During the COVID-19 pandemic, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapists have been faced with the choice of either abruptly terminating therapy with their clients or moving to working remotely, usually by videoconferencing. This poses particular challenges to therapists who may have never worked online. The standard EMDR protocol can be effectively delivered remotely when therapists are aware of how to make necessary adaptations. Based on clinical and supervision practice, this article describes ways in which EMDR therapists can adapt their ways of working in order to work effectively with clients remotely. This ensures that clients can still benefit from this effective and evidence-based treatment during a global health crisis. It suggests a number of ways in which bilateral stimulation can be achieved remotely, as well as discussing special considerations which arise with online therapeutic work. It considers adaptations which need to be made at each stage of EMDR therapy. It uses case examples from children and adults to illustrate how these adaptations work in real life. The case examples discussed in this article are illustrative of the techniques and adaptations necessary for remote EMDR and therefore reflect composites rather than individuals.
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Copyright © 2021 EMDR International Association
Fisher, N. (2021). Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15(1), 73–84. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-D-20-00041
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research