Interview: Why Did You Become an EMDR Therapist?
Why Did You Become an EMDR Therapist?
San Diego Trauma Therapy, February 2008
Gordon Meredith, MA, MSS, LMFT
EMDR transforms: What do you find satisfying about being a therapist?
GM: I find it tremendously rewarding when clients come to experience themselves as valuable, confident, and capable. It is extremely gratifying to see people shed patterns of behavior and ways of thinking and to move out of long standing depression, anxiety or self-sabotaging activity. Additionally, I know that being of service to others expands my capacity for generosity and compassion.
EMDR transforms: How do you use EMDR in your practice?
GM: In my work I see primarily adults, adolescent males, couples, and families. Many of the people I see have not previously known about EMDR. It is easy to introduce people to EMDR. People can experience how EMDR accelerates the letting go of disturbing thoughts and feelings as well as positively reinforcing new healthier beliefs and feelings. This clearly supports them in productive actions that lead them toward their goals and dreams. I see this regularly with my clients and this has inspired me to use EMDR more frequently and has encouraged me to take several advanced EMDR courses. I work with many couples and I have found that in using EMDR, each partner can identify and more easily let go of some of the "baggage" that is currently interfering with their loving relationship.
EMDR transforms: How has EMDR improved your clients' progress?
GM: It seems to build confidence more quickly. People discover that they are overcoming the issues that bring them to therapy. And for those with significant abuses or trauma in their backgrounds, EMDR helps people separate what happened in the past from what is happening now, to understand the influence of the past, and to experience the connection between their resilience and their new solutions to old problems.
EMDR transforms: What do you most enjoy about using EMDR in your practice?
GM: EMDR lends itself to many creative uses. With some clients, I combine it with music and imagery. I especially appreciate how it accentuates each person's innate tendency toward healing.
EMDR transforms: In addition to training in EMDR, what other advanced training do you have?
GM: I have extensive post-graduate training in Gestalt Therapy, Spiritual Psychology and Group Psychotherapy.
EMDR transforms: What are some of your professional accomplishments?
GM: In the early 1980's I wrote a grant for a mental health treatment program for adults with chronic illness that still exists today. I opened my private psychotherapy practice in 1983 in Solana Beach. After several years of working in treatment programs for Eating Disorders, Chemical Dependency, Community Mental Health, Family Violence, and Anger Management, I went into full time private practice in 1988.
In 1992 I was invited to assist in creating a graduate program for students seeking careers in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Santa Monica's Center for the Study and Practice of Spiritual Psychology. This is my fourteenth year of teaching in this innovative and experiential program. The courses that I have taught include, Group Psychotherapy, Marriage and Family Therapy and Supervised Practicum.
EMDR transforms: What do you suppose your clients would say about their experience of EMDR?
GM: At the end of a session clients are often surprised when what was previously so upsetting is no longer so upsetting. They can still recall the details of the event but their feelings about that event are merely neutral, not good or bad. "It was just something that happened" is a response I frequently hear.