the body in Emdr: essential skills

Emdria-Approved Advanced training

In EMDR Therapy, reprocessing starts and ends with the body. From “where do you feel the disturbance in your body?” to the Body Scan, the body is always integral to successful reprocessing. While reprocessing at the somatic level often takes place with little direct attention, many of the stuck points in EMDR therapy revolve around body experiences. A clear understanding of the physiological experience of trauma — trauma as it is experienced in the physical body — will guide you through these stuck points and open doors to reprocessing implicit memory. This workshop is about seeing and making sense of what is already present in EMDR therapy — the physical body — while sharpening your focus and augmenting your skills for more effective treatment.

Participants in this training will learn two conceptual frameworks for understanding our neurophysiological responses to fear and trauma. Participants will integrate these frameworks with the phases and stages of EMDR therapy, and practice specific skills to strengthen the felt sense of safety, maintain the window of tolerance during reprocessing, resolve stuck points related to somatic experience, and access and reprocess implicit memory (body memory).

This workshop is for therapists who want to develop a practical knowledge base with immediate clinical application. It is relevant in the treatment of anxiety, depression, chronic and acute stress, abandonment and loss, and health problems, as well as trauma and developmental trauma. It applies to working with children, adults, and groups. And it is important to how we, as therapists, take care of ourselves and manage our own responses to our clients’ experiences.  

Program Description

This training is both didactic and experiential.  On both days, participants will have opportunities to learn new information, consider case examples, and participate in guided practice.

Day One:

  • Learn the Polyvagal Theory of the Autonomic Nervous System, including neuroception and the physiological states of safety, mobilization, and immobilization.
  • Learn the Social Engagement System, the neurophysiological basis of attachment, and the impact of fear and trauma on our physiological capacity for social engagement.
  • Practice a three-step preparation phase protocol that harnesses the power of attending to neuroception and the somatic experience of safety.  
  • Explore the implications of the Polyvagal Theory for assessing client readiness and working within the “window of tolerance.” 
  • Practice how to track sensation in your own body (body awareness) and how to teach body awareness to clients.
  • Apply body awareness to tracking emotional states and to working with the challenges of “shutting down” (hypoarousal).

Day Two:

  • Learn the phases and stages of The Threat Response Cycle 
  • Apply knowledge of the threat cycle to assess and resolve “stuck points” in reprocessing
  • Learn ways to address hypervigilance and to reprocess experiences involving horror.  
  • Integrate the conceptual frameworks from both days in a discussion of the therapist’s body in the context of EMDR therapy.
  • Learn and practice body-based interventions for stuck reprocessing
  • Explore ways of working with different presentations of “body memory” and physical traumas.

This is an EMDRIA-approved Advanced Training in EMDR

Participants must have completed Basic Training in EMDR in order to attend.

Eno Center PLLC (EMDRIA Credit Provider # 16008) maintains responsibility for this program and its content in accordance with EMDRIA standards. 

12 EMDRIA Credits Available

Eligibility for EMDRIA Credits is restricted to those who have completed an EMDRIA-approved Basic Training in EMDR. Attendance at the entire workshop is required to receive credit. 

12 CEs provided by Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES)

Information on continuing education credit awarded by Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is available here.