To give you a few things to consider, you may be a good candidate for EMDR therapy if you have experienced any of the following...physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abuse, physical and emotional neglect, natural disasters, unsafe and violent environments (school shootings, community violence, war, etc.), or traumatic medical conditions or treatment.
This method of therapy was developed to treat those with trauma and PTSD. But what if you don't identify yourself as a person that has experienced trauma? Does that mean EMDR can't benefit you? The short answer is, NO! EMDR has been used to address many different mental and emotional challenges. Things like anxiety, grief and loss, OCD, phobias, self esteem issues, and depression can all benefit from EMDR therapy.
It's very common for people to minimize their experiences when they compare themselves to others that "have it worse." But the truth is, the common factor underlying all of these issues including trauma is STRESS. We all experience stress and we figure out how to cope with it. We survive. But sometimes our survival strategies actually create more challenges and can keep us "stuck" in cycles that interfere with our growth and happiness.
EMDR therapy can help you in a way that traditional talk therapy hasn't been able to.
There are some caveats though. You must have a sense of safety and security in your life before beginning EMDR therapy. This is not the best approach for those in active addiction or alcoholism or those living in unstable, unsafe or dangerous circumstances. Those with extensive or recurring trauma throughout life may need time to build trust in the therapeutic relationship and develop healthy coping strategies before beginning EMDR work.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. That's a mouth full, isn't it? Without getting too far into the science-y jargon, this method of therapy taps into your brain’s natural ability to problem solve and adapt. It does this through bilateral stimulation of the brain.
Now, you may have seen video demonstrations of a therapist waving their fingers in front of a person's eyes and you're like "what the heck is this all about?" Well, this is traditional EMDR therapy. When your eyes move from left to right at a certain rate, your brain initiates a process to begin organizing and making sense of whatever information or feelings you're focused on. But eye movement is not the own way to do this. Bilateral stimulation can be done using tappers, or buzzies as some call them - small handheld paddles that alternate vibrations between your hands. It can also be done with alternating different tones in your ears or by self-guided tapping back and forth on your knees.
When you focus on a particular memory and the core belief tied to it while engaging in bilateral stimulation, your brain works to put the puzzle together - finding pieces that were missing or perspectives that weren't as clear before. Through this process, the emotional charge associated with the memory decreases and you're able to work through your experiences differently. Much of this process is happening unconsciously, so you don't have to worry about verbalizing all the details or reliving the experience.
Once you've gone through the processing phase, you'll begin to develop more adaptive beliefs and understanding that allow you to leave the past in the past and move forward not only thinking differently, but feeling better as well.
The amount of sessions needed to see results will vary from person to person, but the time invested is well worth it!
After working as a therapist in different settings, Nicole noticed a common theme amongst her clients. While most were seeking help for issues in their present day life, there was often unaddressed and unresolved trauma and stress living under the surface of the problem. While some benefited from certain types of trauma therapy, others had a difficult. Even when they had the ability to think rationally and cope effectively with their emotions, something still kept them looping through their experiences preventing them from moving forward. So she began to research alternative therapies to better help these folks and she found EMDR therapy.
Nicole completed her training in 2018 with Roy Kiessling, LISW - founder of EMDR Consulting and creator of the EMDRIA Approved EMDR Training Course. Going with an open mind, she was blown away by the effectiveness of this approach. To witness first hand how helpful it can be and to see people that suffered for so long finally experience a sigh of relief, Nicole knew this would change the game for the people she was working with.
Nicole has been integrating EMDR into her work ever since. With knowledge of the basic protocols and her natural attunement and instinct as a trauma therapist, she has helped many reprocess and redefine their story. You can do the same. Give her a call and get started today!
You don't have to continue repeating old cycles and feeling constrained by negative beliefs. Maybe therapy hasn't been the most helpful in the past, but don't give up! Try a different approach. Healing is possible!
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