I use the terms ‘EMDR Therapy Intensives’, ‘EMDR Intensives’ and ‘Fast-Track Therapy’ to describe what I believe is a fairly unique way of offering EMDR. I’ve found that it has many advantages over offering EMDR Therapy in a more traditional fashion, (although I offer the choice of either way of working). In brief, it involves offering a full EMDR Therapy treatment (in all it’s variabilities) over the course one or more half days, or full day(s).
How this way of working has evolved.
Over the many years of my using EMDR Therapy I have managed to streamline the treatment protocol to it’s most essential features without any discernible loss to treatment outcome. It is not a fixed method, rather a range of interventions that can be employed in immediate response to the shift and flow of the clients process, in the moment, in a fluid way tracking the phenomenology of the client. Each treatment journey unique to any particular client presentation.
In a speech at a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland 2014 Francine Shapiro (the originator of EMDR) urged EMDR clinicians to consider offering EMDR Therapy sessions more frequently than once or twice a week. In response to this I began experimenting by offering up to six sessions in one week. I quickly realised that, for example, 12 sessions of weekly therapy does not translate into 12 sessions over (in this case) 2 weeks. The same amount of therapeutic gain achieved over 12 weekly sessions appeared possible in only 6 to 9 sessions when condensed into a week or two.
Why is less ‘face to face’ time needed with EMDR Intensives?
a). less time is required to ‘check-in and check-out’at the beginning and end of a session.
b). the EMDR stimulated neurological processing is allowed to flow and continue without stopping and starting. We ‘keep the engine running’ for maximum efficiency.
c). though unproven, clinical practice seems to show that processing time is faster generally, and perhaps ‘deeper’, when allowed to flow. There might be a ‘snowballing’ phenomenon here?
d). less time is required for rehearsing safety procedures between sessions that would otherwise be used between sessions.
e). working for a whole day with one person allows the clinician to better attune, to follow and be led by, the clients natural processing.
f). there is less likelihood of external factors disrupting the flow of treatment.
This way of working is also safer as there is greater likelihood of the whole treatment being completed with no, or very few, breaks between sessions. It is between the sessions when the client is at greater risk, being mid-treatment and perhaps more vulnerable.