As a competent and empathetic clinician, you want to be able to use EMDR therapy with your most complex clients. You are dedicated to those clients that change their presenting issue from week to week. You are passionate about the ones that get stuck in Phase 4. You want to offer the very best to those clients whose histories are long, deep, and complex. To be your best for them (and to reduce your own stress) you rack your brain for ways to make EMDR therapy more effective for everyone involved. But would you like to know the number 1, most valuable thing you can do for yourself and your clients?
Record your EMDR therapy sessions.
I said it. I know you don’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear it either. You may be wondering, “Won’t recording feel intrusive?” “Will I look like an amateur if I ask the client’s permission to record the session?” “Don’t I have to get a release for that?” Don’t worry, I’m about to answer all of these questions and make recording your next EMDR session as effortless as possible. Keep reading, as I’m going to advise you on how to talk to your clients, and how to set up the session for recording. I’m also going to provide you with a free consent form!
Why Should I Record My EMDR Sessions?
If you are invested in improving your client outcomes and improving your skills and confidence, then I assume you are meeting with an EMDRIA-approved consultant. Good job! It’s the best investment you’ll make for integrating EMDR therapy into your practice.
Imagine for a moment that I’m your consultant. Recording your sessions and watching segments of them in consultation allows me to give you feedback based on what you are actually doing versus what you think you did or remember doing. It also gives you an opportunity to see yourself and self-correct which is an invaluable skill. Simply put, seeing with my own two eyes how you are practicing the AIP model and the 8 Phases allows me to give you next steps to take back to your clients.
How Do I Talk to My Clients About Recording?
Let’s take a moment to do a bit of mindset work. First of all, remember that you are the counseling expert in the room. Your clients trust you to apply procedures and models that are best for them. You don’t need to look more professional than you already are. Recording the session is what a professionally trained therapist who is invested in their healing will suggest. End of story.
When I started recording sessions, I explained it this way to my clients,
“As you know I’ve been trained in EMDR therapy for some time. However, I’ve begun to take my skills and certification to the next level of achievement. And that requires my certifying board to review recordings of my work and provide me with feedback. I’d like to record our session together so I can ensure I’m giving you the very best service. Only my consultant and I will be reviewing the video. Are you open to that?”
Most clients, given the chance to improve their outcomes, become willing participants. And if not, that’s okay! This conversation about consent and collaboration within the therapeutic relationship is valuable and brings honor to the work the two of you do together in session.
Let’s Make It Official With Paperwork
If your client consents to recording, you’ll need to get it in writing. There are a variety of consent forms that you can find online. If you already have an EMDRIA-approved consultant, you may want to have them review your consent form to give you feedback. And, it would be remiss of me not to mention that having a lawyer review all of your consent forms is a safeguard worthy of the investment.
Would you like to see the “Consent to Record” form I use with my clients? Click the button below to have it sent to your inbox.
How Do I Record Sessions?
There are many different ways to record your EMDR therapy sessions. My best advice is to use the format that is easiest for you. Less fumbling, less stress. If you are doing sessions online, a platform like Zoom allows for easy recording right to your laptop or to their cloud.
I’ve found it easiest to use Loom.com. Loom is a website that allows you to record using your laptop’s camera. It offers a free membership and is easy to navigate after a little practice. Loom also offers an iPhone application which would make recording from your smart phone a discrete option. Always make sure that you keep the recording secure to protect the confidentiality of your clients.
When I record sessions it looks like this:
- Before the session begins, I set my laptop in the corner of the room and open the Loom application screen.
- I bring the client into the room and, assuming we’ve already signed the Consent form, I remind them of our previous discussion regarding recording the session. At that time, I also obtain their verbal consent.
- Following their verbal consent, I tap the record button on my screen and begin the session as normal.
- At the end of the session, I tap the “stop” button on my screen and walk the client out of the office.
Are You Ready to Review?
Congratulations. This is a huge step. You showed up vulnerably with your client. You got consent. You made it official. You mastered technology and took the leap. The next step is to review your recording with your consultant! You are about to get amazing feedback and actionable steps to improve your practice, create better outcomes and reduce your stress to have more free energy to spend doing things you love.
Are you ready to meet for consultation? I offer a free 15-minute consultation to anyone seeking EMDR Consultation services. During this call we’ll discuss why you are looking for support. I’ll ask you questions such as: Are you newly trained and want to build your confidence? Do you want to become EMDR Certified with EMDRIA? Do you want to become a Consultant?
I will answer all of your questions and explain how I use story, humor, and case examples to deepen your ability to integrate EMDR therapy into your practice. We’ll explore the importance of you leaving each consultation meeting with actionable next steps that you’ll take into your very next therapy session. Then, if we’re a good fit, we can schedule your first individual consultation or group consultation session!
I cannot wait to answer any questions that you might have about EMDRIA Certification and how consultation can light a fire under your client’s progress. Reach out to me today!