Depth Enquiry: Gestalt Meets EMDR

What is Depth Enquiry?

Depth Enquiry (DE) is a powerful therapeutic approach to resolving trauma and underlying shame. Amanda has developed DE during the course of her work with clients suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and a wide range of trauma-related symptoms.

Depth Enquiry uses binaural sounds to unlock trauma. (Indian Tantric Device, 18c).

Indian Tantric Device, 18c.

DE builds on EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) principles and is further informed by the theories and approaches of Bessel van der Kolk, Pat Ogden and Peter Levine. Since 2011 Amanda has worked to meld these perspectives into a deep and safe method of therapeutic inquiry; one that retains as its underpinning the holistic tenets of Gestalt psychotherapy.

Amanda delivers DE as a short program of 4 to 8 one to one-and-half hour sessions. (These can be undertaken in parallel with other therapeutic work, if necessary.)

DE unblocks resistant traumas and negative beliefs using a gentle and supportive process, involving binaural sounds. No eye movement is involved, and clients can either have their eyes open or closed.

Please call Amanda if you would like to consider undertaking a short Depth Enquiry program with her.

Isn’t EMDR Enough?

Yes, it is. Yet DE feels more holistic, more fluid, more embodied, more relaxed. DE feels deeper because it is less interrupted. DE feels less clinical; it lends itself more to a humanistic therapeutic setting than does EMDR.

And the results are at least as good, often better.

How Does DE Differ From EMDR?

Here are some of the ways DE differs from EMDR:

DE feels more holistic, more fluid, more embodied, more relaxed.

The therapist:

  • Encourages the client to stay in the developing process for the entire DE session
  • Encourages an experience of depth, by directing the client to notice thoughts, feelings, memories and physical sensations
  • Supports and encourages a sense of fluidity, movement and process
  • Uses reflective listening and channels the client further into the depth of the experience
  • Encourages the client to put experiences into language
  • Refocuses the client towards what they sense are missed experiences, and directs them to deepen into these missed experiences.

Some Background on EMDR

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a well established technique for the relief of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). EMDR involves the therapist guiding the client through a number of reflective stages, while invoking eye movements in the client (usually by the client following a wand or pencil held by the therapist, and swung gently in a rhythmic way). These eye movements invoke bilateral stimulation of brain centres that hold dysfunctionally stored memories.

EMDR unlocks these fixed, dysfunctional and traumatic memories, and enables them to be released into long-term memory, where they have less impact on the client’s well-being. The client’s reactions to potentially traumatising stimuli in the environment become markedly less severe.

Two Useful Terms: The Apparently Normal Part (ANP) and the Emotional Part (EP)

Current thinking is that a traumatic event splits the healthy personality into (at least) two parts.

The first is the Apparently Normal Part (ANP) that continues to adapt to the demands of daily living and is motivated to appear normal, in order to remain connected to others and to the world.

The second is the Emotional Part (EP) that holds the trauma and continues to relive it. When the experiences of the EP enter into the awareness of the ANP the person experiences symptoms of trauma.

The ANP does not want the EP’s experience. To maintain stability, the ANP resists and avoids the EP’s experience. The EP appears to push for expression. The person suffers flashbacks from the EP, and negative thoughts (“I must be crazy”, “I’m unworthy”) from the ANP. The process continues whenever there are reminders of the original trauma.

(The full model specifies at least two parts: the above model is a simplification, but is still useful in describing the re-traumatising processes.)