Sandra Paulsen, Ph.D.
1.5 EMDRIA Credits
Some EMDR therapists offer intensive treatment as an alternative to the conventional therapy structure of regular brief therapy appointments over months or years. This workshop describes considerations for doing intensive work safely and ethically. Advantages of the intensive format include: 1) when working in implicit memory, the brief appointment is not conducive to dropping into the felt sense of the bodily held unprocessed experience, whereas the long appointments over several days provides sufficient time for some to learn to drop into the felt sense, 2) some are willing and able to travel to find a particular skill set in the therapist, 3) some wish to avoid treatment in their own town, 4) many would rather take a few days to get work done intensively than to hassle with weekly appointments on an ongoing basis, with all the travel and interruption of brief sessions. When working in implicit memory, the therapist’s every nuance can be perceived as a trigger or enactment of early memories in injured relationships with caretakers. The biggest hazard of the intensive format for working with people with very early trauma and neglect is the likelihood that saying goodbye at the end of the intensive, if the work isn’t entirely complete, can evoke a reenactment of the original abandonment and betrayal trauma. Adult states understand but child states may be deeply hurt or feel abandoned at the end of even a successful piece of early work. Other considerations include the structure of the format, including pricing, communication, accommodations, ergonomics, and logistics, daily closure procedures, follow up checkpoints. Therapist selfcare is a consideration. The workshop will address the safety and comfort for both therapist and client in the intensive format.