Upcoming Seminars

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Course Information

Queer Affirmative EMDR

All mental health clinicians work with trauma as trauma is implicated in every mental health disorder. Thus, understanding The Adaptive Information Processing Model (AIP)- what trauma is, how trauma occurs and symptoms and behaviors of when it does are essential to providing thorough assessments, accurate treatment planning and appropriate therapeutic interventions. This workshop will not only focus on these aspects, but we will take a closer look at the effects of trauma on the LGBTQ+ community. During EMDR phase I it is important to ask about gender, client’s terminology, experiences with and relationship to being in the LGBTQ+ community. In phase 2 we can ask about good experiences and positive attributes a client has gained from being in the community and install them as resources. In phases 3-8 we concentrate on relationship attunement, cultural inclusion (examples- cultural oriented options on the NC/PC list and guiding clients to not say things out loud if they don’t want to), We will touch on the chemistry of the brain and body along with the Polyvagal Theory and memory reconsolidation as it relates to EMDR and explaining EMDR to clients.


Kriss Jarecki, LCSW-R and William J. Koehler, PhD, LCSW

Workshop Summary

  1. Understanding the Adaptive Information Processing Model for EMDR (AIP) as it relates to the Queer community. 
  2. Discover the terminology of sexual orientation gender identity/expression- Asking questions and discovering in phase 1 and leading to resourcing in phase 2
  3. Making phases 3-8 queer effective
  4. Bring at least 3 resource exercises into your practice that have a focus on the queer community
  5. Normalize symptoms and be able to articulate to clients how EMDR can help (how it works)- Recognize at least 2 mechanisms of effect- hypothesis for how EMDR works.


9:00- 10:30 am - Trauma 101- Defining trauma. How we digest experiences in the brain, how aspects can get stuck and symptoms of when they do. LGBTQ+ community impact of trauma and statistics- AIP

10:30 - 10:45 am - Break

10:45 - 11:45 am - EMDR Phase 1 - LGB & Gender Expansive (GE) 101. Terminology of sexual orientation. Terminology of gender identity. Unique experiences of trauma in the LGBTQ+ community. Phase 2 – discovering and installing positive experiences and attributes from being in the community.

11:45 am - 12:30 pm - Lunch

12:30 - 2:00 pm - The brain on trauma- Chemical reactions throughout the brain and body as it experiences an event. EMDR’s use of Polyvagal Theory and Memory Reconsolidation to bring healing. Practice several exercises that calm the VNS and heal the Hippocampus.

2:00 - 2:15 pm - Break

2:15 - 3:30 pm - Sexual and gender identity in adolescents. GLSEN National survey results. Stages to understand identity development. Implications for the therapeutic relationship and how to work with LGBTQ+ youth / clients during EMDR phases 3-8

3:30 - 3:45 pm - Break

3:45 - 5:00 pm - Effective treatment modalities along with EMDR and EMDR’s and mechanisms of effect. Questions  


Learning Objectives

  • Describe how we digest and process experiences AIP
  • List at least 5 factors that can contribute to an event being experienced as traumatic for an LGBTQ+ person    
  • Discover the terminology of sexual orientation gender identity/expression
  • Identify at least 3 ways to make phases 3-8 accessible to folks in the queer community
  • Integrate at least 3 resource exercises into your practice 
  • Recognize at least 2 mechanisms of effect- hypothesis for how EMDR works.