By Tammy McCoy-Arballo, Psy. D.
Inside Police Psychology, January 26, 2016
No, it is not hypnosis.
That is how the conversation usually starts when I talk to my clients about treating their trauma with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Doc, if we do this EMDR, you are not going to train me to bark at cars, are you?
Nope. I’ll have you barking at cats, I joke.
I just want to get past it, Doc. I don’t want it taking over my life. I’ll try anything.
My clients, the majority of whom are police officers and fire fighters, usually come to see me when they are at their wits end. They are anxious or depressed; they can’t sleep, or they can’t shake the intrusive thoughts following a critical incident. They do not ask many questions about EMDR when I introduce the topic. They only have one concern: They want to get better. Most of my clients report a decrease in symptoms after their first EMDR session.