EMDRIA recently updated the clinical definition of EMDR. The definition that EMDR therapists use with clients, however, has not significantly changed.
Here are three examples of the new changes for EMDR clinicians:
Life-disturbing Experiences — The DSM-IV limits the definition of PTSD to only include major traumatic incidents. EMDRIA’s new definition of EMDR includes life-disturbing experiences that mimic the same symptoms of PTSD that is described in the DSM IV. Along with classic PTSD symptoms, EMDRIA’s new definition broadens the use of EMDR to help clients with a wider range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief, etc.
Order of Targets — Typically in EMDR, traumas (targets) are processed in the order of past, present, and future. EMDRIA is now including in its definition that the order of the targets may change depending on the clinician’s judgment of the client’s readiness to process these traumatic events. The EMDR clinician, therefore, has more flexibility in the treatment plan to better meet the needs of the client versus strictly following the protocol.
Preparation Phase — In the new definition of EMDR, EMDRIA is placing more emphasis on clinicians to properly prepare a client to process trauma based on individual needs. The number of sessions needed for treatment will depend on the stability and readiness of the client. This approach allows EMDR therapists to integrate other types of therapies into the Preparation Phase, giving the client more skills to better handle trauma work.
For those of you that have taken EMDR Basic Training with the Maiberger Institute, many of these concepts are already familiar to you. If you would like to discuss how these changes might affect your current practice, please contact Barb Maiberger for a Consultation.