March 29, 2017

On the Issue of Glasses

Eye Movement Therapy: On the issue of Glasses

One of the important details in using eye movement therapy is that the eyes need to move all the way across out to the peripheries.  There seems to be a definite advantage to broad sweeping eye movements over eye movement occurring within a narrow range.

By using a board sweep, axis deviations tend to be more obvious and thus easier to observe and fewer movements tend to be needed to effect change.

In the developmental days of IEMT there were two other areas that were experimented with - focal length and the vertical axis for movements.

Changing focal length by asking the client to focus on the finger whilst it moved back and forth and simultaneously thinking about the mental representation produced mixed results. Some people felt anxious (or similar), some noticed no difference, whilst others felt an improvement.The reasons for these variations is still unknown. Subsequent follow-up failed to demonstrate sufficient benefit for enough of the volunteers, and so adjusting focal length was dropped from the patterns under consideration for IEMT.

One area that did come up repeatedly was that of the client wearing glasses. The question was simply, is it better to have glasses on or off?

There are several variables here that exert an influence on how this can be answered succinctly. For example:

For example:

  • Can the client see anything at all without the glasses (i.e. the finger)?
  • How big are the lenses and how much of the visual field to they cover?
  • How thick are the frames?

In the early days, I tried to calculate for this, especially with thick frames, where the client may lose sight of the finger momentarily which may obscure or confuse observation of axis deviations. By asking the client to remove glasses and to try the eye movements with glasses on and off seems to make the session clumsy in some way and the smooth flow of the IEMT treatment algorithm was often lost. Plus, on a couple of occasions, the client attributed the quality of his eyesight to the failure of the process which is of course, both incorrect and less than helpful.

As a result, I chose to completely ignore the glasses issue and not even reference it. Most clients with glasses for whom wearing or not wearing them was an issue in the session, would simply make the choice to put them on/take them off. This seemed to have a much more natural quality to the action, and the flow of the session was not interrupted, nor negative attributions made.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that I have two personal experiences of working with severely visually impaired clients, and a report of a third. Two of these clients were nearly completely blind, and the third had a glass eye and a severe impairment in the remaining eye. In all three examples, the sessions were regarded as very successful.

3 Comments on “On the Issue of Glasses

Sonia Richards
March 29, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Same here Andy I never even mention glasses unless asked and I just say it makes no difference to keep them on, so the client is the one who decides. I have occasionally changed focal length if the person appears to be struggling to focus. Also have occasionally worked with people who’s eye balls move independently at different rates. The rate of the finger movement needs to be changed to accommodate this.

November 11, 2019 at 5:54 am

Can contact lenses be worn during the sessions ?

Andrew T. Austin
November 13, 2019 at 10:47 am

Hi Shelli – I’m not aware of any problems being reported from clients wearing contact lenses during IEMT work. With regards to clients, I’ just leave that up to the clients, as some prefer to wear them, others find it easier to remove them.


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