EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) has been around for decades, but is still relatively new. When you first hear about it, you may think it is hokey and won’t work. You may have many questions about it (check out my blog The Ultimate Guide to EMDR that Helps First Responders Obtain a Feeling of Security in Life) which will answer several of these questions. EMDR has not only transformed my practice, but have given numerous clients a new outlook on life.
Pretty much everything that is new to us can seem odd. When we don’t understand something, we tend to make assumptions to fill in the blanks in our minds.
Unfortunately, making these assumptions often means we don’t try new things for various reasons. We talk ourselves out of doing something new. We find excuses as to why we’re not going to try it.
The downsides to making these assumptions and therefore not trying something new is we won’t experience new things and grow. Life has so many experiences that we can’t possibly experience them all. Therefore, when we get a chance to try something new, and potentially really grow, learn, and improve from it, it is unfortunate that we may not try it due to our assumptions.
When we make these assumptions, we tend to find evidence that proves we are right. We ignore the evidence to the contrary or say “sure that is fine for that person, but not for me.” This is just natural. It is part of our survival mechanism to stay in our comfort zone.
Think about your life. When was the last time you had the opportunity to try something new that you weren’t quite sure about? What did you tell yourself about that new experience? What “advice” did you hear from others? From that advice, what advice did you take versus not take? Did the advice you take go along with or against your initial assumption? If it went against it, how did you feel trying the new thing?
At the time, you may have felt awkward and unsure. You may have wondered if you are doing the right thing. You may have second guessed whether it was a good idea.
Unfortunately, when we have these unsure, negative, skeptical, thoughts and feelings, it tells the brain that all new things should be done with care. The brain is set to survival; change is hard to begin with. When new things are seen as questionable and suspicious, it alerts the brain that there is something dangerous about doing new things.
Eventually we try new things less and less, or at the very least, with extreme caution. We want to know everything we can about the new thing before giving it a try. We think on it for a long time before deciding to do it.
This is completely normal. There is nothing wrong with wanting to understand new things before diving into them. It is also completely understandable to be skeptical about something we don’t fully understand.
Whether EMDR is a new idea for you or you have heard about it before, you may still be skeptical about it in your case. Will it help me? There are a ton of reasons I recommend EMDR as the modality for you to try with your therapist, but there are three main reasons I will talk about here.
Keep reading for the top 3 reasons I recommend EMDR for anxiety, stress and even burnout to help you feel more satisfied and at ease with yourself and your life.
RIGHT NOW YOU’RE FEELING FRAZZLED, DRAINED, AND UNFULFILLED.
The obvious biggest downside to not overcoming the unease that you feel every day is the worry that you will be like this forever – or at least until something else changes. Many people who feel this worn out don’t want to come to therapy because they believe they don’t have enough energy or time. It can feel very overwhelming to have yet another thing to do when you already feel short on time and lack the energy to do anything else.
It is hard enough to prioritize and get everything done as it is. Adding one more appointment may seem counter-productive. Living each moment with this much stress is crushing you in more ways than one.
YOU’RE READY TO LIVE A GRATIFYING LIFE, FEELING ACCOMPLISHED AND FULL OF ENERGY
Although you struggle with crushing anxiety, feeling burnt out or utterly frazzled, you have the potential to take control back of your mind and your life.
We take the first step to regaining control of ourselves and our lives when we start researching ways to feel better. We take that one step further when we use some of the free tools on the internet.
But to really reach your goals in the shortest time possible, the final step is talking with a therapist. There are so many wonderful techniques therapists will use with you to reach your goals.
When we see a therapist who utilizes EMDR, there is a possibility for feeling re-energized and our old selves quicker than we ever thought possible.
With EMDR, you have the opportunity to take back your life often more quickly, efficiently, and completely than without using EMDR.
THE TOP 3 REASONS I RECOMMEND EMDR
I know you are ready to feel better. I know you are tired of living this way and frustrated that nothing has worked thus far, but you don’t have to live this way anymore.
The key to achieving the life you are dreaming of is to have realistic expectations of yourself and tackle the journey one day at a time. Consistency is the only thing that promotes lasting change.
Making these changes with the help of EMDR is not as difficult as you may think. The process of EMDR by itself does most of the work in helping you overcome the anxiety, burnout, self-defeating thoughts, and pessimism. It is up to you to show up consistently for your sessions and allow the change to happen.
Take a look at these top 3 reasons I recommend EMDR to see how you can achieve freedom from anxiety, stress and burnout.
- You likely won’t have to share anything you do not want to
This is my top reason for liking EMDR so much. EMDR works incredibly well with trauma, but often people don’t want to share the details of the trauma. This may be because saying things out loud makes the thing you are saying feel more real and they don’t want that. It may be because it is so horrific they don’t want to traumatize the therapist. It may be because they have said it before, received an unhelpful response, and don’t want that response again. It may be because of another reason.
Whatever the case may be, the only time you’ll have to share anything you may not want to is if you get stuck in the reprocessing (I will help you understand this better when we discuss EMDR together).
By not having to share details of the trauma, you will be able to work through the trauma in a way that feels safe.
- You don’t have to believe that it will work; just be open to trying it
The crazy thing about EMDR is that it works! You don’t have to believe that something works for it to work. You can believe that the television won’t turn on, but if everything is working properly, it will turn on whether or not you believe it.
When you do other forms of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, it helps to believe what you’re telling yourself. When you tell yourself “I am a good person” but you don’t believe it, it will take a very long time for that statement to feel good.
My consultant (supervisor) while I was getting my certification hours in told me that she got trained in EMDR because she didn’t believe it will work. She wanted to see what this silliness is all about and bash it. Boy did she get a surprise! She is one of the biggest proponents of EMDR that I know at this point!
EMDR has been through numerous studies. It has been proven time and again that not only does it work in the short term, but people have lasting effects years later where the trauma doesn’t bother them any longer.
- It is one of the fastest ways I know to get through anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, and witnessed trauma.
Most of the techniques we use as therapists with you are going to take time. It is like trying to do a belly flop into the pool when you know how to dive. You instinctively don’t want to do a belly flop and it takes a lot of work to purposefully do a belly flop.
When we are doing traditional therapy with you, you are retraining your brain to do something not instinctive. Remembering the trauma and keeping that anxiety at the forefront of your memory and brain is meant to keep you alive; keep you safe in case something similar happens.
When you are retraining your brain using traditional therapy, you are going against the instinct to survive.
Furthermore, trauma is remembered in the brain and in the body. Sympathy pains and phantom limb pain are examples of trauma stored in the body. A really excellent book to read to learn more about trauma being stored in the body as well as the brain is “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk.
Whereas we target one thing (the first time, worst time, or most recent time of a specific memory), EMDR will actually collapse other memories that are similar to that targeted one, thus making the process faster than targeting each one individually.
I know right now you may still be wondering about EMDR and if it is right for you. EMDR is not right for everybody. The therapist will work with you to determine if EMDR is the most effective form of trauma recovery for you or if something else is.
Often we will do strength building, which is the second part of EMDR (first part being understanding you and what you’re looking for), for a long time before transitioning into reprocessing the trauma. We want you to feel safe and work through the trauma in a way that will make it lasting.
When you have had enough of the memories sneaking up on you, when you’re tired of jumping at the slightest sound, when you’re ready to feel good about yourself – confident, controlled, safe, content – EMDR is absolutely the way to go.
EMDR has transformed my practice, but as I specialize in trauma, I can’t believe the improvement in my clients. The progress skyrocketed when I started using this modality. But the best part is, they felt natural. They didn’t feel like any forced change had happened; they just felt better, even at a deeper level.
There are many therapists out there who can do very good therapy, but it is important to make sure that you choose the one that will help you meet your goals the way you want. I may or may not be that therapist for you.
You will be doing very personal work with your therapist. It is important that you realize that your life is worth every penny that you spend and finding the right therapist will make this journey smooth and rewarding. But also challenging at times as no growth comes without challenge!
When you are ready, I look forward to hearing from you. You can schedule a free initial consultation with me to help you decide if I would be the best one to help you reach your goals. I want to make the entire process as easy as possible for you. However, if I am not the right therapist for you, I will help you find someone else.
Call me today for that free initial consultation! 941-462-4807.