Skip to main content
The EMDR Podcast

The EMDR Podcast

By Thomas Zimmerman
Helping therapists work more effectively with complex trauma.
Where to listen
Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Understanding "Deep Breathing Doesn’t Work for Me" and Other Problems of Resourcing with Complex Trauma
“Deep Breathing Doesn’t Work for Me” Understanding that Pervasively Traumatized Nervous Systems are Different than Non-Traumatized Nervous Systems Don’t Tell Clients What they Will or Should Feel in Resourcing, Think of it as an Opportunity to Get Helpful Information Car with a Cinder Block on the Gas Petal Metaphor Pairing Body Scan and Resources The Importance of Asking Permission and How Long Resource will Last Modeling a Single Breath and Using that Information Select a Breath that May be More Tolerable With Some Clients, the Goal is to Find a Resource that Isn’t Actively Triggering Using Body Scans without Much of an Agenda Understanding What a Resource “Working” Looks Like… If it Calms You, It May Only Calm You for a Moment Noticing the Body is Also a Crucial Phase Two Resource Body Scanning is a Good Strategy to Promote Embodiment, So Clients Can be Imbodied Enough to Notice Homework: Practice Resources During the Times of the Day When Anxiety Isn’t Going Straight Up, Noticing the Layer Below is a Good Way to Lower Baseline Anxiety in the Short Term and Prepare for Reprocessing
May 29, 2021
When Good Resources Go Bad
Calm Place Why We Don’t Encourage Other People in Calm/Safe Place When Calm Place Without Someone Specific is Triggering The Problems of Trying to “Borrow Good Memories from a Bad Developmental Era” Calm Place Will Go Bad… And When It Does… Some Completely Expected Reasons Why Resourcing May Go Bad Resources Going Bad Are Rarely the Therapist “Fault” Container as a Powerful Resource for Working with Complex Trauma The Importance of Visualizing or Drawing from Somatic Memory Drive Through Bank Teller as Helpful and Accessible Container Building the Container Larger and Stronger than Needed Photoshop Metaphor for Container Be Careful Testing the Container with Real Trauma Containered in the Limbic Brain Immediately After You Create It
May 26, 2021
Understanding the AIP Model: The Whale Metaphor and the Mount Everest Metaphor
The AIP Model · The Difficult Stuff Connects to Right Now/Existing Adaptive Information · Enough Adaptive Information Must Be Present · You Can’t Easily Connect Maladaptive Information to Maladaptive Information · What’s Complex About Complex Trauma Related to the AIP Model? o A Different Way of Thinking About Complex Trauma o Mountain Ranges of Adaptive Information vs Mountain Ranges of Maladaptive Information The Mount Everest Metaphor · You Cannot Metabolize a Trauma the Size of Mount Everest into Adaptive Information the Size of a Walnut—You Can’t · Where to Start with Complex Trauma? o Where Not to Start o Types of Targets that Make Good Early Targets with Complex Trauma The Whale Metaphor · What are the Whales? · What is the Size of the Client’s Boat? · You Cannot Land a Whale into a Canoe · Helping the Client Build a Bigger Boat · What Clients Learn when Working with “Smaller” Wounds First o Test the Gear o Learn How to Notice Effectively o They Learn that the Can Heal o Healing Builds Adaptive Information/Makes the Boat Bigger · If the Client in a Canoe Connects to a Whale we Need a Strong Pair of Scissors to Safely Disconnect
May 08, 2021
Blocking Beliefs
The relationship between negative cognitions and blocking beliefs.
May 08, 2021
Developing and Using Attachment Figures in Attachment Wounding
Problems Communicating Between/Connecting Parts Across the Lifespan The AIP Model and Attachment Wounding Judgements of the Child State in the “Adaptive Self” When the Right Now Selves Isn’t Healthy Enough The Whale Metaphor and Attachment Wounding Attachment Wounds “Sound” Small, but they are Existentially Awful Existential Loneliness Attachment Figures are for the Child State in the Memory Attachment Resources as a Very Powerful Pair of Scissors to Disconnect from the Whale Creating an Attachment Resource Client Obstacles to Creating an Attachment Resource Putting the Attachment Figure in the Neighborhood Attachment Figures are Not Identical to Actual People in Childhood Borrowing Qualities Keeping Difficult Stuff Out Deciding on a Relational Slot Adding Qualities to the Attachment Figures: Food, Presence, Nurture, Reading, Attending, Protection, Guidance Expect that Grief May Appear When You Imagine Getting What Didn’t Happen Using the Somatic Memory of Rocking One of Your Own Children or Grandchildren Leveraging the Capacity to Imagine Naming the Attachment Figure Avoiding Relational Slots that are the Same Slot as an Abuser How to Use an Attachment Resource Between Sessions This is a Resource for Living, Not Just in Session Assessing for Attachment Wounding When You Can and Can’t Borrow Qualities from a Deceased Person
April 26, 2021
Dip Your Toe In: Phase One
Dip Your Toe In: Phase One Be Careful What You Ask Safer Ways to Work with Lava Assess for Adaptive Information Helpful Assessments, Helpful Questions
April 25, 2021
Intro to The "Dip Your Toe In" Metaphor
Dip Your Toe In Metaphor Understanding Traumatized Nervous Systems Bodies Can be Triggering Inside Can be Triggering Noticing Can be Triggering Calming or Slowing Down Can be Triggering Paying Attention to the Body Before an Audience Can be Triggering Performance Anxiety Related to All of This Can be Triggering Resistance Not a Useful Concept Dip Your Toe In Provides Needed Information Beware Agendas Beware Informing Clients What the Should Feel or What Mindfulness Will Do Therapist Agendas: Back to How we Teach Mindfulness, and the Cinderblock on the Gas Pedal Many Clients with Complex Trauma Believe that they have Failed Trauma (and are about to Fail EMDR Therapy) Aspirin for a Headache Metaphor
April 25, 2021
Overheating on the Memory Channel in Complex Trauma
Goal is to Move a Memory Leveraging Generalization The Difference Between Feeder and Adjacent Memories Rethinking Abreactions as Events that Take Offline the Client’s Capacity to Notice A Bit about Dissociation When a Whole “Heard” of Memories Come We Have an Important Navigational Role to Play Existential Loneliness as Abreaction The Dive Metaphor
April 20, 2021
Understanding Why SUDs May Not Be Decreasing
Potential blocks and problems when working with complex trauma and EMDR.
April 20, 2021
A Simple EMDR Checklist for Moving from Phase Two to Three
Does the Client have a Brake? Is the Client in His Body Enough to Notice? Does the Client use Benzos or Marijuana? Does the Client have the Capacity to Feel Worse Today?
April 20, 2021
Understanding Some Reasons Why Clients Need Attachment Figure Resources
In EMDR Therapy, You Cannot Connect a Lie to a Lie  Attachment Resources as a Powerful Set of Scissors that Let you Safely Disconnect from “Whales” of Memory  Psychoeducation and Modeling Related to Healthy Attachment
April 20, 2021
Potential Blocks to Reprocessing: Trying to Figure Out the Trauma
Reorienting Clients who Are Too Active on the Thought Channel Too Soon Notice What Stinks Using Perspective Changes or Channel Changes “When Healing Comes, It Will Come to You” What Reprocessing Looks Like
April 20, 2021
Introducing Mindfulness/Deep Breathing Using the “Dip Your Toe In” Approach
The Dip Your Toe In Metaphor Strategies for Approaching a Traumatized Nervous System Carefully and Respectfully The Lens Metaphor The Inside and Noticing Can be Triggering in a Traumatized Nervous System Using Externalized Breathing as a Bridge Technique to Approaching the Body More Safely
April 20, 2021
Clients “Not Ready” vs Clients “Needing Preparation” for Reprocessing
Identifying Specific Deficits and Working Every Session to Address those Deficits What a Resource Means Accessing and Strengthening Positive Information
April 20, 2021
Phases 1-4 Overview: Complex Trauma Modifications
Additional Questions to Consider in Phase One, Including Assessing for Complex Trauma Conducting a Trauma Sensitive Phase One that Avoids a Detailed or Chronological Trauma Timeline Starting the Process of Developing Attachment Resources for Attachment Wounding Metaphor: Difference Between Walking Across Ohio and Riding in Bus Across Ohio Metaphor: Don’t Tackle Mount Everest First with Clients With Complex Trauma Events Have a Beginning, Middle, and End… Attachment Wounds are About Everything Using the Videotape Approach with Complex Trauma
April 20, 2021
Understanding and Normalizing Dissociation in EMDR Therapy
Forms of dissociation relevant to EMDR Therapy.
April 20, 2021
Explaining Trauma Memories: What a “Processed Memory” Looks Like in EMDR Therapy
Topics Covered: The Goal is to Move a Single Memory; Differences between Normal and Traumatic Memories
April 20, 2021
Normalizing Therapist Anxiety in Working with Complex Trauma Using EMDR Therapy
Topics: The Impulse to Want to Avoid Causing Harm; Working with Trauma is Like Working with Lava; Normalizing Mistakes and Missteps; The Real Risks of Not Doing Trauma Work with Clients; We are the Only Professionals on the Planet that Can Do This… Whose Job it is to Do This; You Learn to Do This by Doing This; The Really Good News About EMDR Therapy: It Breaks in a Very Limited Number of Places
April 20, 2021
Introduction to This Podcast and to Thomas Zimmerman, Ms.Ed., LPCC
Introduction and goals of this podcast focusing on working with complex trauma using EMDR Therapy.
April 20, 2021