I mean, how do you ever really know when you are ready for something? Do you have a plan and work towards that goal (for example Luke Skywalker becoming a Jedi)? Or did it just suddenly happen, you found yourself there and someone telling you you were ready (Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games).
There’s a big difference between these positions. For me, I want to set my goal and then work out the steps towards it, but this wasn’t always where I was at….
I started my EMDR journey in 2005, I’d been qualified 3 years as a Clinical Psychologist and was midway through a Postgraduate diploma in Psychodynamic psychotherapy, this was one of the challenging training I had taken part in! Seriously, reading Freud’s original week, weekly therapy, weekly supervision, recording sessions, it was hard work and I’m so grateful I did that before I had the children as I would never have had the headspace to do what was expected.
So here I was a little frazzled from my training when my colleague Shirley started to talk about the amazing impact EMDR was having on her clients so I decided to give it a go.
Do you ever look back on your life journey and think I wish I would have known then what I know now? Well that’s how I felt about my EMDR journey.
I did the part 1 and at first I was sceptical, I still have it written on my manual “They (the trainers) are all a bit evangelical about this approach”!! When I look back now, it seemed to take me ages to properly start using it with my clients. Despite my enthusiasm; yes some of that enthusiasm from training did rub off on me!! I felt my clients were too complicated, I wasn’t really sure where to start https://theemdrsupervisor.com/the-most-frequently-asked-emdr-supervision-questions-part-1/
I think I was just plodding along, slowly seeing clients, having supervision and attending any extra training I could. But do you know what, with the extra training, looking back, I think I was being pulled away from the standard protocol, I hate to say but getting too complicated with my work!! Despite EMDR Europe laying out the expectation of accreditation I still was not really convinced I knew what this actually meant. But there was probably no way I was going to admit that to anyone. Especially when in the NHS trust that I worked in, there was a lot of negativity around EMDR.
I think I sat back and waited for my supervisor to tell me she thought I was ready for accreditation. I think I lacked the confidence to openly pursue it, perhaps never feeling quite good enough. I recall us sitting in her office going through the criteria, I can honestly say I wasn’t 100% sure what the criteria meant. I knew I was doing EMDR with my clients and I knew that it was going well but it had probably been a good few years since I had done my standard training and to be honest, the longer away from training I was, the more likely it was that I had forgotten vital information! So in all honesty, I’m not sure I was doing EMDR as well as I could be.
But at that time I didn’t realise that.
I get cross with myself about how much I was waiting for someone with more experience than me to lay the path down in front of me rather than build the path myself. I was waiting for a guide but expecting the guide to have the map and direct me rather than me peeping at the map and trying to follow it to. I think I lacked the vision and I lacked the direction.
A large problem for me was that I didn’t really appreciate the gaps in my knowledge. I don’t know maybe I give myself a hard time about it but I was devastated on my Consultancy training to realise that I’d been doing some things wrong. Now, I don’t think that any of the wrongness lead to client’s getting worse or terrible outcomes but it did slow down the efficiency and probably the effectiveness of the treatment overall. I think I am definitely a better therapist now and I do believe that clients benefit from that.
I’m now at the point in my life when I set a goal, I want to break it down into the steps that I need to fulfil to achieve that goal. So I set myself a goal to support EMDR therapists on their journey to become Europe Approved Accredited Practitioners. As part of that I have created a workbook which breaks down the competencies and sets questions and exercises to help you know where you are at (https://theemdrsupervisor.com/are-you-ready-for-emdr-accreditation-the-workbook/) This is the little book that I wish I would have had when I was on my journey towards Accreditation