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EMDR Group

for Frontline Healthcare Professionals 

& First Responders

 

This is an one-of-a-kind EMDR Therapy Group for people who are actively managing "ongoing traumatic distress" as a part of their day-to-day work. This group follows a specialized group protocol using EMDR therapy to treat ongoing, unprocessed traumatic events. The persistent nature traumatic exposure in the workplace pile up to create a mound of trauma that seemingly doesn't stop growing. This is hard on your nervous system and can ultimately lead to burn out and other negative health consequences including PTSD. 

Read more about EMDR here 

Value of the Group

  • Decrease negative impact of ongoing traumatic distress

  • Increase day-to-day functioning

  • Learn and practice effective coping skills

  • Affordable 

  • Short waitlist with ongoing groups offered

  • Research shows clinically significant results using the EMDR Group Treatment Protocol for Ongoing Traumatic Distress for First Responders

  • Belong to a community of people who are in a similar circumstance

  • Guided by expert psychotherapists 

  • Learn to better regulate your nervous system when you think about or are experiencing a stressful event

  • Change negative thoughts, emotions and physical reactions connected to ongoing stressors

  • Build self-confidence and feel empowered

  • Option to remain anonymous in the online format

  • You don't have to talk and "share" or hear other trauma stories also preserving  confidentiality and privacy and minimization of secondary exposure to trauma 

  • Prevent career burnout and allow for optimal functioning at the workplace

  • Gain hope for the future

 

About the Group

This group is for people who work in a field where ongoing distress is inherent. This puts a commonality and generally community "feel" to the group. Even the facilitators fit into this classification as we work with trauma on a regular basis as well making the process feel more credible and give a feeling that you are "in the right place".

 

Another thing that makes this group different is that this is not a typical "talking" support group. Members face their traumas and heal together without having to "share" and expose members to experiencing vicarious trauma. In this group people will be working on their own individual silent internal process among a group of people while the facilitators give directions and guide you through the process. This technique is called "blind to therapist" meaning you can do EMDR processing without the therapist-or in this case includes other group members knowing your "target". 

 

Sessions will start with a short intro, then a guided meditation to relax you and then we will merge into the "processing" of the ongoing trauma incidents and then close the session with a "containing" exercise. Participants will lastly be given a small period of time to share one positive part of their experience if they so chose. But speaking is optional and not required. This is the format of the group that will be repeated over 4 weeks.

 

Am I in Ongoing Traumatic Distress?

Remember, part of your reaction to traumatic experiences is based on your subjective emotional and psychological assessment of the situation and the "meaning" you assign to it. Also factoring into this is your perception of your ability to cope. This will determine the intensity of your reaction and how it negatively impacts different areas of your life. It also determines what mode you will go into in terms of fight-flight-freeze  or complete shutdown. In real life this can look like severe anxiety including PTSD, to feeling appearing numb and blank, or very depressed and fatigued. 

 

Even if you've never recognized yourself to be in a traumatic environment, or that you are being affected by negative experiences that happen everyday, it wouldn't be a stretch to imply that facing these experiences on an ongoing basis would take a negative toll on your brain and body. Have you just gotten used to it?  So the questions become, "can I go on like this?" , "Is the impact of the stress interfering in my personal or career goals?" "Is the ongoing distress interfering in my relationship with my loved ones?" , "Is it leading me down the path of burnout?". 

Ongoing Distress vs Trauma From the Past

When people  are in ongoing distress they haven't had a "resting period" when the typical integration of memories would naturally attempt to occur. You typically live in fight/flight/freeze/collapse mode and it may impede your ability to reflect, focus have a sense of safety or peace. Traumatic experiences are often unable to be mentally, emotionally and physically integrated by humans without conscious effort such as reprocessing with a therapy of some kind. People will feel traumatized for days, months even years if they do not have a safety resting period to integrate experiences. Overtime the person may not be able to pinpoint trauma targets because there are multiple incidents that have stacked on top of each other and it feels like there is no beginning middle or end. An effort can be made to use EMDR therapy to desensitize and reprocess some incidents and its related psychological channels and it will help to a degree. Trauma from the past that may or may not related to the ongoing nature of your present distressed can be processed and put into long-term memory and feel like its in the past and not play such a present role in your life.  However because of the ongoing nature of your distress it will also be about "managing" your symptoms and increasing coping skills especially so they don't rise to clinical levels.

 

Other Ongoing Traumatic Distress Examples:

Examples of experiences of ongoing traumatic distress (This is not an exhaustive list):

  • Exposure to war as a civilian or military personnel

  • Experiencing or witnessing workplace bullying, or a toxic work environment

  • Experiencing ongoing racism

  • Experiencing ongoing sexism

  • Experiencing/witnessing domestic violence

  • Living in constant physical pain

  • Exposed to or witnessing any form of abuse or neglect on a regular basis

  • Experiencing ongoing homo-phobia

  • Experiencing any kind of ongoing personal discrimination

  • Living with the persistent symptoms of a clinical mental disorder

  • Living with a serious medical diagnosis

  • Being in a caregiving role that is very difficult

  • Experiencing a high conflict divorce

  • Pressures of daily living that add up

  • Raising a child with special needs

  • Living in a conflictual, or dysfunctional environment

  • Consistent loss experiences in general or loss by death

  • Recent exposure to a natural or manmade disaster

  • Intergeneration trauma

  • Issues related to drugs and alcohol other addictions

  • Homelessness

  • Unstable finances-debt

  • MORE

Research

Who Are Frontline Healthcare Professionals & First Responders?

Emergency responders (ERs) who respond to man-made and natural disasters experience daily career exposure to acute stress and trauma. ER professionals include law enforcement, fire sciences, search and rescue, aerial firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS), 911 operators and dispatchers, public safety professionals (PSP), emergency department staff (including doctors and nurses), military personnel, child welfare workers, and even psychotherapists. Or any profession that is in ongoing distress because of the nature of their work.

These individuals experience direct or secondary trauma from the work environment. The practice of caring for the emotional and physical needs of professionals exposed to life and death situations and the most difficult of human suffering takes its toll on those in the trenches.

It's a Brain Processing Glitch Inherent With Trauma in All Humans

EMDR psychotherapy is an integrated approach but primarily is classified as an Adaptive Information Processing Therapy. This theory focuses on how maladaptive information is stored improperly in the brain following a trauma and how this plays out over time, often negatively.  Adaptive Information Processing Therapy aims for you to reassess your understanding of your trauma which was stored maladaptively when you were in a trauma state in the past -then during EMDR therapy you will work to re-assign new meaning, present day while you are in a regulated state-usually much older and wiser- to let your brain know that you are currently not in danger and are able to cope now-thus able to process the stuck trauma memory.

You're Not Flawed or Weak

Do you think your colleagues are flawed and weak because they are having a hard time coping with work stress? Most likely you don't because you know what they go through. You are neither of these things either so get that straight right from the get go. The nature of the work you do and the specialties you have reflects quite the opposite-strength and cognitive sharpness. This is precisely why living in a traumatized state for someone like you is so far away from who you really are. That on its own can be traumatizing as your own identity feels like its been stripped from you.

The AIP model suggests that pathology (clinical issues) develop simply because the trauma information cannot always be naturally processed in the brain because its just too shocking or the persons reaction is too overwhelming and manage the severity of the thoughts, emotions and physical reactions don't seem possible in that fight, flight freeze state.

Just Try it, it Couldn't Hurt

At the very least you will learn some coping skills that you can apply to your life. At the best you will process trauma and start feeling more optimistic about your future and feel more like yourself again. The groups are relatively short (Intake plus 4 weeks 90 min sessions) and if you do end up liking it we are offering them on an ongoing basis and you only have to do the intake once. Research shows a multitude of benefits post-group with long-term positive effects such as a shift in perspective and prioritizing your ongoing mental health needs.

Register for the EMDR GROUP contact:

    Registration Details​

  • Initial consult (Initial screening for fit)

  • Individual Intake

  • Group registration

  • Once registered for the group a pdf  of specific group agenda info & a short assessment form and consent form will be emailed to you for completion.

  • The weekly group will consist of 8-10 participants. We will need a minimum of 8 participants per week to run the group

  • This group may be covered by your private insurance. Inquire with your human resources department. The group does need to be paid for upfront. The therapists credentials will be provided on the receipt.

EMDR Group Schedule:
Zoom Mondays 630-8pm
Session 1: Pre-group info and preparation session
Session 2:
Session 3: 
Session  4:
Session 5: 

Group Facilitators: Tara & Wade

Tara is an RCC, Certified EMDR Therapist and an Approved EMDR Consultant. Tara has received specialized training to facilitate EMDR Group Protocol and has been practicing EMDR for for 8 years.

Why do I want to facilitate this group? Tara worked with the City of Vancouver as a Community Youth Worker in the inner city of Vancouver for over a decade. This was in a BC Housing project for hard to house people. This was a high risk area to live for children and yououth. Managing gang recruitment and sexual exploitation risk, poverty, drug abuse and violence were daily parts of her work.

Overtime the lack of support and understanding from supervisors lead to a medical leave. It was not because of the youth I was still very motivated to help them. I stayed longer than I should have because I doubted that the average Youth Worker wouldnt be able to manage it.

This is why I am motivated to facilitate this group because I want to support the same people who I related to and society needs. The average person doesnt understand what it takes to do work like this day in and day out.

Tara is very passionate about helping people overcome trauma so they can become the person they are meant to be. She is very excited about facilitating this truly unique powerful group.

 

Sarah is a RSW, EMDR Therapist and a Certified Meditation Teacher. Sarah believes in the healing power of EMDR and meditation. She believes in the strength and resiliency of her clients and is honoured to be a part of their healing process.

 

They have paired together and  created very powerful and one of a kind group specifically for Kindred Counselling clients who are in EMDR therapy. This group will increase therapeutic progress by decreasing the negative impacts of ongoing distress and help you integrate EMDR resourcing into your daily life. 

Group Rationale

A lot of times day-to-day stressors can be overwhelming and keep you from being able to do the deeper therapeutic work you are coming to individual therapy to do! The sense of being in "fight, flight, freeze-collapse" state will delay or prevent you from being able to reflect on and process past traumas in individual EMDR therapy.

Research: the theory behind EMDR for ongoing traumatic distress acknowledges the "ongoing/persistent" nature of stressors does not allow a person to have a "resting" period in which one can reflect, process and resolve the issues associated to it.

Refund Policy​

  • Full refund from group "5 session in-class bundle" purchase if cancelled 48 hours before the first of 5 classes
  • Full refund of class fee if there are not enough participants to run the group (6 participant minimum)
  • Half refund if "5-session in-class bundle" is cancelled after 

  • No refund or pro-rating following the second session of "5 session in-person bundle"

  • No refunds, or pro-rating for missed individually purchased drop-in group sessions for any reason passed the 48hour cancellation cut off

Online EMDR Group Therapy

For Healthcare Workers & First Responders 

EMDR therapy now appears to be widely accepted by the ER community
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