Many EMDR trained therapists tend to think of EMDR early interventions (EEI) as reserved for large scale community disasters, natural or manmade. However, they are very effective for individuals, couples, families and groups in any setting. If overwhelming situations are intervened with quickly, they help facilitate processing of the event to an adaptive resolution more quickly, improve resiliency and reduce the high costs of untreated trauma that are seen with medical bills, decline in work performance, disconnections from loved ones, increase in substance abuse and other unhelpful coping responses. Plus, EMDR treatment can be shorter if given soon after the event, before the dysfunctional material has a chance to generalize. After a serious cut happens, people tend to seek treatment right away to avoid infection setting in. Waiting for infection means a far more aggressive treatment and more complicated symptoms. EEI application can be considered in the same light. Process the event before psychological, relational, spiritual and career related infection begins. Do not wait for infection.
EEI therapists are treating First Responders (Law enforcement, EMTs, firemen, 911 dispatchers, hospital staff, media, clergy). And last responders; funeral home staff. Possibilities for health care staff who have unexpected outcomes, teachers, administrators, coaches, janitors of schools following an act of in school violence or suicide (to prevent suicide contagion), attorneys following a difficult client interaction or story shared, patients who have just received a difficult diagnosis or reoccurrence, foster care children who are removed from family or age out of the system, direct staff or family members caring for chronically ill, sudden loss of a family member, loss of a job, financial crisis. This list could go on and on. Do you see any of your clients in this list? Perhaps other possibilities?
There are many EEI protocols now, each with advantages and applications depending on the client, number of clients, where the client is within their window of tolerance and history of prior trauma. Dust off your EEI protocols and look for ways to heal and increase resiliency.
April 19-24, 2018 was the EMDR Early Intervention Global Summit, www.emdrearlyintervention.com. Providers from all over the world attended and shared hundreds of ways EEI is being used around the world. Curious? Take a peek at the website to learn more.
Share your stories of success with EEI and help play it forward.
(From photograph: Our panel spoke on US based Community Response Networks: Overview
Karen Alter Reid, Rebecca Rosenblum, Regina Morrow Robinson, Beverlee Laidlaw Chasse, Terry Becker-Fritz)