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An EMDR Primer

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An EMDR Primer

SKU# 9780826119865

From Practicum to Practice

Author: Barbara Hensley EdD


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Hensley has written a book that is simple, basic, and can mentor therapists who are EMDR trained and yet intimidated. It is the perfect complement to Dr. Shapiro's text.

-Jennifer Lendl, PhD
Co-author, EMDR Performance Enhancement for the Workplace
EMDRIA Conference Committee
(From the Foreword)

The examples, cases, tables, and diagrams....aid and assist EMDR clinicians in understanding and developing further expertise in this marvelous method.
-Irene B. Giessl, EdD
Co-owner of the Cincinnati Trauma Connection
Cincinnati, Ohio

This primer is intended for use as a companion to Francine Shapiro's original text. It serves as a comprehensive review of the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model and EMDR principles, protocols, and procedures both for those newly trained in EMDR and for experienced clinicians who want to review the principles.

With this primer, clinicians can augment their understanding, expand their knowledge, and sharpen current EMDR skills.

Key features:

  • A straightforward overview of EMDR that reviews the Adaptive Information Processing model and the three-pronged approach in accessible, conversational language
  • A summary of the basics of the eight phases of EMDR with examples of each phase so that core content can be easily grasped
  • Strategies and techniques for dealing with challenging clients, high levels of distressing emotions, and blocked processing
  • Case histories, dialogues, and transcripts of successful EMDR sessions with explanations of treatment rationale

Product Details 

  • Publication Date July 13, 2009
  • Page Count 334
  • Product Form Hardback
  • ISBN 13 9780826119865
  • EISBN 9780826119872

Table of Contents 

1. EMDR Overview
Reintroduction to EMDR
What is Trauma?
Types of Trauma
Adaptive Information Processing
Three-Pronged Approach
Past, Present, Future
Three-Pronged Targets
Why Is the Concept of Past, Present, Future so Important?
Targeting Possibilities
Targets May Arise in Any Part of the EMDR Process
Types of EMDR Targets
Targets from the Past
Targets from the Present
Targets from the Future
Other Potential Targets
Dual Attention Stimulation
What Does It Do?
Preferred Means of Dual Attention Stimulation
Is Dual Attention Stimulation EMDR?
Shorter or Longer? Slower or Faster?
Important Concepts to Consider
What Once Was Adaptive Becomes Maladaptive
State vs. Trait Change
Dual Awareness
Ecological Validity (i.e., Soundness)
Side Benefits of EMDR
Holistic Nature of the Approach
Useful Train Metaphor
Practical Tips to Remember
Practice, Practice, Practice
Follow the Script Verbatim
Know Your Client
Stay off the Tracks
Tracking the Client
Keep It Simple
Then or Now?
One More Time
Solo Run
Summary Statements

2. Eight Phases of EMDR
PHASE 1: Client History and Treatment Planning
Informed Consent and Suitability for Treatment
Client Selection Criteria
Client’s Suitability and Readiness for EMDR
Screening for Dissociative Disorders
Client Willingness to Do EMDR
Treatment Planning in EMDR
Elements Pertinent to EMDR
Candidates for EMDR
Case Example 2A: Sally
Case Example 2B: Marie
PHASE 2: Preparation
Setting the Stage for Effective Reprocessing
Calm (or Safe) Place
Resource Development and Installation, Dissociation, and Ego State Therapy Addressing the Client’s Fears and Expectations
PHASE 3: Assessment
Identify, Assess, and Measure
PHASE 4: Desensitization
When Does It Begin?
What About Reprocessing? Purpose of Desensitization Phase
Associative Processing
Assessment of the Channels of Association
End of Channel?
When to Return to Target
How Long Does It Last?
When to Proceed to Installation Phase
Taking a Break
PHASE 5: Installation Phase
What Occurs?
Evaluate Appropriateness of Original Cognition
Validity of the Positive Cognition
Link to Original Target
When Is Installation Complete?
How to Discern the Presence of a Blocking Belief
PHASE 6: Body Scan
PHASE 7: Closure
Levels of Closure
Strategies for Closing Sessions
Assessment of Client’s Safety
What Can Happen After a Session?
PHASE 8: Reevaluation
What Has Changed and What Is Left to Do?
Resuming Reprocessing in an Incomplete Session
Reevaluation of Treatment Effects
Reevaluation and Treatment Planning
Reevaluation of Targets
Final Stage Reevaluation
Pivotal Points in the Reevaluation Phase
Summary Statements
3 Stepping Stones to Adaptive Resolution
Assessment Phase
Back to Basics
How Much Do You Need To Know?
Target Assessment
Effective EMDR Equals Effective Targeting
Characteristics of Effective Targets
How Is the Memory Encoded?
Case Example 3A: Jennifer
Appropriateness of the Target
Assessment of Cognitions
Elements of Negative and Positive Cognitions
What Is a Cognition?
Teasing Out Negative and Positive Cognitions
Assessment of the Validity of Cognition (VOC)
VoC Scale
Assessment of Emotions
Emotional Sensations
Assessment of Current Level of Disturbance
Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) Scale
Assessment of Physical Sensations
Body Sensations
Case Examples
Case Example 3B: Terry
Case Example 3C: Julia
Case Example 3D: Jerry
Case Example 3E: Henry
Recent Traumatic Events and Single-Incident Traumas
Recent Traumatic Events
Case Example 3F: Patrick
Single-Incident Traumas
Targeting Sequence Plans
Summary Statements
4 Building Blocks of EMDR
EMDR is a Three-Pronged Approach
Building Blocks of EMDR: Past, Present, and Future
Clinical Presentation Possibilities
Single-Incident Presentations
Multiple Issues/Symptoms Presentations
Vague or Diffuse Presentations
First Prong: Earlier Memories/Touchstone Events
Touchstone Event
Strategies for Accessing the Touchstone Memory
Case Example 4A: Betty Touchstone Revisited
Second Prong: Present Events and Triggers
What to Look Out For
How Can Triggers Remain Active After So Much Processing?
Case Example 4B: Peter
Present Triggers Subsumed by the Reprocessing of the Touchstone Event
Third Prong: Future Events and Future Templates
Goals of the Future Template
Skills Building and Imaginal Rehearsal
Steps Needed Prior to Creating a Positive Template
Third Prong: Misunderstood, Disregarded, Forgotten
Case Example 4C: Michael
Summary Statements
5 Abreactions, Blocked Processing, and Cognitive Interweaves
When the Engine has Stalled
Stalled Processing
What Is It?
Preparing the Client for Abreactions
What Happens When a Client Abreacts?
Abreaction Guidelines
Strategies for Maintaining Processing
Overresponders and Underresponders: Guidelines for Clients Who Display Too Little or Too Much Emotion Cautionary Note
Returning to Target Too Soon?
Strategies for Blocked Processing
Blocked Processing
Identifying Blocked Processing
Primary Targets for Blocked Processing
Ancillary Targets for Blocked Processing
The Art of the Cognitive Interweave
What Is a Cognitive Interweave?
Using a Cognitive Interweave Effectively
When to Use a Cognitive Interweave
Case Example 5A: Renee
Choices of Cognitive Interweaves
Comparison Between Strategies for Blocked Processing
and Cognitive Interweaves
Responsibility, Safety, and Choice
Case Example 5B: Susie
Use the Cognitive Interweave With Caution
Summary Statements
6 Past, Present, and Future
EMDR Case Examples
Case Example 6A: Jessica
Case Example 6B: Karen
Case Example 6C: Delores
Case Example 6D: Brenda
Case Example 6E: Jimmy
Appendix A: Definition of EMDR
Appendix B: Exercises
Diaphragmatic Breathing
Anchoring in the Present
Calm (or Safe) Place
Sacred Space
Appendix C: EMDR Scripts
Breathing Shift
Spiral Technique
Future Template Script
Tices Log
Appendix D: Informed Consent and EMDR
Appendix E: EMDR and Trauma-Related Resources
Appendix F: Efficacy of EMDR