Resolving early memories reduces the level of distress associated with later memories
EMDR practitioners must make clinical judgments about which memories to target in what order, taking into account the particular client’s ability to tolerate a potentially challenging trauma-focused session. This paper presents the results of a study in which x participants in trauma training (both EMDR and Progressive Counting, an exposure variant) first provided a SUDS rating on an identified distressing memory, then “floated back” and worked on an earlier memory, and finally provided another SUDS rating on the initial (not worked-on) target. The final SUDS rating was consistently lower, often substantially so, indicating that work on earlier related memories is likely to reduce the distress associated with a later memory. When the client’s affect tolerance is a potentially limiting factor in proceeding with EMDR, the present findings support the strategy of first working through earlier related memories.
Original Work Citation
Greenwald, R. (2008, June). Resolving early memories reduces the level of distress associated with later memories. Presentation at the 9th EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England
“Resolving early memories reduces the level of distress associated with later memories,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 10, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18230.