Recommendations and illustrations for combining hypnosis and EMDR in the treatment of psychological trauma
Three experienced therapists, trained in hypnosis and EMDR, distilled some tentative hypotheses about the use of hypnosis in EMDR from fifteen cases, two presented here. When a therapist uses hypnosis with EMDR, it seems that the client is having difficulty or the therapist anticipates that the client will have difficulty managing the experiences processed with EMDR. Hypnosis initiated either during the introduction to EMDR or within a therapy session prior to the initiation of EMDR seems to have served two functions. The first function is to activate inner work that prepares the client to use EMDR successfully, and the second function is to facilitate overtly the processing of the traumatic experience. Clients might have two kinds of difficulties in managing affect or distress: (1) they may have a long-standing, irrational and strongly held belief that interferes with managing affect or distress, and (2) they may never have developed the capacity to tolerate intense affect, distress or pain. Should a therapist use hypnosis during the closing down phase of a session without preparing the client with hypnosis during the introduction to EMDR, the therapist should seriously reconsider the pace and focus of EMDR and the client's resources to manage affect and distress.
Original Work Citation
Beere, D. B., Simon, M. J., & Welch, K. (2000, January-April). Recommendations and illustrations for combining hypnosis and EMDR in the treatment of psychological trauma. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 43(3-4), 217-231. doi:10.1080/00029157.2001.10404278
“Recommendations and illustrations for combining hypnosis and EMDR in the treatment of psychological trauma,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed March 4, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/16287.