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Clinicians can use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy worksheets to effectively treat their clients. These worksheets provide clinicians the tool to effectively establish a treatment plan throughout the therapy process.
What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy approach aimed to relieve psychological stress. This approach is an empirically validated psychotherapy that was introduced in 1989. It utilizes standardized protocols and procedures throughout the treatment process. Treatment consists of eight phases and a three-pronged protocol. The three-pronged protocol consists of identifying and processing the details of the past events that lead to the psychological disturbance, processing current triggers of distress, and identifying what is needed in the future. EMDR can be used to treat children, adolescents, teens, and adults of both sexes.
How Effective is EMDR Therapy?
While EMDR therapy is relatively new, it has been proven to be an effective method of combating traumatic memories and symptoms in patients. This approach does not require the client to detail the traumatic event, which can be distressing in itself for the client. Instead, it focuses on the emotions, behaviors, or thoughts associated with the traumatic event. In comparison to other forms of therapy, it can work faster, involves less out of session assignments, and can be less stressful to the client. EMDR is a low-risk therapy approach, with the most common negative effect being the clients negative thoughts and/or feelings in between sessions. However, throughout the process the therapist can help prepare and equip the client on how to combat them.
Which Conditions can EMDR Therapy Treat?
The main goal of EMDR therapy is for the patient to be able to utilize an interactive psychotherapy approach. This allows the patients to better conceptualize their trauma and effectively implement their treatment plan. EMDR therapy is recommended for individuals that experience intense, overwhelming memories of their trauma and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
How Does EMDR Therapy Work?
EMDR is a multiple phase treatment plan. Due to this, patients are required to participate in multiple sessions of therapy. In total, there are 8 phases that can take around 6 to 12 sessions to complete. In some cases, extended time may be necessary. Treatment overall can take several weeks to a few months. We will outline the 8 phases below:
Phase 1: History & Treatment Planning
During this phase, the therapist and client will have a discussion to identify why the client is seeking therapy and establish a secure relationship between the two. They will also discuss how EMDR therapy can benefit the client. A treatment plan and pace is developed around the client’s current needs, selected impactful traumatic events, and the client’s internal and external resources.
Phase 2: Preparation
During this phase, the therapist will outline the process and set expectations for the client. This phase offers the opportunity for the client and therapist to address any questions or concerns, further establishing their secure relationship. Collaboration is also a key focus in identifying the specific techniques that will be used to cope with emotional disturbances that may arise during treatment. It is common for Phase 1 & 2 to be prolonged as clients begin to feel ready to move forward.
Phase 3: Assessment
During this phase, the target event is identified. Along with identifying the event itself, therapists work with clients to identify their beliefs, feelings, imagery, and sensations associated with the event.
Two scales are used to establish baseline measures:
- Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) scale
- This scale demonstrates the level of fear associated with the event. It ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 being relaxed and 100 being a high level of distress/anxiety.
- Validity of Cognition (VOC) scale
- This scale demonstrates the client's ability to identify the positive cognition as true or false.
While both of these scales are used to establish a baseline, they are also used again throughout the treatment process.
Phase 4: Desensitization
During this phase, dual attention bilateral simulation (BLS) is involved. This process helps keep the client grounded while it activates the client’s information processing system through the use of side to side eye movements, taps, or sounds. BLS is used throughout this phase while the client focuses on the traumatic event and will continue until the client reaches a 0 or 1 on the SUD scale. Whichever the therapist deems appropriate in accordance with the treatment plan.
Phase 5: Installation
The installation phase will not begin until the desensitization phase is completed. When completed, this phase will be targeted to strengthen the client’s association with a positive belief and the target event.
Phase 6: Body Scan
During this phase, client’s are asked to think about their target event in relation to the positive belief instilled and observe their physical response to it. In the event that there is a report of disturbance present, BLS will be used again to help reprocess it.
Phase 7: Closure
During this phase, the therapist will check in with the client and assess the progression of treatment. If there is more work to be done, the therapist and client will revisit reprocessing the event until the client reaches a state of neutrality. Neutrality will be gauged by a SUD report of 0, and a VOC report of 7. Furthermore, the therapist will provide effective coping techniques to maintain effective treatment.
Phase 8: Re-evaluation
After each session of reprocessing, the session will begin with the re-evaluation phase. During this phase, the client and therapist will converse about the memories and feelings discussed in the previous session. If the client shows no signs of distress, and treatment has proven to be effective, new targets can be identified at this time.
Final Thoughts on EMDR
While EMDR therapy is not widely known to the public it is just as, if not more, effective in treating psychological stress disorders. If more well-known approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are not helping your client, it would be worth it to try EMDR therapy instead. Many individuals find success in this interactive approach to recovery during treatment and afterwards by developing effective coping skills.
Why Our EMDR Therapy Worksheets?
Our EMDR Therapy worksheets are designed to help practitioners deliver Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy to their clients more effectively.
Benefits of our EMDR Therapy Worksheets:
- Take in responses from clients on a digital device like a computer
- Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
- Search for specific questions and/or answers by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard when viewing your PDF
- Legibly read your client’s answers
- Print copies that are high in quality – (we made this form grey on purpose! Much easier on your printer)
Key Features of Our EMDR Therapy Worksheets:
- US letter size (8.5″ x 11″)
- Fillable / Printable
- Editable (If you need to make changes, we can provide you with a free editing website that will allow you to make changes to questions/statements)
- Longform responses
- Short form responses
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