View Full Version : SUDS question

February 6th, 2007, 11:13 AM
One question I get a lot from clients, when I am inquiring into SUDS level, is this: "How disturbing is it now, or how disturbing was it then?"
I know that technically the answer is "now," but my sense is that what that means to a lot of clients is "Well, I don't really think about it much anymore, so it's not at all disturbing to me now. But, I mean, if I had to think about it...yeah, it's really disturbing."
Sometimes I have had clients tell me that they "never think about that anymore, and it's not at all disturbing," but later I realize that at the level of the body and the unconscious the memory is still quite charged.
I usually answer "when you imagine yourself back in that situation right now."
I want some feedback on the best way to handle this.

Sandra Paulsen
February 6th, 2007, 01:34 PM
Good question. When we ask for SUDS level, it is always because we want to know how disturbing it is right now, in this moment. So clients sometimes require instruction in this because they think you mean generally speaking, or historically, or at the time.

So if one simply says, 0 to 10, how disturbing is it in THIS moment they will soon get it.

Then the only complication is that people have it shut down, put away, compartmentalized, dissociated sometimes, so the SUD typically is higher in the middle of an EMDR than it is at the beginning, unless their "neuro net was lit up" fully at the beginning of the EMDR. In the latter case it starts up high and just goes gradually down over the EMDR session typically.