Decreasing anxiety with Standard Protocol: Case conceptualization options in EMDR

consultation emdr phase 3 phase 4 Apr 16, 2022

If your experience as a newly trained EMDR therapist was anything like mine, you probably started to see that “sticking to the script” to navigate through standard protocol was confusing when working with complex trauma clients. Why? Because the beauty of standard protocol often needs interweaves, parts work, and more Phase 2 preparation (things not in "the script") in order to flow. And while some basic trainings teach us these things, many of us don't get to learn these more advanced topics in the beginning of our EMDR training. 

And far too often, the lack of understanding to work with these complex clients creates a fear in us. We worry that we can’t do EMDR because we don’t know what to do when reading the line-by-line script isn't working.

I want to offer a framework for you to think about case conceptualization in a way that lowers the stakes when it comes to choosing a target with your complex trauma clients. 

What if I told you that you don’t have to dive into the first, worst, or touchstone memory right away with your new EMDR clients? What if I told you that, instead, you can pick an initial target where the stakes are lower because the SUD is lower?

And what if I told you that this “pilot” would breathe life into your relationship with your client and your client's relationship with EMDR?

Listen to my most recent podcast where I unpack case conceptualization with all types of clients so we can decrease our anxiety. 

It's time to give yourself permission to gather information so that you may make informed choices. 

Learn more about standard protocol, case conceptualization and more with The Consultation Program. Embark in an eight month journey to enhance your clinical confidence. Apply here today!


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With a Masters in Education from Vanderbilt, Kambria has been creating trainings and teaching adult learners for 20 years. As Director of Education and Quality Improvement at Stanford Medical School, her job was to decomplicate and consolidate complex systems and topics, thereby giving medical trainees successful learning experiences. Now, as a busy mom of fraternal twins, dedicated business owner of Zero Disturbance, and EMDRIA Approved Consultant, Kambria knows what it means to do things efficiently, effectively, and in a learner-centered way. 

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