Group Traumatic Episode Protocol
We invite you to heal in an environment that is empowering with respect for safety and privacy
What is Group EMDR or G-TEP?
Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (G-TEP EMDR), developed by Elan Shapiro, is a practice often used for disaster behavioral health response and recovery. In such conditions, time, effectiveness and efficiency are paramount. It does not require deep analysis of one’s trauma and it tends to be a more affordable option to work through every day triggers. While still in the destabilizing effect of their trauma, survivors often need assistance with helpful thinking, setting priorities, problem-solving, engaging in positive activities and managing reactions. More often than not, they still face fall out from disaster and need to cope real fast so as to prevent deeper traumatization. People need to manage.
The goal of G-TEP is to reduce the impact or likelihood of PTSD, anxiety, depression, relationship, substance use, and health issues that can be triggered by recent or sudden trauma. It is based on the principle of early intervention. G-TEP is also focused on building resiliency.
What Does Group EMDR offer?
G-TEP provides the following benefits for those debilitated by recent or sudden trauma:
- Only positive experiences are shared (if desired).
- Participants learn grounding skills for stabilization.
- Individually processed trauma through guided instruction by an experienced and trained EMDR therapist.
- Privacy-participants are not required or encouraged to share or discuss details of their traumatic episode with other group members. This is to prevent cross traumatization. It is not necessary for the reprocessing.
- Two to four sessions.
Harnessing the Power of Relational Healing Using EMDR
Preventing Onset PTSD and Building Resilience
Fast Results in Just a Few Sessions
G-TEP is an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) protocol that helps prevent psychological trauma and allows survivors to rebuild resources at a critical time. Trauma can rob us of our everyday coping skills. This particular protocol is useful because it can assist couples, families and communities facing life-changing events that have ongoing consequences in just one or two sessions. Each session is approximately two hours. Of course, there’s no limit to the number of sessions that can be employed, but in some traumatic events, time is of the essence.
Research demonstrates that G-TEP can reduce psychological trauma symptoms and increase quality of life. Studies have demonstrated a 70 percent reduction in trauma and a 50 percent reduction in depression with only a few G-TEP sessions.
What’s involved in a G-TEP Session?
The efficiency of G-TEP is not its only attraction. It’s relatively calming on the system compared to other trauma interventions. Participants receive a worksheet and are taught how to self-administer bilateral stimulation with tapping and eye movements.
Part of the wonder of EMDR is the discovery that when an individual holds in their mind a disturbing memory while moving their eyes back and forth the distress embedded in the initial recall of that memory decreases rapidly. Correspondingly, eye movements can be used to strengthen memories that are positive. These are some of the dynamics at play in a G-TEP Session.
Through the guidance of a trained EMDR therapist who is familiar its administration in a group setting, clients can develop a sense of mastery over their own healing. The process of creating inner stabilization begins with creativity from the outset as clients use the worksheet to ground themselves in the present and contain their trauma.
Calming exercises are used to elicit relaxation responses. In addition, participants are asked to evoke past and present “positive” memories in a way that strengthens the recall of these memories and their associated feeling states. These are skills clients can use to manage emotions beyond the sessions and as a supplement to any follow-up therapy.
As part of the protocol, group participants are assessed prior to and during the session to determine readiness to move into reprocessing. It’s important to honor the body’s adjustment and capabilities. If someone is not able to move forward with reprocessing in the group session, an appropriate referral for individual or alternate group therapy will be made.
Feeling "Stuck" in Conventional Therapy?
“G-TEP is an EMDR protocol that helps prevent psychological trauma and allows survivors to rebuild resources at a critical time. Trauma can rob us of our everyday coping skills. This rapid group therapy is useful because it can assist couples, families and communities facing life-changing events that have ongoing consequences in just one or two sessions. Each session is approximately two hours.”
Who Might Do Well With G-TEP Therapy?
G-TEP is particularly effective for those suffering recent, sudden or ongoing trauma such as:
- Receiving a distressing medical diagnosis
- Couples experiencing high conflict
- Recent romantic break-ups
- Natural disasters
- Living in a conflict zone
- Groups experiencing sudden loss or acts of violence.
- Social Activists on the front lines
- First Responders needing to prevent burnout
G-TEP offers privacy for those with collective trauma experience to participate in group healing among colleagues, peers and members sharing a common traumatic experience while maintaining safety and dignity in their individual trauma.
Readiness for G-TEP
Present Day Symptoms & Ongoing Trauma
While G-TEP is typically used for those suffering from a recent traumatic event, G-TEP is also an effective approach for someone who has experienced a stressful event a long time ago, but is still experiencing triggers, undesired behaviors, or symptoms in the present.
Assessment & Intake
Before starting the group session, potential group members will be prompted to complete an intake and some assessment tools to determine whether the individual is within a window of tolerance with their trauma to learn additional coping skills. Some ability to regulate is needed.
If additional resourcing is needed, clients can learn them in a few individual sessions or request a referral for another type of therapy. This group and modality is not ideal for those with active suicidal thoughts, actions, plans or active self-harm behaviors including substance use.
G-TEP groups are offered in a weekly intensive over two or three days within a single week, or on a particular day of the week for 2-3 successive weeks.
The next available group session is December 18, 19 and 20 in the morning. Participants must complete a regular intake session prior to participating in the group session. (Current and active clients do not need an additional intake session. They may have to complete an additional consent form prior to the G-TEP session).
Another G-TEP group will be scheduled in January 2023 on three successive Monday evenings beginning January 9, 2023.