Consultation for Psychotherapists
By the very nature of the work we do, for ethical practice, it is important for us to routinely and regularly check in with ourselves. It is important to be intentional and reflective about how we are influenced by our clients, by their life stories, by the world around us.
- Do we feel uncomfortable with a particular client? Is it difficult to listen to the person's story?
- Is it difficult to be in the room with them on some occasions?
- Are there particular clients we are especially drawn to?
An ethical practice invites us to review these questions and notice how we are being influenced; influenced both as professionals and as people. In turn, we need to explore how these influences might be informing how we are working in our offices.
Professional Consultation allows us to continue to integrate what we have learned whether we have learned it in the classroom, in conferences and workshops, by observing our clients, by observing the world or simply through introspection.
Peer Consultation is one option. If other clinicians in your vicinity are available to meet, it can provide stimulating clinical discussion, professional accountability, an opportunity to explore ethical dilemmas, to discuss professional and business issues, and break the isolation that so many of us feel when running an independent practice.
Professional Consultation - What Can You Expect?
With Professional Consultation, a clinician with experience in psychotherapy or EMDR, possibly with a particular expertise (like LGBT issues, trauma, sex therapy, or addictions) provides an environment where you can explore difficulties, ask questions, verbalize insecurities and raise ethical dilemmas. This might occur virtually or in person, individually or in a small group.
You should expect:
What Can you Discuss?
- To be treated as a competent professional with a body of knowledge; as someone who is continuing to grow and integrate an ethical practice
- To be encouraged to explore your experience with your clients and to be encouraged through conversation to try to find your own solutions to the questions you are raising in consultation
- To be provided with pertinent information and feedback about the issues you are discussing
- To explore (and be reminded about) your strengths as a clinician, and your positive qualities as a person that also influence your clients
- Ethical dilemmas
- Clients who make you feel uncomfortable (or clients to whom you feel too attached)
- Clinical issues where you need coaching or information or education (for my areas of specialty go to FAQ)
Once you have completed an EMDR Basic Training program, it may be helpful to consult with an experienced EMDR clinician in order to continue to integrate your learning, to reinforce that you are correctly following the protocols, and to explore new and creative ways to use EMDR.
If you are looking to become EMDRIA Certified, once you have completed Basic Training by an EMDRIA-approved training program you are required to have 20 hours of Consultation by an EMDRIA-Approved Consultant or Consultant-in-Training.
I am EMDRIA Certified in EMDR and an EMDRIA-Approved Consultant in EMDR. For about a decade until 2020, I was involved in training clinicians learning EMDR as a facilitator and consultant in an EMDR Basic Training program.
What Can you Explore in EMDR Consultation?
- How to choose clients for EMDR
- How to assess and prepare clients for EMDR processing
- Setting up the target properly
- When to use Resource Development and Installation (RDI) and how to use it effectively
- Ethical dilemmas
- Dealing with blocked processing
- Using Cognitive Interweaves effectively
- How to effectively manage and integrate transference and countertransference as it arises in the process of EMDR
- "Ending incomplete" and grounding your clients
I believe in the importance of ongoing professional development and I regularly attend workshops and conferences. Most recently I have attended live EMDR webinars with Robin Shapiro on Ego State Interventions with and Paul Miller on working with Psychoses, and on working with moral injury. Over the years I have regularly attended conferences through EMDRIA and EMDR Canada.