AAIT & EMDR – What’s the Difference?

October 25, 2019

Last Thursday I presented on treating trauma with AAIT at the Psychiatric Symposium in Knoxville, TN. In addition to demonstrating using the Fingertip Method along with aspect retrieval, I shared a few tips on how to help clients return to NOW.

The participants asked great questions. Like many people who are first exposed to AAIT, they saw similarities between AAIT and EMDR. As I’m not trained in EMDR, and only have a foundational understanding of the work, I don’t think I was able to address the similarities and differences as I would like.

I’d really love to hear what those of you who are trained in both think about any similarities and differences.

In the meantime, here are the tips I shared to help folks return to NOW when tangled up into reactions tied to the past:

  1. Noticing practice. Return to the present moment by bringing conscious moment to moment attention to the senses with easy focused breathing. See. Look around with a soft gaze without naming what you see. Listen. Become aware of the layers of sound around you. Touch. Become aware of the sensations of touch and weight. Smell. Notice any scents. Taste. Become aware of the sensations in the mouth.

  2. Rooting. Bring attention to the tailbone and souls of the feet. Imagine roots growing — Here’s a little video on this exercise.

  3. Alternate nostril breathing. Here’s a link for more info on this little gem.

What are your tricks for returning to NOW? AND if you have experienced both EMDR and AAIT to treat trauma, I’d love to hear what you have to say about these two modalities of care. Drop your thoughts in the comments.


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