Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy Worksheets

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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:

  1. Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) scale
    1. 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.
  2. Validity of Cognition (VOC) scale
    1. 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.

Common EMDR Techniques

Here are some commonly used techniques in EMDR therapy:

  1. Resource Development and Installation (RDI): Clients are guided to access and strengthen internal resources, such as feelings of safety, calmness, and empowerment. These resources act as support during the processing of traumatic memories.
  2. Bilateral Stimulation: This technique involves the use of rhythmic, bilateral stimulation, typically through eye movements, hand taps, or auditory tones. The therapist guides the client’s attention back and forth, facilitating the processing of distressing memories.
  3. Targeting Memories: The therapist helps the client identify specific target memories associated with trauma or distress. These memories are then processed using bilateral stimulation, allowing for the reprocessing and integration of the associated emotions and beliefs.
  4. Cognitive Interweave: During the processing of traumatic memories, if the client becomes stuck or experiences cognitive blocks, the therapist may introduce a cognitive interweave. This involves guiding the client to challenge and reframe unhelpful beliefs or thoughts that may be hindering the processing.
  5. Safe Place or Calm Place: Clients are guided to create and visualize a safe, calm, and peaceful place in their mind. This safe place serves as a grounding resource during challenging moments in therapy and can be accessed when distress arises.
  6. Future Template: In this technique, clients are guided to imagine and visualize positive and desired future scenarios. This helps activate positive emotions and beliefs, creating a sense of hope and motivation for personal growth and change.
  7. Body Scan: The therapist guides the client in conducting a body scan, bringing attention to physical sensations associated with distress or trauma. This technique helps clients develop awareness of how their body holds and responds to emotions.
  8. Closure: At the end of each EMDR session, the therapist ensures that the client is in a stable and grounded state before concluding. This may involve grounding techniques, relaxation exercises, or reflection on progress made during the session.
  9. Resourcing: Before targeting traumatic memories, therapists help clients build a toolbox of internal and external resources. These resources can include visualization exercises, self-soothing techniques, or safe people or places that provide support during challenging moments.
  10. EMDR for Future Challenges: Once past traumatic memories are processed, EMDR can be used to address future challenges and triggers. Clients are guided to imagine upcoming situations and process any associated negative emotions or beliefs.

These techniques, combined with the standardized eight-phase EMDR protocol, help individuals effectively process and reframe distressing memories, leading to emotional healing, symptom reduction, and increased resilience. It is important to note that EMDR techniques are typically employed by trained EMDR therapists and tailored to the unique needs and goals of each individual.

10 Reasons Why EMDR Therapy May Be Right For Your Clients

EMDR therapy offers a powerful and effective approach to treating trauma and related psychological difficulties. With its ability to rapidly alleviate distress, reprocess traumatic memories, and create lasting change, EMDR therapy is a valuable tool for individuals seeking healing and transformation. Here are 10 reasons why EMDR therapy may be right for your clients:

  1. Deepens Emotional Connection: EFT therapy focuses on enhancing emotional bonds between partners, helping them develop a deeper sense of emotional connection and intimacy.
  2. Resolves Relationship Distress: EFT has been proven effective in addressing relationship distress, including communication issues, conflicts, and disconnection.
  3. Promotes Secure Attachment: EFT is rooted in attachment theory and aims to create a secure attachment bond between partners, which fosters a sense of safety and trust within the relationship.
  4. Addresses Underlying Emotions: EFT helps couples explore and understand the underlying emotions that drive their negative interaction patterns, allowing for greater emotional insight and empathy.
  5. Breaks Negative Cycles: EFT helps couples recognize and break out of negative interaction cycles, replacing them with positive and healthier ways of relating to one another.
  6. Enhances Communication Skills: EFT provides couples with effective communication tools and techniques to express their needs, emotions, and desires in a constructive and compassionate manner.
  7. Supports Emotional Healing: EFT therapy can help individuals and couples heal emotional wounds, address past traumas, and develop a sense of emotional resilience.
  8. Increases Relationship Satisfaction: Research has consistently shown that EFT therapy leads to improved relationship satisfaction, greater relationship stability, and higher levels of overall happiness within couples.
  9. Encourages Empathy and Understanding: EFT promotes a deep understanding and empathy between partners by fostering an environment where emotions are validated and heard.
  10. Creates Lasting Change: EFT focuses on long-term results, aiming to create lasting change and positive relationship patterns that continue to strengthen and evolve even after therapy has ended.

In conclusion, EFT therapy offers numerous benefits for couples seeking to improve their relationship. By addressing emotional needs, breaking negative cycles, and promoting secure attachment, EFT can transform relationships, foster emotional growth, and enhance overall relationship satisfaction.

10 reasons why use EMDR Therapy

  1. Effective Treatment for Trauma: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is recognized as one of the most effective treatments for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It helps individuals process and heal from traumatic experiences.
  2. Rapid Relief: EMDR therapy is known for its ability to bring relief and symptom reduction in a relatively short period compared to other therapies. It can lead to significant improvements in a shorter time frame.
  3. Reprocessing Traumatic Memories: EMDR targets traumatic memories and helps reprocess them in a safe and controlled manner. It allows individuals to reframe their experiences, reducing the emotional distress associated with the memories.
  4. Holistic Approach: EMDR therapy takes a holistic approach by addressing the thoughts, emotions, sensations, and beliefs associated with traumatic experiences. It aims to integrate these elements for a comprehensive healing process.
  5. Adaptive Information Processing: EMDR is based on the concept of Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), which suggests that traumatic experiences can disrupt the brain’s natural ability to process information. EMDR facilitates the adaptive processing of traumatic memories, leading to resolution and reduced distress.
  6. Versatility: EMDR therapy can be used to treat a wide range of issues beyond trauma and PTSD, including anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, grief, and performance anxiety. It can be beneficial for various mental health concerns.
  7. Neurobiological Changes: EMDR has been shown to produce neurobiological changes in the brain, promoting healing and integration. It can help individuals rewire their brain’s responses to traumatic memories and create new, healthier neural pathways.
  8. Client Empowerment: EMDR therapy empowers clients by allowing them to actively participate in their healing process. Individuals are involved in identifying target memories, engaging in bilateral stimulation, and exploring their emotions and beliefs.
  9. Integration of Experiences: EMDR therapy facilitates the integration of fragmented and dissociated aspects of traumatic experiences. It helps individuals connect the fragmented pieces and create a more coherent narrative of their life story.
  10. Long-Term Results: EMDR therapy is known to produce long-lasting results. Once the healing process is complete, individuals often report reduced symptoms, improved emotional well-being, and increased resilience.

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 EMDR Worksheets?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) worksheets are tools used in therapy to help individuals process and overcome traumatic experiences. These worksheets provide a structured approach to therapy, allowing individuals to identify and process traumatic memories, develop coping skills, and monitor their progress over time.

Some of the key benefits of using EMDR worksheets include:

  1. Processing traumatic memories: EMDR worksheets provide a structured approach to processing traumatic memories, allowing individuals to identify and work through the emotions and physical sensations associated with the trauma.
  2. Developing coping skills: EMDR worksheets can help individuals develop coping skills to manage the emotions and physical sensations associated with trauma. This may include relaxation techniques, visualization exercises, and other coping strategies.
  3. Identifying triggers: EMDR worksheets can help individuals identify triggers that may cause them to experience flashbacks, nightmares, or other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By identifying these triggers, individuals can develop strategies to avoid or manage them more effectively.
  4. Monitoring progress: EMDR worksheets can be used to track progress over time, allowing individuals to see how their symptoms are improving and identifying areas where they may need to focus more attention.

Overall, EMDR worksheets are an effective tool for helping individuals process and overcome traumatic experiences. By providing a structured and organized way to identify and process traumatic memories, develop coping skills, and monitor progress over time, individuals can improve their mental health and well-being and lead a more fulfilling life.

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)
  • Checkboxes
  • Longform responses
  • Short form responses

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