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Unread January 24th, 2007, 03:36 PM
emdrhypno emdrhypno is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Posts: 30
Default How to skillfully work with "overeager" clients?

I am running into a fairly recurrent challenge in my practice: Clients who somehow have the impression that they can just come in for a session or two of EMDR, I'll do something magical to them, and they'll be done. These clients tend to be fairly unstable people (people who could really benefit from some trauma work). Invariably, these clients get frustrated with the (minimum) three or four sessions of rapport building,psycho-ed, screening for dissociative tendencies,history-taking&trauma ranking, safe-place&containment building, and Resource development. Often there's a subtle or not so subtle accusation that I'm stringing them along to make money---that I could just "fix" them in a session or two, but that I want to squeeze them for more sessions, and hence, more money.
Of course, this is not the case.
I am simply doing my best to be an effective and ethical therapist, and to follow the guidelines I've been very clearly taught.
Apparently, according to some of my clients, there are therapists out there willing to give them the speedy treatment they want. There are, it seems, a lot of practitioners out there saying they do EMDR, but scrapping all protocol except for the BLS aspect. I tell clients that I am doing what EMDR governing bodies require me to do, that history taking and the trust built between us actually constitute a very important and potentially healing part of treatment, and that if they want to go to a therapist that will skip those steps, that is their choice. I also add that those therapists, if they are giving them EMDR on the first session, are practicing questionable ethics in my opinion.
I have lost a few clients by setting this boundary, though I have done it very gently, respectfully, and professionally.
I'm fairly new to the field and am wondering...is this just par for the course? Or is there something I can do to salvage these clients, reframe the situation for them, and get to the point where we get to do some real work before they bail?
It's happened three times in the last three months!!
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