In phase one, the clinician will take a thorough history of the client and together develop a treatment plan. The history will include a discussion of the client’s specific problems, his/her behaviors stemming from those problems, and his/her symptoms. With this newfound information, the clinician will work with the client to define the specific targets on which to use EMDR.
These targets typically include:
• Past events that created the problems
• Present situations that are distressing
• Key skills or behaviors the client needs to learn for his/her future well-being
It’s recommended to encourage clients to wear TouchPoints from the very start of phase one. As recall of these past events can lead to both cognitive and physiological distress, TouchPoints can help by reducing stress throughout this phase. In particular, since TouchPoints specifically reduce physiological distress, adaptive information processing (AIP) models predict that the absence of physiological distress will more easily lead to the resolution of cognitive distress. Also, by keeping the physiological distress minimal going into the reprocessing phases, this can significantly shorten treatment time.