Pull Out Your Power Tool: EMDR and Coaching

Mar 31, 2023

by Sherri Felton, ACC, LPCC, Performance Coach
Join her free Mindfulness Coaching Call this Monday!
Check out her EMDR class

Why do people seek out the services of a coach?

The main reason is to receive professional support in making a change. Our clients’ lives are BUSY. They require top notch services to make the change(s) happen as efficiently as possible.

This is where EMDR comes in. I call it the “power tool” in my large tool box of coaching skills. 

EMDR was originally developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 80’s. It is an extremely powerful and effective therapy used to help clients recover from trauma at an accelerated rate. EMDR incorporates bilateral stimulation (BLS) into a structured protocol. It has become one of the top trauma therapies, recognized by many national and international organizations.

Yet, how do we use BLS in peak performance coaching? We all have the ability to tap into our natural resources within – often these are hidden and not easily noticeable. In my first meeting with a client we first identify their internal resources. I use BLS, to help them strengthen these innate resources within so they are readily available and can be implemented inside and outside our sessions.

One of my coaching clients had a presentation he had been preparing for at work. He had been under a lot of pressure and had a lot riding on this presentation. His confidence had taken a hit recently. He was nervous and afraid he was going to botch the presentation, resulting in a poor performance review for himself and potentially a large financial loss to the company.

I asked him to tell me the details of his best “stand-out” presentation. He told me what he was seeing, hearing, smelling, sensing which lit up his neural network related to that positive memory. He then identified a positive belief about himself related to the memory while beginning the bilateral tapping. 

As I watched for changes in his body language, I instructed him to pause tapping periodically to check in with his positive belief. The belief he identified was “I know my stuff; I’ve got this.” 

He rated the strength of his positive belief at 5 on a scale of 1-10. By the end of that first session, he moved it up to a solid 10. He had a smile on his face, his head was up and shoulders back. 

By pointing out his new posture he saw where he felt the confidence inside and continued to repeat his positive belief while holding the upcoming presentation in his awareness. Then he tapped. We continued this until he was at a steady 10 feeling fully confident in “I know my stuff; I’ve got this”.

My client was amazed and asked, “How did this happen in just one meeting? I’m not sure how this thing works, but I’m a believer.” 

After he had completed his presentation he called to let me know he truly did “nail it” with a very positive end result for both himself as well as the company.

There are many ways to apply EMDR in the coaching setting. This is just one example of how coaching clients have moved quickly and efficiently into meeting their goals. As a coach, this EMDR Bilateral Stimulation is one “power tool” that I use frequently.

Tonight, April 3, 2023, I’m facilitating the free monthly Mindfulness Coaching Call, where together we will continue to discover how to leverage EMDR and coaching with your clients as tools for success.


If you’re interested in learning more join Sherri’s class: The Dynamic Trio: EMDR, Positive Psychology and Somatic Coaching.




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