Sunday, September 09, 2007

EFT-2 Starts Again

Entry for September 6, 2007:

When I got to the end of the EFT level 2 training series last June, I felt that I had finally reached the point of feeling confident in what I was doing. I had a realistic sense of the needs and abilities of counsellors at this level, and at least some of what I have to offer them. I was then able to carry this clearer understanding into the Level 1 training that Jeanne Watson and I did last summer, to good effect.

Now the cycle continues with a new Level 2 training, which started last night. I was pleased to see 15 students, including one person from the previous years’ training, show up, full of enthusiasm and interest. Here are my impressions and reflections:

This group seems less anxious and more enthusiastic that last years’ group did. Is it me or is it the particular mix of people? In fact, most of this group have already started experimenting with PE-EFT methods with their clients, and are interested in things like supervision. One person is here partly because she had been supervising some of my students from last year and wanted to learn what they were talking about!

The main changes for this year are: (1) Sessions are every three weeks instead of every two weeks. This seems to have made it possible to people to come from farther away, because this year we have two people from Aberdeen. (2) I’ve given up even pretending to do supervision in this series, but offer it as a possibility if folks want to bring material in for supervision at the beginning, during the unfinished business period. (3) Instead, I make a solemn promise to the group that I will provide some kind of example in every session, either a video or a live demonstration. This is something I hardly did last year, until the end, which was out of character for me (in retrospect, I think I was a bit intimidated by the experience level of the participants).

Proving that every group is different, this group decides that most would rather try to meet up for a quick bite beforehand at the Three Craws Pub than have to worry about whose turn it was to bring food. The rest of us will bring our own food to eat before or during the break.

Most of the session is spent with (re)introductions, preliminary processing of structure and ground rules, but we do get down to the business of considering therapist experiential response modes, i.e., what is often disparaged as “counselling skills”. As usual my exposition of the response modes takes longer than I expected, and partway through I begin to wonder if maybe they’ve actually already heard all this last summer from Jeanne and I. Finally, we get to the video I’ve brought in, which is session one of one of my clients from the PTSD project. I stop it every time I say something and ask them to say what kind of therapist response mode they think it is. Many in the group find this procedure to be startling and distracting; they are used to watching things through, instead of micro-analyzing. In the end, after watching 7 minutes of the session, the exercise seems to work nicely at (a) demonstrating a wide range of therapist responses; (b) helping folks look at therapy in a much more process-oriented way; and (c) demonstrating how PE-EFT therapy starts. We leave on a high note, heading our separate ways home in the comfortable early autumn evening.

An interesting development is the interest expressed by several in the possibility of having assignments, to help them learn the material. I respond with a bit of market research re: the possibility of validating the courses as credit-bearing; i.e., toward a certificate, say in PE-EFT. There seems to be enough interest to warrant further exploration of the possibility.

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