Transitioning to Virtual EMDR

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surrounding." Kakuzo Okakura

At Wholetherapy, our clients’ health and wellness is our top priority. In order to live in accordance with our values, Denise and I have decided to respond to our surroundings by offering Virtual EMDR therapy. Change is difficult and the world in which we are living is giving us plenty of change to respond to. With this writing, I hope to ease the transition for all of us to continue our EMDR work virtually. We will be using an easy-to-use platform and will help you adjust to this format for therapy. We are passionate about facilitating healing and growth and want to ensure that you are able to continue on your healing journey with us during this challenging time. In a society that is calling for social distancing, know that you are not alone. We are right there with you and will continue to walk alongside you on your path.

Therapeutic Work - From Home

If you have been to our office in Dartmouth, you know that Denise and I love a comfortable, safe, and clean working environment. We both have paid attention to detail in how our offices are decorated and appointed. We love the healing and grounding energy we feel when we walk into our space to start our day. We continue to work at creating a retreat-like feeling for both ourselves and our clients. As human beings, we all need a place where we can disconnect from noise and reconnect with ourselves. As responsible Canadians, we will all be spending more time at home in the coming weeks to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. Creating and claiming your own calm, cozy home sanctuary is so important, especially now. In preparation for therapy at home, please consider the following in creating a safe, secure, and cozy working environment.

  1. Create a sense of safety in your “home office" - Find a room that you can use without being interrupted. Ideally, this space can be somewhere for you to relax and reflect in your day-to-day living. If you have a meditative, journalling, or yoga practice, this might be an appropriate space for you to engage with it during this time. If you share your living space with others, be sure that no one will interrupt you during your practice time alone, or during our therapeutic time together. If it is possible and feels safe to do so, lock your door, or put a reminder note on the outside of the door so that your loved ones don’t interrupt. To best protect your confidentiality, have a set of headphones ready to wear. You may also choose to play some gentle music outside the room you are in for a sound barrier. Knowing you have taken steps to avoid interruption or being overheard by your loved ones will add to your sense of safety during our session. Creating this safe place within your home and carving out time for your healing work is an added exercise in setting healthy boundaries being assertive.

  2. Create a sense of security by ensuring your technology is sound - We will be connecting with you on a confidential, secure, PIPEDA compliant network. We will send you email instructions before your first Virtual EMDR session. On our side of things, we will ensure that our internet connection is robust before we meet. Please take some steps to ensure that your connection is solid. Sometimes, it helps to physically connect to the internet rather than using WiFi. Whatever is available to you to ensure that your connection is strong, please access it. Have your your cell phone or home phone handy because we will be phoning you to continue our session if our video session falters. Ensure that you are connecting with us using a laptop or desktop computer – not a smartphone or tablet. When both therapist and client access our platform on a computer, we are able to access different modalities of Virtual EMDR. The use of smartphones and tablets can actually limit our therapeutic resources.

  3. Create a sense of calmness and coziness within the space - Find a comfortable place to sit. If it’s pleasant for you to have a cozy blanket, find one to have nearby. If you like the scent of burning candles, essential oils, or incense, please feel free to use these. If you like drinking tea or water during our sessions, please make yourself a cup of tea or pour yourself a refreshing glass of water in preparation for our sessions. In creating this sense of calmness and coziness, you’re actually engaging in healthy self-care. By having pleasant and calming stimulation (music to hear outside, a candle to smell, tea to drink, cozy blanket to wrap yourself in and pleasant things to see in your peripheral vision) you’re practicing your grounding skills and helping your body, mind, and nervous system relax and facilitate our therapeutic work together.

We thank you for your openness to and patience with this transition. We look forward, with gratitude, to connecting with you in this new way.

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