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An EMDR therapist (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing – a simple method of reducing trauma,

03 Jan
An EMDR therapist (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing – a simple method of reducing trauma, among other things) asks if combining bilateral tapping with listening to guided imagery might intensify the positive impact of each ...
I am an EMDR therapist (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - a method of bilateral stimulation, either moving the eyes back and forth from side to side, or tapping on alternate sides of the body or having buzzers buzz alternate hands etc, while focusing on a traumatic image.. for reasons that are not entirely clear, this can reduce or expunge the emotional charge that comes with the image...). I am thinking that using tapping during guided imagery would intensify the positive effect. Do you know of any research or clinical experiences that would support this idea? What’s your opinion?
Ellen



Dear Ellen,
Ha! Once more, great minds have independently come up with the same inventive solution at the same time!

I first heard about this inspired combination from a social worker attending one of my workshops 2 or 3 years ago, whose main job was helping firefighters reduce their stress from 9/11. She had used guided imagery for years, and had also worked with the EMDR bilateral tapping for years. She swears that by combining these two methods, she managed to increase the efficacy of both, resulting in a perfect intervention for her macho clientele - fast, effective and not too touchy-feely.

I since have heard about this from several other people at various workshops I’ve given around the country, none of whom have spoken to each other, but who just spontaneously figured, "how can putting these two things together be bad?". All report the same thing - it’s a dynamite combination for healing.

So congrats on your discovery and please do use it. And if you’ve got the time, write in and let us know your outcomes!

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award