Counselor’s Corner on Negative Cognitions

In the Counselor’s Corner column, EMDR therapists respond to the question of Clint White who asks: “Hi all! I’m working with a 62-year-old male who retired three years ago after working for 40 years as a EMT. When completing his trauma history, he was able to identify the negative cognition (NC) for the five events that have occurred since he retired. However, he could not identify the NC for most of the events that he encountered as a first responder. I have tried to reword the question in various ways such as, ‘What is the untrue thought that you have about yourself that intellectually you know is not true?’ or ‘What is the lie that you tell yourself about yourself?’ I have reviewed the cognitions list with the client as well as having had several conversations with the client trying to help identify the NC. But, to no avail. The client can’t seem to identify the NC. Does anyone have any recommendations regarding any other steps I can take in this situation? Any help would be greatly appreciated!”

Read responses from Carolina Radovan, North Vancouver, BC, Canada; Shon Howell, Chicago IL; Lydia Carrick, Seattle, WA; Dr. Michelle Morrissey, Pueblo, CO; and Lauren Stinson, MS, LPC, NCC.

This question and responses originally appeared in the Central Forum online community. The answers have been edited and condensed for clarity and space. To view the entire discussion, members can visit

Read more in this article from the Fall 2023 issue EMDR Therapy & Eating Disorders of Go With That Magazine™️.


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