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Congratulations Jessica Woolliscroft! EMDR Europe Accredited Consultant thanks clients for their courage

Jessica Woolliscroft (trauma psychotherapist; co founder of Brightstone Clinic; and longstanding practitioner at the Hope Street Centre) has been awarded Consultant status in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing by EMDR Europe. This means that Jessica is approved to supervise EMDR therapists working towards accreditation.

“It has been a long and challenging journey” said Jessica.

“In order to qualify one has to present for observation, six hours of one’s work with three clients, plus supervisees and a supervision group. As you can imagine, it is not easy to find three people courageous enough to have their personal therapy sessions observed or filmed, and supervisees can also find this process exposing. So I am immensely grateful to those brave and generous clients and supervisees who allowed their sessions  to be filmed.”

In addition to filming six hours of work with clients and supervisees, Jessica had to attend a four day Consultants’ training in which her supervision was observed and provide evidence of having worked with clients presenting with the following:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both simple PTSD ( one off events) and complex PTSD (repeated trauma over time);
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  – which often has its roots in dissociated and forgotten traumatic experience;
  • Pain relief and management. Pain following traumatic events such as a car crashes or medical intervention, is sometimes due to unprocessed body memories. EMDR can alleviate such pain and has also been successful in alleviating some phantom limb pain.
  • Impulsive and addictive behaviour. EMDR has recently been used to help process cravings and feelings that drive addictive and impulsive behaviour.
  • Complicated grief. Grief as a result of a traumatic incident.
  • Phobias. Again, like OCD, phobias often develop as a coping device following a traumatic event that has been forgotten.

EMDR Consultants may be psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors or psychiatrists, but they all need to be professionally qualified to work therapeutically before they even start EMDR training, because EMDR is a specialist trauma therapy that requires experience and maturity in its practitioners to be most effective.

EMDR requires the satisfactory completion of a further three part training, followed by at least one year’s supervised practice with at least 30 clients over 75 sessions to become an accredited practitioner. After becoming an accredited EMDR practitioner one needs to practice at practitioner level for at least three years with a minimum of 75 clients over 300 hours. 

“In my case I saw 80 clients for a total of 1563 EMDR sessions,” said Jessica. “The extra sessions are because I tend to specialise in working with clients with complex trauma, as a result of childhood abuse and neglect, which leads to developmental changes. For example, a high proportion of my clients have learnt to cope with their distress by dissociating from their memories. So clients need to feel safe enough and confident enough to approach the traumatic material without shutting down or getting scared away.”

The EMDR community expects a high standard of ethical conduct, regular ongoing supervision and training.

“This is because we are working everyday with people who have been traumatised and oppressed by others - so we must be impeccable in our conduct as therapists. “

Consultants are also expected to help develop EMDR as evidence - based psychological therapy by contributing to research and supporting members. Jessica was a member of the NW Regional group for two years, helping to organise training events for members in the NW and now facilitates an EMDR Support Group at The Hope Street Centre for all South Cheshire and Stoke members.

“This support group is a friendly place to keep up to date with research, get guidance and check out new EMDR approaches to therapy. Although there are standard approaches, every client is unique and it really helps to have support when working with traumatic material”.

The South Cheshire and Stoke EMDR Support Group meets every 6-8 weeks on Thursday evenings at the Hope Street Centre, contact Jessica for details. If you are a client looking for trauma therapy; a newly trained EMDR therapist wanting supervision or  you are working towards accreditation, then please contact Jessica Woolliscroft www.jessicawoolliscroft.co.uk  or 01270 882349.

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