With the arrival and spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic, EMDR Therapy practitioners worldwide have sprung into action; adapting to telehealth delivery, finding new ways to teach and learn EMDR Early Intervention Protocols, launching collaborative research projects, and developing new procedures and protocols to better address current concerns. One challenge of working with Covid-related client issues is the prolonged nature of this unfolding event. Typical go-to Positive Cognitions such as “It’s over” “I’m safe now” “It’s in the past” or “I survived” may not be ecologically valid for quite some time.

To address this predicament, Dr. Gary Quinn, Director/Senior Trainer with the EMDR Institute of Israel, has created a stabilization procedure (the SCP-C) specifically to calm current distress and anticipatory anxiety related to the ongoing threat posed by Coronavirus.

The SCP-C for Coronavirus can be used with concerns such as:
• “I AM AFRAID I MIGHT GET THE VIRUS”
• “I AM AFRAID I HAVE THE CORONAVIRUS”
• “IT IS MY FAULT THAT I INFECTED OTHERS”
• “I AM ALONE OR ISOLATED”
• “I WILL HAVE NO MONEY”

The SCP-C was adapted from Dr. Quinn’s original Immediate Stabilization Protocol and edited by Brurit Laub (co-creator of the EMDR Recent Traumatic Episode Protocol) and noted EMDR author/editor Marilyn Luber. It is easy to learn and to implement with clients, and suitable for both face-to-face and virtual applications. Dr. Quinn has generously shared the ISP training with mental health practitioners in hopes that it will be widely used.

Connect trainers Reg Morrow Robinson and Bill Brislin have been deeply engaged in building capacity for EMDR Early Interventions and have pioneered excellent virtual trainings for the EMDR Recent and Group Traumatic Episode Protocols. While they continue to provide the 2-day Virtual R-TEP/G-TEP trainings (learn more and register here), they also see a need for laser focus on stabilization provided by the SCP-C. Reg and Bill were recently joined by volunteer clinicians from the Orlando-Area Trauma Recovery Network to learn and practice the SCP-C. As first line behavioral health crisis responders, TRN volunteers can be exposed to significant vicarious traumatization in addition to managing their own worries and stressors related to Covid. This practice session created an opportunity not just to learn on behalf of future clients, but also to reap some of the benefits of the procedure for themselves!

Bill Brislin leads participants through the SCP-C procedural steps.

Discussion was lively and feedback was positive, with our brilliant local therapists already thinking about how this might work best with a variety of Covid-related concerns and client presentations.

Not familiar with the TRN? Here’s a brief description from their website:

The Greater Orlando Trauma Recovery Network (TRN) is staffed by volunteer EMDR clinicians (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) through the greater Orlando area who provide pro bono counseling services to survivors of community-wide traumatic events. We were formed after the Pulse Nightclub shooting back in 2016, and also activated after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

We are currently activated to provide support to residents of the Greater Orlando community related to COVID-19 and the protests following the death of George Floyd.

If you know someone in need of free services as a result of one of the traumatic events listed above, or if you are an EMDR trained clinician and want to volunteer your services, head over to the Greater Orlando TRN website to learn more.

If you are an EMDR therapist and are interested in learning and using the SCP-C, you can find it on the EMDR Institute of Israel website here.