Many EMDR therapists will ask their clients a series of questions and include questions such as: “What are the goals for therapy? What are the symptoms? When did these symptoms start and have they changed – if so how and when? And “What other situations are contributing to their difficulties right now? The list of questions goes on and can take up much of the initial session.
The beginning of therapy is also the time for the EMDR therapist to explain to their client just what the Adaptive Information Processing model is all about. Explanations are given in relation to how the “unconscious” is composed of stored memories of previous experiences that continue to have effect. For example their present unprocessed memories relating to past emotional events and memories of physical sensations and beliefs. These unprocessed memories are the cause of negative behaviours, unpleasant thoughts and sensations. By identifying these both the client and the will see the parallels between past and present experiences.