3 Ways to Get the Most from Intensive EMDR Therapy

One of the things I love most about my clients is how genuinely thoughtful they are.

Now, thinking a lot is often a feature of PTSD, depression, or anxiety. But in this context, it’s also a sign that, deep inside, they value the time and effort they’re investing in themselves! This is a huge potential strength.

New clients often ask me:

“Therapy is a big investment in myself. How do I make the most of it?”

I love this question, and I even built a little handout/guide for them.

Here are the highlights of that guide for you if you’re wondering the same thing.

These are the some of things I ask people to consider as they prepare for EMDR.

How do I prepare my BODY for Intensive EMDR?

How true are these statements for you?:

  • The food and beverages in my home and office leave me feeling good about myself after I’ve consumed them.
  • I know what makes my skin, mouth, and scalp feel nice.
  • My living and working space has comforting and comfortable items.

If they could be more true, take a step in the right direction. Remember, we’re looking for progress here, not perfection.

How do I prepare my CIRCLE for Intensive EMDR?

Next, you want to get the people around you ready for the changes you’re about to make. Ask yourself:

  • The people around me know that I’ll be a little more raw for a while, but its for the benefit of me and the benefit of our relationship.
  • The people that care about me know how I prefer that they support me.

You want the people around you to know that you’ll need more grace, but also, that this adjustment period is temporary.

How do I prepare my TIME for Intensive EMDR?

Third, you can get a handle on your time and focus in advance of the EMDR treatment. Ask yourself:

  • If I knew I was going to have a week where I was slower than usual, I’d [work ahead, say no to a project, reschedule some meetings, pay bill in advance, meal prep, put some personal days on the schedule, etc…] to prepare.
  • I’d rather [get lunch, take a nap, get a facial, get a massage, get my nails done, meet a friend for coffee, etc…] after therapy than returning back to work or chores.

People sometimes feel a little fuzzier or slower during the week of their intensive. The brain is rewiring itself during that time. It’s a good thing! But it can be stressful to go through if you aren’t prepared.

Perspective Check!

No one has all of these things figured out all of the time. In fact, in session, we can strategize on addressing these issues together if needed! And then, it becomes kinda exciting for you to get an “excuse” to do more of the things you’ve been intending to do anyway…but this time for the sake of your recovery!

I hope you take a moment to work your way through this checklist, and then update and implement your plans as you prepare to do your own work. And as your preparation starts paying off for you, send me a message so we can further your progress in therapy.

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