Nearly 70 of Connect EMDR Training & Consulting’s R-TEP/G-TEP alumni recently gathered with trainers Reg Morrow Robinson, Bill Brislin, and EMDR Recent & Group Traumatic Episode Protocol developer and psychologist Elan Shapiro to share information and conversation about the creative application of these EMDR protocols in a variety of contexts. Over the years, the Connect R-TEP/G-TEP training team has had the honor of meeting and training hundreds of EMDR therapists in these research-validated EMDR early intervention and group therapy protocols. It was time to get the gang together!
The need for healing the ravages of trauma is vast. A conservative estimate based on the prevalence of PTSD in the US (7-8%) would indicate 500 million people worldwide are living with PTSD. The actual number is undoubtedly far more when we consider the four violences (Carriere, 2018):
- Direct violence (e.g., war, refugees, interpersonal abuse, political, domestic);
- Natural violence (e.g., earthquakes, floods, storms, epidemics);
- Structural violence (e.g., poverty, hunger, unemployment)
- Cultural violence (e.g., Racism, discrimination, Adverse Childhood Experiences)
The recent COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing awareness of the far-reaching traumatic implications of climate warming make this need even more urgent. Responding to these struggles requires ongoing community building along with the continued support and education of therapists. With these goals in mind, we held our first annual R-TEP/G-TEP Alumni Happening!
Our alumni hailed from across the U.S., Canada, and around the globe, and many met the creative and brilliant Elan Shapiro for the first time.
History of EMDR G-TEP
Elan outlined the development of the EMDR Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (G-TEP) as it emerged from the original EMDR Recent Traumatic Episodes Protocol (R-TEP) he co-developed with Brurit Laub. G-TEP grew from a need to provide meaningful treatment to large numbers of people affected by natural and humanitarian disasters. It was fascinating to learn about the evolution of G-TEP (2011-2021) as a protocol and the worksheet as the spatial representation of a traumatic episode
According to Elan, G-TEP has been translated in 15 languages, and he has trained in countries throughout the world – particularly in response to mass disasters. This outreach is so vast that there are now researchers in 22 countries!
Updates and Research
Bill Brislin gave encouraging updates regarding current research on the efficacy of the R-TEP and G-TEP protocols, and Reg Morrow Robinson shared results of a Connect survey of clinicians that asked how and with whom trainees were utilizing the protocols. It’s clear that trained clinicians are finding R-TEP and G-TEP useful with a broad range of presenting issues.
Respondents reported applying R-TEP with the following issues and situations including all ages:
- Non-recent trauma
- Abuse, Grief and Traumatic Loss
- Pet loss, Job loss
- Young professionals presenting with anxiety
- Domestic & workplace violence
- Sexual violence survivors
- Traumatic accidents
- First responders
- Complex trauma
- Health challenges: COVID, cancer, cardiac, other
- Reproductive related trauma
- Depression and Sleep disorders
Respondents reported applying G-TEP with the following issues and situations:
- Family affected by COVID
- Pet loss
- Recent sexual trauma
- Traumatic loss, Grief
- Licensure exam test anxiety
- Workplace after injury
- Complex Trauma/Dissociation/High emotional dysregulation
- Cardiac & other health crisis
- Work stress
- Child protection
- TRN team
- Healthcare and Mental health practitioners
Alumni were also introduced to updates of the script, planning kits, and worksheets – all designed to make G-TEP easier to teach and use with a range of clients and settings, including telehealth delivery.
We left a lot of time in the schedule for a robust Q&A session with Elan and received fantastic questions from a number of alums.
One curious participant asked: What is the time frame one can apply R-TEP? Elan’s definition of an episode: “life changing negative events with life changing consequences that are ongoing”. Therefore, apply R-TEP if it fits. He also stated: “There is no ‘recent’ in G-TEP.”
New Opportunities for Our R-TEP/G-TEP Graduates:
- G-TEP Experience + Consultations – Our G-TEP Experience Bundle includes a full G-TEP session as a client, a debrief with Q&A,, and 2 consultation sessions
- An opportunity to assist in the G-TEP experience.
- Drop-in R-TEP/G-TEP Consultation Group also available!
You can learn more about the G-TEP Experience, R-TEP/G-TEP Drop-in Consultation Group, and other Advanced Consultation opportunities here.