of “capturing the invisible” e.g. the known effects of meditation.
EMDR research, because it began soon after the discovery of EMDR, promoted its swift growth, and proved beyond doubt that EMDR qualitative research i.e. an exploration of what people actually experience during EMDR (rather than what the clinician is doing) has been overlooked. It could open doors to an expanded understanding of how EMDR works. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the therapeutic effects of EMDR are curious and probably unique to this form of treatment.
Roger plans to do this research over the next few years, using semi-structured interviews with about 10 people who have had EMDR. The aim is to create a model of what happens in EMDR.
Open Forum with Consultants Mark Brayne, Walid Abdul-Hamid and Roger Kingerlee
There was a lively and informative discussion between the consultants and the audience on a range of topics.
We were very fortunate to have a video link to Jim Knipe in the States, who gave a presentation on working with the client who says, “I don’t want to think about it”. The comprehensive handout gives details. Jim generously allowed extra time afterwards for questions.
The next Networking Day will be on Saturday 26th November 2016 in Cambridge (venue to be arranged).
The AGM was attended by 19 people. The 9 committee members present were introduced at the beginning of the meeting, and the Minutes of the last AGM (Ely) were approved. There were three officers resigning from their posts – Kerry Hebdon as Treasurer, and Annabel Hare and Maeve Allison as joint Secretaries. Sonya Farrell has been acting temporarily as Acting Chair.
Mark gave the Chair’s Report, and Kerry presented the Treasurer’s Report – both approved.
Elections for Officers:
Treasurer – Joe Kearney, Secretary – Shirley Young, Co-Chairs – Mark Brayne, Sonya Farrell
James Thomas joined the committee as a new member. It was agreed that the number of committee members would be limited to 10, with volunteers being co-opted when necessary.
AOB Walid said that there is a need for supervision for English-speaking Turkish therapists, and suggested that our members who are training to be consultants might consider providing this.
The EMDR Association East Anglia is excited to invite EMDR therapists to our next regional regional conference, in Chelmsford on Saturday May 7 – a fabulous day lined up with four presentations including a live video link presentation with Dr Jim Knipe.
The day is open to EMDR therapists in the region whether members of the Association or not (though we encourage all our colleagues to join up) –click here to book a place, as they’ll go fast. Just £50, with CPD points applied for.
10.45am – 11.15am – Presentation: ‘EMDR with chronic and complex trauma ‘ : When clients present with complex trauma we often need to draw on diverse approaches to promote recovery and change – the presentation will outline some ways I have engaged trauma clients using a blend of approaches from CBT and EMDR – James Thomas, EMDR Therapist.
11.15am – 11.30am – Short break
11.30am – 12.00pm – Presentation: ‘The Pro’s & Con’s of using EMDR Equipment’ –
Ulf Jarish, Managing Director from EMDR Equipment Europe.
12.00pm – 12.45pm – Networking in small groups by speciality i.e. EMDR with Children & Adolescents, EMDR with OCD etc
12.45pm – 1.45pm – Lunch & Refreshments provided
1.45pm – 2.15pm – Presentation: ‘EMDR Through the Qualitative Lens’, Qualitative research has a venerable history, in which simple clinical description and observation play key parts. This presentation will show how a qualitative take on EMDR could be both scientifically illuminating and useful – Roger Kingerlee, EMDR Consultant.
Thanks to those of you who joined us for a day of regional EMDR networking, with multilaterally stimulating presentations on EMDR from two of our regional colleagues:
– Joe Kearney presented on using the Feeling State Addiction Protocol (FSAP) and;
– Mark Hambrook presented on integrating Mindfulness with EMDR.
Case discussions, Q&A with regionally-based EMDR Consultants,
This day has been awarded four CPD points by the EMDR Association UK & Ireland.
Mark Hambrook introduced the pioneering work of Dr Richard Davidson and Paul Ekman (depression and anxiety) and Catherine Kerr’s exploration of somatic mindfulness. He’ll also explore what are termed the motivational systems, and self compassion, with brief practice and an attention/experience exercise. A link to download Mark’s presentation is at the bottom of this page
Click here for a fuller explanation of the FSAP, which aims to break the link between the positive experience provided by an addictive activity and the activity itself.
Alongside Joe’s and Mark’s presentations, the Norwich day was an opportunity to renew personal connections with fellow EMDR enthusiasts throughout East Anglia and neighbouring counties.
Mindfulness is flavour of the decade – in business, in the NHS, in healthcare generally – bringing a 2500-year-old practice of emotional and spiritual well-being up-to-date with today’s revolution in brain science.
The EMDR Association East Anglia is delighted to confirm that we now we have five official CPD points for our first Bedfordshire regional networking event, organised by our colleague Christine Habermehl.
The programme will comprise clinical training followed by the opportunity to network and take part in group discussions.
Many who have recently trained in EMDR as well as other more experienced practitioners find that establishing the protocol with its search for negative and positive cognitions can feel rather clumsy and uncomfortable at times. The aim of this session is to bring two linked concepts together that will form a template enabling a more natural flow for setting up the protocol.
Christine writes further that she intends to set up a local group list and would like to invite those interested to ‘opt in’ to further communications by emailing her the following details: Name, address, contact email, EMDR level and work location.
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