Impact of Quadrants on task performance. Statuam Coaching

EMDR anchors

EMDR anchors

Some of us are pedants (shout, “I AM!”)

Okay, that’s just me, then! We like things set out in our way, but our reasoning is often seen as eccentric when we are very particular, but it may have more significance than first imagined.

“That’s my spot …”, is the statement immortalized by Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. It is my hypothesis that as the script describes Sheldon is most comfortable in ‘his spot’, because of the list of environmental anchors he feels benefit his comfort and perspective, as distinct from sitting anywhere else. He is also deliberately difficult in the power play of the group dynamic, but let’s treat that as an incidental quirk, so we can address this subject in my pedestrian, non-scientific way.

As a person who has strengths and weaknesses in certain areas of life, subjective perspective has been a fascination. Not just to see ourselves as others see us, but to actually to see what we see and whether the representation and interpretation is as full in all the aspects that make it impactful, intellectualise-able and accessible to each person with the same general visual acuity and intelligence. Emotive art is a good example.

Being a coach on the fringes of things like EMDR, as described in Wikipedia, as:

‘Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro that emphasizes disturbing memories as the cause of psychopathology and alleviates the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.’

I recently came across a situation reported by technology trainer, which I have personally experienced in a different manner. Blind panic! The trainer was experiencing difficulty with a trainee who could not handle drop down menus being relocated on the screen. In other words their anchor had ben moved and they lost confidence because of the lack of certainty they felt from the new screen landscape. They used the screen menu as a version of ‘You are here’, in what to them must have seemed like a labyrinth. Their sense of safety in knowing where things were and possible embarrassment at not feeling in control may have been indicative of feeling disempowered in other areas of life or historical memories which have now morphed into a mistrust of new technology, which to all intents and purposes can cause a form of mental paralysis.

As far as I can gather, this word, or screen blindness, or other manifestation of distress occurs when the emotional impact of an occurrence, situation, or event renders an individual literally unable to use what is in front of them in the way they would if they were not feeling such discomfort. In my case it was specific written matter – for a whole minute! It happened a few years ago because I was trying to get elected, and had to do a final bit of paperwork to notify the powers that were, of whom my seconders were and their electoral details. It felt like suddenly being unable to read, which made it worse! I composed myself by remembering to breathe and took a moment to slowly refocus my attention, while the official in front of me waited patiently. Thank goodness they were so nice!

Panic has a lot to do with EMDR. People who have suffered phobias panic, and emotional obstacles, which depend on seeming illogicality, are there because the individual’s amygdala deems it so. It protects us from repeating something that scares us.

Now, this is the crux of my theory:

Some do not believe that quadrants in the field of vision covered by EMI actually make a difference to the other things going in the field of vision. There are those who make use of the phrase, “The map is not the territory.” What I propose is that the work space map we have been using is not the only map that can be considered in training or working, and how we could potentially benefit from overlaying or transposing the EMDR map on to something like a work station or computer. I would like to know more about how the two things have been mixed in so they look almost indistinguishable by some neuro-lingusitic practitioners because differences have been cited by others, for example:

‘The underlying premise for the use of each type of eye movement is quite different in the two therapies as well. In EMI, application of the presupposition of NLP that the inner representation of a person’s experience can be mapped and accessed via eye movement accessing cues, often permits the client and the therapist to identify specific quadrants of the visual field that allow the client to make contact with either a highly resourceful state or intense reexperience of the trauma. While this is not always the case, when it occurs the therapist is able to guide the client’s gaze alternately into those specific quadrants (and corresponding region of the inner representation) that need to be linked in order to integrate the traumatic material. In EMDR, there is no indication of a connection between the range and direction of eye movements and the nature of the material being processed.

With regard to the similarities between the two methods, both approaches emphasize sound assessment of the client and the trauma before beginning the treatment. Both techniques should be learned in an experiential workshop, and practiced under supervision, before being offered to clients. Clinicians who have attended the second level of EMI training tend to have much better results than those who have received the first level only. One more important similarity between the two approaches is their capacity to retrieve fully, in all dimensions, the intensity of the memory. The therapist is often as surprised as the client by the physical manifestations of the multisensory disturbances related to a traumatizing memory that are released by EM methods.

When compared with most psychotherapeutic approaches, EM techniques do not give as much weight to the cognitive aspects of trauma, which are often responsible for restraining the otherwise overwhelming reactions (although, as I mentioned above, EMDR does have an explicit element of conscious cognitive restructuring). This self protective rational aspect, however, may also be responsible for slowing down the process of integration of the memory of a trauma, or for the persistent manifestations that can remain locked away in the body.’


An individuals eye direction reacts to various mental and emotional processes (which seems inconsequential to most outside of behavioural therapy and coaching) have been mapped for EMDR in order to interrupt the behaviour patterns, by recognizing smooth and interrupted eye movement, then scrambling the mental recording owned by the individual and replacing it with a positive thought, or image that they themselves choose to utilize. This renders their negative power from a phobia, or memory, which previously debilitated or upset them, inactive and powerless. The individual has to be able to name the thing causing the inability or distress for repeated EMDR therapy to have any chance of working for them.

I believe integrating these fields of expertise can go further than ever if the quadrants are more heavily researched. The potential benefits to learners of all kinds and all ages is immense, especially for those judged as having impaired capabilities or traumas, who wish to return to academia or the workforce.

Please discuss.

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