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How to Use the EMDR Self Care Protocol for Coronavirus

Dr. Gary Quinn of the EMDR Institute of Israel created a specific EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) intervention in the treatment of mental health and coronavirus.

This specific approach focuses on stabilization, as opposed to stabilization and reprocessing with the standard EMDR approach.

The Self Care Protocol for Coronavirus (SCP-C) can be very useful for individuals who are struggling with fear, anxiety, panic, guilt, inadequacy, and regret, among other intense emotions. As EMDR therapists, it's important that we restrict the processing so that we do not allow for any associations of past traumas. The goal of the SCP-C is to stabilize, not to open up past traumas and memory networks. This is similar to the EMD Approach.

This procedure can be used as a one-time intervention with individuals who are having difficulty coping with the emotions and real-life stressors related to the coronavirus. It's important to note that this approach differs from the standard EMDR approach because in this instance, these beliefs are not irrational.

As Francine Shapiro has taught us, with traditional EMDR, the intention is to reprocess older memories and traumas that are reinforcing an irrational belief about oneself. This coronavirus approach, instead, focuses on stabilizing the intense emotions that are associated with real-life, rational thoughts.

Please watch the video above for a full demonstration on how this procedure is carried out. And again, thank you to my husband, Eric Stein, for playing the part of the client and helping with the video!

If you would like a copy of the one-page coronavirus cognitions list, click here to receive a free copy.


About the Author

Dana Carretta-Stein is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and founder of Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, PLLC, and Carretta Consulting in Scarsdale, NY.  

She specializes in clinical psychotherapy to treat children, adolescents and adults with anxiety, behavior and trauma difficulties. She is a certified EMDR therapist and EMDR Approved Consultant for EMDR Trained Therapists.

Dana is also a business marketing coach for wellness practitioners who are looking to build and grow their private practice. For more information, visit


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