EMDR Therapy for Perinatal Clients

Can you do EMDR with pregnant clients?

I am asked this frequently by consultees and often hear mixed information in this community and at trainings.

I am thrilled to be offering this full day, advanced training in person on May 6th, 2024 (which will be available on demand after that). I'm thankful to HAP (Trauma Recovery EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs) for asking me to present on this topic, and supporting this work.

Whether or not EMDR clinicians prefer to work with pregnant and postpartum clients, they may have a pregnant client at some point on their caseload. Without knowing if it’s safe to proceed with standardized EMDR therapy with their client, some clinicians may default to halting treatment or restrict their approach to using only “resourcing” skills. Even therapists who specialize in perinatal mental health may find themselves not knowing how to proceed at times with various clients, with a multitude of clinical choices using EMDR therapy. Understanding how to work with perinatal clients can be important for the benefits of early intervention, supporting secure attachment, decreasing parental distress, and decreasing fears about upcoming births.

This training will explore EMDR therapy from a perinatal mental health and attachment lens.  Attendees will be oriented to various nuances of working with perinatal clients, including treating Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, reproductive trauma and loss. EMDR treatment considerations will be discussed throughout all 8 phases of the standardized model.

From history taking, readiness assessment, case conceptualization, treatment planning, to target identification and beyond, a perinatal mental health lens will be used. Additional clinical considerations will be explored when additional protocols might be warranted. This comprehensive training will equip attendees to hone their craft when working with their own pregnant and postpartum clients.

EMDR clinicians, I hope that you join us, and share with your colleagues!