Special Report: EMDR In The Summer Months
Did you know that EMDR can look different in the summer months? It absolutely can. You certainly don’t want to miss an opportunity to maximize your client’s process and your toolbox of skills. So, before we get too much farther into the hottest of seasons let’s talk about special considerations for your EMDR practice, clientele and what you can do right now to pivot.
- Client’s taking time off from therapy in the summer can happen for a variety of reasons. The parents on your caseload might have a loss of childcare in the summer months. This can make their appointments increasingly infrequent. Trips out of town, family reunions and Disneyland escapes can also create gaps of time between sessions.
TAKE ACTION: Consider the impact of spacey appointments or gaps in care on the EMDR process. For example, you may have just completed Phase 1 (history taking) with “Bob” only to learn that after Bob’s next appointment he’ll be gone for a month. Given this news and knowing that many clients benefit from consistent follow-up in Phases 3-6 you may want to spend his pre-vacation session with supplemental work instead of risking an unfinished Phase 3. Appropriate supplemental work could look like planning for self care, reviewing his coping skills for stressful vacay events or installing an additional resource that will serve him later in the coming Phases.
- Increased Interestingly, some clients may have more time now than ever before. School teachers might suddenly have entire days free. Homes with kids might see that extra curricular activities have slowed and freed up carpool-packed evenings.
TAKE ACTION: Francine Shapiro asks us to consider 90 minute sessions for client’s who are capable and available for such work. Other knowledgeable professionals in the field of EMDR therapy also suggest that doing sessions on consecutive days can be appropriate for some. Take a moment to consider if your caseload and schedule could accommodate this kind of rhythm and flow. Is now the right time for some of your clients to recommit to the work? Summer might be the perfect time to switch from bimonthly sessions to weekly or to try the occasional 90 minute session. A great way to assess the impact of increased availability is to take a session to review your client’s treatment plan with them. A collaborative discussion can really highlight the areas in which they feel ready and motivated to make significant gains.
- Summer Vibes. If you have been wise and planful enough to set some time aside for yourself you may be experiencing your own heat wave of Perhaps you’ve been enjoying the summer mornings and find yourself dreaming of changes for your private practice. Or maybe a long holiday weekend provided you time to look at emails about trainings, workshops and certifications.
TAKE ACTION: Don’t be surprised if summer dreaming has you feeling inspired. Notice the direction of your thoughts and urges. Is it time to reduce your caseload? Are you full
of clients and considering increasing your fee? Are you feeling fresh and inspired or do you need a dose of continuing education to revive your skill set and perspective? More and more programs are available to educate clinicians on building and expanding their business. And opportunities for EMDR development and ever broadening! For example, on a recent vacation to Julian, CA I was struck by the motivation to move from the single session, EMDR group consultations I was offering to a cohort-style model which will allow peers to connect deeply, allow for a more gradual and consistent development of skills and maximize the group hours allowed by EMDRIA for certification.
And finally, let me remind you that you don’t need a special season to take care of yourself. While the commercial culture will tell you that this is indeed that time for a vacation, the reality is that regular, consistent self care is what leads to a healthier, happier you. Now might be the time for you to take a trip or to start counseling for your own mental health. But take a look to the horizon and remember that you are always worthy and deserving of stopping to feel the sun on your face, the warm coffee cup in your hands and the investment of professional development and care so that you can continue doing the work that you love for as long as you like.