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My EMDR Training Experience

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

by Lindsay Snoke, LSW

At the beginning of the month, I had an opportunity of a lifetime. I was sent to Charleston, South Carolina to attend an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) training. EMDR is a type of therapy that is usually used for trauma-related issues but can also be used for a number of other disorders. Becoming EMDR trained was a big deal for me due to my love of working with clients who have a history of trauma. Also, who would turn down a trip to Charleston?

About a week before our trip started, the nerves started to sink in. I was attending an intense training, riding in a plane for the first time, and, apparently, there was a hurricane headed for South Carolina. The uncertainty that me and my fellow trainees (and trainers) were facing was anxiety inducing. No one knew what to expect due to weather reports changing by the hour.

So, there I was trying to retain 50 hours of training while all of the weather alerts on my phone were going off. On the second day of training, we heard about the horrifying destruction in Florida and the lives that were lost. We were devastated by this news and now on edge about what to do next. None of us had planned to stay where the training was being held, so we all went downstairs collectively to book our rooms due to the start of the flooding in the streets. Trapped with little clothing, food, and toiletries, we were all trying to utilize self-care and be there for each other during the training.

As the training continued, our trainers were incredibly understanding, adaptable, and helpful. I cannot say enough for how well they handled the stressful situation. As far as me and my trainees, the fear of the hurricane bonded all of us together. During our training we had to practice EMDR on one another. The room was full of folks processing the hurricane and other trauma that they had experienced. Through tears, laughs, and exhaustion, we were forever changed.

By the fourth day, the hurricane was long gone and all that was left was damage on some buildings and tree branches everywhere. We were so thankful that we were safe, and we carried on with our training as normal (and we could finally change our clothes, yay!).

There really is nothing in my life that compares to this experience. I was so thankful for the training and what I overcame. I went through this intense training during a hurricane and made some new friendships that will last a lifetime. I can say that our bond by the end was strong, and we came out as better people, and better clinicians.

Now for the moment you have been waiting for, my little moral. What I learned throughout the experience is this; there will always be something to fear. Sometimes the fears you have will come true. Sometimes we cannot predict things that will happen

or keep them from happening. I am so glad I did not let the fear and uncertainty keep me from going to Charleston. So, whatever hesitation you are having from trying something new, or doing something you always wanted to do, this is your sign to do it. You will beat the hurricane.


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