Art of EMDR

Workshop Description

This advanced retreat-style workshop will teach the Art of EMDR therapy, with a special focus on complex trauma. The "Art" of EMDR is expressed in numerous ways: the dance of attunement during sets of dual attention stimuli; knowing when to interweave vs. "staying out of the way"; reading the signs of reprocessing; working with phobia of affect/traumatic material; and knowing what to do when the processing isn't moving along as expected. This workshop will teach Preparation Phase strategies to prepare for the complexities of treating trauma, and then will help participants expand and integrate their knowledge and skills in applying the "art" of EMDR therapy in the Standard Protocol through live demonstrations and advanced practica. The workshop is limited to 18 clinicians who have completed an EMDRIA approved EMDR Therapy Basic Training.

Advanced Learning Topics Include:

  • A framework to understand the application of EMDR therapy to complex trauma within a phase-oriented approach
  • Case Conceptualization & Target Selection
  • Preparation strategies for EMDR with complex cases (e.g., organizing the personality systems; developing coconsciousness; dealing with phobia/avoidance of affect)
  • Negative and Positive Cognition Selection
  • Recognizing Signs of Processing
  • Fine-tuning the Application of Dual Attention Stimulation to Maximize Processing
  • Clinical Containment Issues
  • Knowing when to interweave vs. "stay out of the way"
  • Consolidating Treatment Gains

Continuing Education Credits

The EMDR International Association will offer 20 continuing education credits.

About the Instructor

Roger Solomon, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma and grief. He is on the Senior Faculty of the EMDR Institute and teaches EMDR internationally. He is a consultant to the trauma programs of NASA, the U.S. Senate, several U.S. federal and state law enforcement agencies, and the Polizia di Stato in Rome, Italy. He has published 28 articles on EMDR, trauma, grief, critical incident stress, and police psychology.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapeutic approach that emphasizes the role of the brain's adaptive information processing system (AIP). Current problems, not caused by organic deficit or insult, are conceptualized as the result of inappropriately processed memories of disturbing experiences. EMDR therapy is an eight phase, three-pronged protocol that addresses the experiences underlying current problems and those that need to be dealt with to bring the client to a robust state of psychological health.

The heart of EMDR therapy involves the transmutation of these dysfunctionally stored experiences into an adaptive resolution that promotes psychological health. As with any therapeutic approach, after we learn the fundamentals, we spend a lifetime perfecting our practice. With EMDR therapy, there is an art to the application.

What is the "Art" of EMDR therapy?

The heart of EMDR therapy involves the transmutation of these dysfunctionally stored experiences into an adaptive resolution that promotes psychological health. The Art of EMDR is attunement to the client, resonating, and providing optimal dual attention stimuli to maximize processing.

Optimal processing is evidenced by verbal and non-verbal indicators of processing. While offering the dual attention stimuli, there is a dance that develops between client and therapist, made more effective with good attunement to the client's reprocessing needs.

What are some of the intricacies of this dance?

Every client processes differently. There is an art to reading the signs of processing to know:

  • When processing is/isn't happening
  • When to stop and restart the dual attention stimuli
  • When to modulate the intensity of the affect or reprocessing up or down
  • When containment is needed
  • When a client needs more dual attention
  • When to change modality/speed/direction/pressure of the dual attention stimuli
  • When to use more of your presence to assist the dual attention

This art has to be practiced, fine-tuned, assimilated and integrated into your clinical practice.

Is this an experiential workshop?

Yes. The philosophy of this workshop is the art is learned most effectively through practice rather than didactically. Nearly 70% of the workshop is spent in groups of 2 or 3 where you will use personal material as you rotate the roles of therapist, client and observer. These actual sessions will be observed and facilitated by workshop instructors. You will receive immediate feedback to help you fine tune your skills. When you are in the client role you will benefit from these closely supervised sessions because you can get some important personal work done.

Will there be videos or live demonstrations?

Yes. There will be a live demonstration each day, and sometimes these sessions will be videotaped, which then become teaching tools. The clients in these demonstrations are workshop participants who use personal material, and are chosen based on the learning needs of the group.

What will I learn at the workshop?

As this is an advanced training, it is expected that you know the basics. There will be advanced learning on the following topics:

  • Case Conceptualization and target selection to maximize treatment outcome
  • Negative and Positive Cognition Selection
  • Recognizing Signs of Processing
  • Attuning and calibrating the dual attention stimuli to maximize reprocessing yet controlling its intensity to meet client needs (the dance)
  • Working with complex trauma and the patterns of resolution
  • How to use Fraser's Dissociative Table Technique with complex trauma
  • Working with blocked processing
  • Clinical Containment Issues
  • Knowing when to interweave or "stay out of the way"
  • Consolidating Treatment Gains

How Much Emphasis will be given to treating complex trauma?

Working with complex trauma is an important aspect of this workshop. The instructors are experts in this field. You will learn an overview of Structural Dissociation Theory of the Personality. Fraser's Dissociative Table Technique will be taught and demonstrated. How to work with fragmented parts of self will be covered. Live demonstrations will focus on working with complex trauma. Debriefing these demonstrations as well as Q&A throughout the workshop will help you deepen your understanding of how to work with this complex clinical presentation. You will practice integrating this knowledge in your practicum group.

How much EMDR therapy experience do I need as a clinician to attend this workshop?

The only requirement is completion of an EMDRIA approved EMDR therapy Basic Training program. Participants range in their EMDR therapy experience. There will be clinicians who are new to EMDR therapy and clinicians who have had years of experience, including Approved Consultants and Trainers, and everyone in between. You will be paired with participants with a similar level of experience in your practicum group. The workshop organizer may talk with you at registration to make sure this workshop is a good fit for you.

Will I need to prove that I have completed an EMDRIA approved Basic EMDR therapy training?

Yes. A copy of your Certificate of Completion is required at registration.

I haven't used my EMDR therapy skills in a long time. Is this workshop appropriate?

Yes. There will be other people like you. The workshop organizer will work with you to assess your needs and perhaps suggest ways to brush up on the steps of the Standard Protocol prior to the workshop.

Do I have to attend the entire workshop?

Yes. As this is an experiential workshop that requires your attendance for your practicum partners to complete their practice, full attendance is required. You must be present for the entire workshop to receive your continuing education credits.

What can I work on while I'm a client in the practicum group?

This is completely up to you. You can expect 3-4 hours in the role of a client over the course of the workshop. The workshop instructors are careful to create a safe environment for you to go as deep as you need to go as client. Your therapist will be closely observed and assisted by workshop instructors to provide you good treatment. The workshop schedule is set up so you can accomplish significant work.

Is it a requirement that I be a client in the practicum group?

No. If you choose to not be a client, you will spend all your time as a therapist or observer.

How large is the workshop?

Typically, the size of the workshop is no larger than 18. The size is deliberately kept small to maximize individualized learning and maintain the highest possible quality of supervision and practicum facilitation.

Can I take this workshop more than once?

Yes. In fact, many people do. Fine tuning your skills is a lifetime process. Past participants find the gains in the depth of their knowledge, skills, and confidence as an EMDR therapist are so great as a result of attending this workshop that they return for more. Many past participants also rave about the quality and quantity of personal growth work they accomplished in the supervised practicum and retake the workshop again and again for this purpose.

What is the Schedule?

The schedule varies depending on the venue. The schedule is typically posted on the location page of this website under each offering of this workshop. Please consult that page for the exact schedule and location.

For a Friday- Monday workshop, the schedule is:

Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 3 :00 p.m.
Monday: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

The schedule for a workshop that runs Monday through Friday typically is:

Monday- Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. daily