Clients’ experience of difficulties during EMDR therapy and how they cope with them
Clients’ internal resources and their capability to use them for growth is the emphasis of EMDR therapy (Oren & Solomon, 2012). The client’s contribution is the most crucial ingredient in creating therapeutic change (Bohart, 2000; Bohart & Wade, 2013) and this role of the client is the most obvious while they are dealing with difficulties (Henretty, Levitt, & Mathews, 2008; Williams & Levitt, 2007). Qualitative interviews were conducted with seven clients from Yangon, Myanmar who completed EMDR therapy provided by two EMDR therapists in training. Through the lens of the Resource-Congruence Model of Coping, this study explores how clients cope with their internal experience of difficulties during the therapy process and the impact of culture on the same. The most frequently reported difficulties clients encountered are self-disclosure and re-experiencing the negative events during processing. The clients used both active strategies such as expressing the problem to the therapist and pushing themselves to continue the process and passive ones such as postponement and lying to therapist about the progress. The culture plays an important role in the clients’ experience of difficulties and their coping. Reported cultural norms are related to the need to perceive oneself as a strong person, accomplish what one started, be considerate of others and leave the past behind. If not identified and managed effectively in therapy, these beliefs can function as ‘’blocking beliefs’’ that impede treatment effectiveness. The findings shed light on ways to prevent clients’ drop-out, improve therapy effectiveness for novice clinicians and for potential cultural adaptation of EMDR therapy.
Original Work Citation
Pe, O. W., Soe, K. Y., & Deepti, R. (2020, January). Clients’ experience of difficulties during EMDR therapy and how they cope with them. Poster presented at the 4th EMDR Asia International Conference, Bangkok, Thailand
“Clients’ experience of difficulties during EMDR therapy and how they cope with them,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 22, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26295.