EMDR: Immediate emergency treatment for manmade and natural disasters


EMDR is a well-established therapy for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can be reduced or prevented if treated during the first month after a trauma when a person displays Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). Although usually used later, EMDR has also been used effectively in the immediate period following trauma. Victims of immediate trauma often exhibit “silent terror” or extreme stress. The Emergency Response Procedure is an adaptation of the Standard EMDR Protocol which was developed to deal with victims of natural and manmade disaster within hours of exposure to trauma. Participants in this workshop will learn the Emergency Response Procedure and its application to treating clients immediately after a trauma. Case examples will be presented to illustrate the successful treatment of Acute Stress Disorder with survivors of the Tsunami in Thailand and with victims of terror and war. Learning Objectives: • Within the overall context of the principles of Psychological First Aid, to learn how to respond to clients in the immediate aftermath of trauma utilizing ERP • To apply ERP in the event of strong abreaction during the initial phase of History-taking, prior to the Preparation Phase of EMDR or at other time of treatment when patients exhibit strong emotional reactions • To learn when and how to use ERP for patients exhibiting “silent terror” or extreme stress during initial treatment by first responders at the scene of an accident or in an ambulance en route to medical facilities • To understand how to utilize the Recent Events Protocol in the face of ongoing danger • To understand EMDR methods that may be used in emergency settings where multiple patients need rapid treatment






Gary Quinn

Original Work Citation

Quinn, G. (2013, May). EMDR: Immediate emergency treatment for manmade and natural disasters. Presentation at the EMDR Canada Annual Conference, Banff, AB



“EMDR: Immediate emergency treatment for manmade and natural disasters,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 22, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/21951.

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