The EMDR drawing protocol for adults
At certain points in my clinical practice, after I began using EMDR consistently, I would have clients come in who could not describe a specific scene or image for us to use as the target, yet, they would usually have a clear negative cognition that they would give spontaneously ("I'm trash"). I am a very visual and artistic person and I used drawings in my psychodrama practice. As a result, when I began to use EMDR, it was a natural evolution for me to use drawings. I began to ask my adult clients to draw a picture that would illustrate the negative cognition. Sometimes, they would have feelings about themselves or self-perceptions that would also turn into drawings, and from these drawings, the Standard EMDR Protocol ensued. I usually ask for drawings when people come in with generalities and we need to pin down a specific target to work on. The Drawing Protocol for Adults can be helpful in narrowing down a target, using a metaphor or picture—which has a strong generalizable effect—instead of a concrete scene from the past. When using this protocol, it is usually important to assure clients that most people cannot draw better than a 6-year-old and that this is not an evaluation of artistic talent.
Original Work Citation
Carvalho, E. R. (2009). The EMDR drawing protocol for adults. In M. Luber (Ed.), Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) scripted protocols: Basics and special situations (pp. 107-110). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co
“The EMDR drawing protocol for adults,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 24, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19088.