Getting Started with EMDR

Guidelines for clinicians in selecting clients for initial application of EMDR
reprocessing during and immediately following basic training in EMDR

by Andrew M. Leeds, Ph.D.
Director of Training, Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute

Abstract

This article addresses questions raised by clinicians in training or recently trained in EMDR regarding case finding and selection criteria for their initial applications of EMDR. Guidelines are offered for number of sessions of practice during training, for identifying and deferring more complex cases until more experience is gained, and for recognizing clients where reprocessing of disturbing memories should be postponed in favor of client stabilization. Three classes of clients and targets, with descriptive case examples, are proposed for initial application of EMDR during the training process. Clinicians are encouraged to thoroughly read Shapiro’s (2001) required text and other recently published books and journal articles and to actively participate in consultation with an EMDRIA Approved Consultant.

2010 Andrew M. Leeds, Ph.D. updated 4/17/10 from privately distributed version 2/23/98

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