Saturday 28 June
Within the Sheffield EMDR and Depression Investigation, three therapists (all trained in EMDR to at least level 3) were employed to deliver standard protocol EMDR to primary care clients with long term depression. Therapists are of key importance when researching novel psychological treatments and interventions but their views of the research process are seldom heard. Being an EMDR therapist within a research study is quite different to delivering therapy in clinical settings. Clients are chosen by the research team, so you may have little or no information about that client before you first meet them, as a research screening interview covers different ground to a clinical one. You are expected to adhere to the protocol, provided it is ethically acceptable, even if your professional opinion is that a different treatment is more appropriate for this client.
In this study specifically, despite the fact that the clients came from primary care they were, in general, extremely complex. For many clients the reported causes of their depression were much more subtle than one would expect with post-traumatic stress disorder and often it was difficult to uncover key memories to target. Phase two of the protocol, stabilization and preparation, became one of the main challenges for the clinic. Many of the standard techniques used with PTSD clients were not as effective in this client group. In spite of these difficulties the therapists report that the project was an enjoyable one and a valuable learning experience.
Lynne Ryan is a qualified social worker, counsellor & EMDR therapist, having trained in EMDR in 2009. She subsequently undertook the EMDR with children training.
She currently uses EMDR in her work with both adults and children in a variety of settings, including: a national children's charity; private counselling practice; an adoption support agency and in an NHS focused depression team