Getting past your past

Because I plan to start offering EMDR therapy at Panoramic Counseling in early 2020, I have been immersing myself in the writing of EMDR’s founder, Francine Shapiro. Today, I want to share some practical insights that I gained from Shapiro’s EMDR self-help book, Getting Past Your Past.

If you’re not familiar with EMDR therapy, I’ll provide the cliffnotes definition: It’s an amazing approach to counseling that helps people get unstuck from trauma, negative thoughts, and destructive behaviors. EMDR can help with self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationships, parenting, job stress, and so much more!

“Every experience we had in life has become a building block in our inner world, governing our reactions to everything and every person we encounter.”

In other words, our positive and negative experiences mold us into the people that we are.

EMDR therapy helps people to deal with unresolved issues, painful memories, trauma, etc., that are holding them back. Because digging up the past is scary, a person needs some tools to keep them safe on the journey. The EMDR therapist teaches the client grounding techniques (coping skills that trigger the 5 senses).

The EMDR therapist then helps the client walk through the tough stuff while encouraging the various grounding techniques (called desensitization and reprocessing). Doing this lessens the intensity of the painful memories; thus, providing the person with relief.

“There are generally about 10-20 unprocessed memories that are responsible for most of the pain and suffering in our lives.”

As part of my own self-care, I have been seeing an EMDR therapist for the past few months. I’ve been amazed at how many experiences, memories, and negative cognitions that have held me back at one time or another. When I resolve those issues with EMDR, the relief is almost instant and I leave my therapy session feeling so much lighter. It’s basically magic… that is backed by years of scientific research.

“Ultimately, the goal is to have more choice about how we feel, not be unconsciously driven by emotions we can’t control.”

Next week, I begin my training program to provide EMDR at my practice. It still blows my mind how many ways there are to help others (and myself) to have a better quality of life. I love my job!

For more about EMDR therapy, check out my last post, “What is EMDR Therapy?

Thanks for reading!

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