Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Depth Enquiry. If you have another question, please contact Amanda.
What is it?
Depth Enquiry is a type of therapy that helps process traumatic memories and release stuck negative beliefs you may hold about yourself.
Traumatic experiences tend to be incompletely processed by our brain, which is why when we remember an event, or experience something that reminds us of the event, our bodies and emotions can react as if the event is happening again. Simply put, we can get triggered which often results in a bigger emotion being experienced than is appropriate for the situation.
Negative beliefs about ourselves are often formed in childhood, and usually accompany a distressing situation. Beliefs like, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m too much”, and “I’m unlovable” are examples of these. We may understand rationally and on a cognitive level that these beliefs are not true, but they can carry a lot of emotional weight and when we are at our most vulnerable feel very much like the truth.
Depth Enquiry helps to reprocess traumatic experiences so that they become stored in a different part of our memory, which means that we are able to recall experiences and encounter reminders without feeling triggered.
Depth Enquiry also helps to shift negative core beliefs that we hold about ourselves and in turn they are naturally replaced by more helpful core beliefs. These positive beliefs come up within the process generally after a few sessions. After completing a course of work, people often can’t recall being triggered by the original image and belief, noticing the absence of the trigger only when prompted.
Depth Enquiry can also be a useful way to work through phobias and anxiety or other uncomfortable emotions that need to be processed and worked through.
The impact of this work can be very freeing and often life changing.
What will I be doing in the process?
Once you and your therapist have identified a negative core belief or feeling about yourself to work on, you will choose an image that accompanies that belief. These are for the therapist to track your progress during the work. It can be a useful experience just identifying what you believe about yourself.
During the process you will wear headphones and beeps will play in your ears. The sounds themselves tend to be quite relaxing and may put you into a sort of meditative state. Your therapist will then ask you to focus on the core belief and image. You then just let yourself notice wherever your mind goes. Your therapist will be talking to you the whole time, encouraging you to pay attention to and notice whatever is going on in your thoughts, body, emotions and memories.
The therapist will be there to support and track your process. There is no wrong way to do Depth Enquiry. Your brain will be leading the process. The brain naturally moves towards health when supported. You can relax and let it happen. All you need to do notice and report what is happening. Depth Enquiry Information Sheet
It’s a bit like reporting a stream of consciousness. Sometimes things won’t make sense and won’t be linear or organised in a certain way; that’s completely fine – it just the way brains process things.
It is not important to share the content of your thoughts/memories with your therapist if you do not feel comfortable to do so – simply sharing what you are thinking, or remembering can be enough.
How will I feel after a session?
Sometimes Depth Enquiry has the effect of tying things nicely in a bow and people feel immediately relieved. Other times Depth Enquiry starts to loosen and unpick things and it can feel fairly strong as they work through the process. If it does initially make things a bit uncomfortable for you this is usually resolved within a few sessions. If you are concerned about this, have a chat with your therapist about what support you might need.
People can often feel a little spacy after a Depth Enquiry session. This usually passes after a few minutes but its something to bear in mind when choosing what time of day to do a session.
How long is a session?
The process will happen within your normal therapy time slot. Usually, you will be in the process wearing the headphones for 30-45 minutes at a time. The feeling of time tends to go quickly. Your therapist will wrap up with enough time to have a little chat about the process and for you to ground yourself and get ready for whatever you have coming up next.
How many sessions will I need?
Typically, people experience significant shifts between 4 – 12 sessions with improvements along the way. Some people do not feel the need to complete a full course of Depth Enquiry. They may feel satisfied that they are no longer affected by the original problem and don’t feel any need to officially complete the course of treatment. This is absolutely fine.
How will I feel between sessions?
You may feel a heightened awareness of your thought processes and triggers associated with your core belief. Your brain will continue processing between sessions, which could result in some interesting dreams as well. If you like you can journal your thoughts as a way of helping to process what comes up.
Do I have to do it regularly?
Some people like to work intensively on an issue with one or two sessions a week to complete the work. Others may space their work out over many months with regular therapy sessions in between. Either is fine, the brain will pick up where it left off and this will not affect the end result.
I already have a therapist; do I need to change therapists?
No, you can keep working with your therapist and just see your Depth Enquiry therapist for Depth Enquiry sessions.
Is this evidence based?
The evidence that backs up EMDR is the same evidence to support Depth Enquiry. People report finding Depth Enquiry a more relational and gentler experience than EMDR.