Matt Wesson, an EMDR Europe Accredited Senior Trainer, becomes the new President of EMDR Association UK today (Sunday 27th March), taking over from Mike O’Connor who has completed his two year term of office.
Matt says: “I’m honoured and proud to become President of EMDR UK, following on from Mike who has achieved so much during his tenure. Our vision is to realise the potential of people through EMDR therapy and we’re lucky to have a dedicated board of volunteers working hard on a focused strategy to advance the theory and practice of EMDR. We hope to make lots of progress over the next two years of my presidency, such as setting up an EMDR research database, digitising the accreditation system and launching an EMDR hub for therapists to share information and interact.”
Matt was interviewed for a podcast back in 2020 about his journey into EMDR which began whilst he was working for the Royal Navy, where he started as a weapons engineer at the age of 19: “That didn’t really interest me, but I wanted to join the forces and it happened to be a job going.” Two years later he later transferring to a small mental health branch of the organisation: “I was only the second uniformed person to train in EMDR therapy back in 1999. It was great to see EMDR grow in defence and help thousands of people.”
The interview includes his insights about why EMDR therapy is particularly well suited to helping armed forces personnel: “It fits in with a kind of warrior mentality. They know they are broken, if you like, and they want to be fixed, but often they don’t want to talk in depth or have existential discussions. With EMDR therapy you work hard during the session, but unlike trauma-focused CBT, there is no homework. Service personnel are away a lot, so really value their down time. As one veteran said to me ‘whatever you do don’t mess with my time off!’”
Matt also talks about his experience of online training during the Covid 19 pandemic and shares some key messages for best EMDR therapy practice.
You can listen to the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RskJ3srpys