Did you finish your EMDR training and think, right I’m good to go, let’s get putting this knowledge into practice. Or maybe you completed yet still felt confused about certain parts of the model. There’s a lot to learn in a short amount of time! Maybe it actually felt simple yet something stopped you continuing with the model. Maybe it’s the complex clients that we find ourselves working with! Looking back on my EMDR journey I wish I would have taken more time to really embed the basic training. Read on to find out why.
Learning something new takes time to connect.
It can seem that once you have completed your standard training that you are done. You’ve got your certificates now, you can call yourself an EMDR Therapist, you are good to go. Maybe for some people this is great. I do actually think that the people that come off the training and start using their skills straight away are more likely to continue on their EMDR journey. However, it takes time to embed the knowledge and develop a deep understanding of the standard protocol.
Whilst there are only 8 phases to the standard treatment protocol, there is a lot to learn around these phases. We want the structure of the framework but then also the depth of the knowledge within that. I’m sure we’ve all been there with our clients when we are shuffling our notes, trying to recall where we are on the protocol and what we should be saying next. There is a lot that easily slips out of our mind, especially when we are in a session with clients. Or is that just me?
It’s normal to forget after a training session.
I was completely shocked to read evidence that suggests a high amount of learning is simply lost in the days after attending training. Not just EMDR training but any type of training, Use it or you lose it. The concept of the forgetting curve was originated by Ebbinghaus (way back in the 1880s!). Suggesting that people will tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge unless they actively review the learned material. It was also quite comforting to know about this. I just thought it was me, that I was a slow learner 😂. Even now when I do any new learning I read and reread over the notes and try and make more sense of it all. I practice what I am learning. There is way more to learning then we actually think!!
But you know this isn’t a bad thing that we forget, our brain needs to filter out somethings so it has the capacity to function well. Maybe sometimes it makes mistakes and loses the information that we actually want it to keep!! Last week I was watching Top of The Pops from 1990, (a UK TV music show counting down the top selling singles of the week). There were so many songs that I could recall the lyrics too, I wonder why my brain held on to that but not how I should start an EMDR session when a memory was left incomplete!!
Revisiting can help to build on the Foundations
When most of us complete our standard EMDR training we may not have had much client experience. What I have learnt time and time again is the more I practice and use something the better I get at it. I also find myself having more questions and sometimes flicking through Shapiro’s book was not giving me the answer I needed. Revisiting the standard protocol and the nuances around this can help you to develop a more meaningful understanding of EMDR. This can help to keep motivation and momentum going and will lead to you continuing with your EMDR journey.
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