Written by Clinical Psychologist Nicole Duffy
As with any good training, I walked out of my first EMDR course feeling fresh and inspired. On the drive home I listened to podcasts and mused on how to hit the ground running.
Despite the nerves, the first part was easy. Clients took to resourcing like ducks to water. It was a shared experience of building momentum, the butterflies of nerves turning to butterflies of excitement as we considered the course-correcting potential for so much undue suffering.
Fortunately, the first client I processed with noticed big shifts right away. Witnessing it was dazzling, although hard to accept. It’s probably a fluke? I will need a bigger sample size.
Finding clients suitable with first level training presented a challenge. Despite working across the public and private sector, it seems the complexity of human nature rarely boils down to ‘single incident trauma’. The shared wisdom of experienced colleagues and supervisors at this time was as comforting as it was daunting. The scope of what I knew I didn’t know was expanding rapidly, and I became very aware of how many pieces were missing from this puzzle.
Off I go to Weekend 2. The day opens with revision and I am surprisingly reassured – I know this stuff! My mind wanders to my caseload as new information is presented. The applicability of EMDR broadens as we learn how to modify protocol and enhance adaptive networks. It seems so obvious; how didn’t I know this? From performance anxiety to workplace stress and relational conflict, the bases are seeming well covered.
Complex cases are next on the agenda. The dots are joining about why I’ve been so stuck. At this point I am not sure whether to feel guilty or relieved? I realise I’ve been searching for the destination with an incomplete roadmap, wondering why all the dead ends. We cover stabilisation, dissociation, and parts. The missing pieces are coming together and I am reminded to trust the process – just go with it.
As the course rounds to a close, I feel cautiously optimistic. The paths are laid out clearer now and there are various routes to follow. Although wishful, I know depth and fluency will take time. My EMDR journey continues and I feel resolved that I am better for it.