SHAPIRO SERIES #11
2. DUAL AWARENESS
- ONE FOOT IN THE PAST AND ONE IN THE PRESENT
- CAN BOTH PEOPLE IN OUR DYAD ALLOW THE INFORMATION TO FLOW?
- CAN WE ?LET WHATEVER HAPPENS, HAPPEN?
- IF NOT, WHAT DO I NEED TO TEACH SO S/HE CAN LET GO OF DISTURBANCE AND NOT FEEL
AFRAID OF THE FEAR?
- CAN I MAINTAIN THIS DUAL FOCUS BY ALTERING STIMULI, STAYING PRESENT, USING INTERWEAVES?
There's the dual awareness for our clients, one foot in the past and one foot in the present, just noticing it as it emerges. This is where the preparation phase comes in. What do you have to teach them so you know they can stay present with you? Can both people in our dyad (you and the client) allow the information to flow? "Let whatever happens to happen." Are you willing to do it? Can they do it? Are you afraid of the fear, if so are you for this client? We don't want them to be afraid of the fear. If they have fear of the fear, what do I have to teach them so that they handle the fear of the fear in order to process their memories and let go of their irrational disturbance? What techniques are essential for the client to achieve treatment success? The Preparation Phase is more than teaching the client to close down the disturbance in the session. Do they have the coping skills and resources to allow them to close down the disturbance between sessions? If they can do that, stop processing during session and manage their distress in between sessions, you can proceed with EMDR targeting and reprocess their irrational material. So you want to make sure they can stay present and maintain their dual awareness during processing, and know they have the strength to handle whatever happens during reprocessing. Most clients need very little preparation because they are primarily "intact." The long preparation phases are for the more fragmented, dissociated, unstable clients because they have more of a tendency to be afraid of their feelings, emotions and body sensations. Their life experiences may have taught them it is not safe to experience their feelings, emotions or body sensations, so they learned to dissociate. If they were to dissociate during reprocessing, they are no longer capable of maintaining the dual awareness essential for reprocessing. Clients like this require more lengthy preparation to insure they are capable of maintaining the dual awareness essential for reprocessing. But long preparation is not for everyone. It's only for those who need it. Can I maintain the safe focus and use cognitive interweaves to help the client maintain their dual awareness? If so, then a lengthy Preparation Phase isn?t necessary. Again, what do I have to do to help the client maintain their dual awareness that helps mimic spontaneous processing? Ideally, whenever possible my goal is to stay out of the way and allow the client?s Adaptive Information Processing System to do it?s work uninhibited. If I do have to intervene, what is in minimal intervention that will accomplish my goal, alter stimuli (eye movement, taps, tones), changes systems (images, sounds, body sensation) or is a cognitive interweave necessary. Regardless, once made, it is my job to get back out of the way. So it is important for me to stay constantly present and be aware of the client?s processing pattern so I can immediately step in with the appropriate intervention when my client needs becomes stuck.
We need to teach clients techniques that will help them close down disturbance during or at the end of a session, and manage their disturbances in between sessions. There have been so many names for them over the years: stress reduction techniques, self-control techniques, now they?re being called affect-regulation techniques. Whatever you call them, it's to make sure there is an availability of positive networks so they can get to the positive network when they need it to close down the system when necessary. Do I teach them mindfulness, guided imagery, hypnosis, the light stream technique, putting the disturbance into a container, ways of grounding, do what's called "ego-state work," using a healing circle, inner child work, safe place or calm place, or centered place or empowered place. My task is to teach them whatever they need to stay present and to close down the disturbance, and manage their disturbance in between sessions. Do I do resource development, imaginal work, somatic work, breathing work. Know them all, but you don't have to teach your clients all of these. Find one that works for them. It's great to have all the arrows. You don't have to teach them all of this. You just have to know them so they can let whatever happens happen and they can close down disturbance. If you find yourself teaching them everything, doing lengthy Preparation Phase work with most of your clients, are your client truly in need of all this preparation, or are you, because of your own anxiety regarding handling a client?s higher level of disturbance (abreactions), actually teaching your client to be afraid of their fear?
END OF SHAPIRO SERIES #11
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