Overcoming clinicians fear of using EMDR therapy: Practical Steps for Success

Overcoming clinicians’ fear of using EMDR therapy: Practical Steps for Success

Andrew M. Leeds
Director of Training, Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute, Santa Rosa, California

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EMDR therapy can be intimidating for newly trained clinicians. This article addresses common fears that may hinder clinicians from implementing standard EMDR reprocessing procedures and provides practical steps to overcome these challenges.

Three Common Fears
Three common fears can inhibit newly EMDR trained clinicians from using standard EMDR reprocessing procedures. These are:
1) The fear of leaving the client more disturbed (worsening symptoms) than before reprocessing.
2) The fear of the clinician experiencing vicarious traumatization from exposure to aspects of the client’s memory.
3) The fear of not being able to adequately use standard EMDR therapy procedures.