“Changing the memories that form the way we see ourselves also changes the way we view others. Therefore, our relationships, job performance, what we are willing to do or are able to resist, all move in a positive direction.” -Francine Shapiro
What if someone told you that you could get rid of any disturbances in your life? What would you think? What would you say? What if you were told you could completely eliminate your nightmares, anxieties, traumas, or low self-esteem? Or how about a way to improve your job and fitness performance to achieve your peak potential?
Well, there’s a way you can. And the answer is through a type of therapy treatment called EMDR. EMDR stands for Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it uses some advanced techniques to completely reprocess and desensitize your most disturbing life events. And ultimately free yourself of their hold on you and your life.
1. It helps us Reprocess our life’s most disturbing events.
Originally the most renowned treatment for PTSD and Trauma, EMDR helps with a multitude of other issues. From Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Nightmares, Childhood Traumas, Abuse, Bullying, Grief, Divorce, and so much more… It uses Bi-Llateral Stimulation to activate both sides of the brain in order to help them integrate, and reprocess any disturbing events or memories, similar to how REM sleep works. It achieves this through eye movements, vibrations, or various tones that move back and forth through the equipment, left to right. It’s painless, and is actually very relaxing and soothing to most.
You may come in with a level of disturbance at a 10 out of 10. However, by the time you complete therapy, if you willing to fully commit to the process, you will walk out at the end of treatment with a level of 0 out of 10. And there’s empirical research to back it up.
“However, today more than 20 scientifically controlled studies of EMDR have proven its effectiveness in the treatment of traumatic and other disturbing life experiences.” -Francine Shapiro
2. It condenses years of therapy into months.
Since it takes things a step further than regular talk therapy, and due to the nature of this powerful process, it helps speed the therapeutic process along. It helps us process things in a different way, a more helpful way that regular talk therapy cannot.
You also don’t have to spill your guts.EMDR therapists need “Headlines”, not all the details of these most sensitive and vulnerable memories.If you have years of repressed traumas, and would like to find a way to work on these issues, but not go into extreme detail, this is the way to go!
“Within two or three of four sessions, we had resolved issues that I’d been discussing for four or five years with other people.” –Eric Smith, Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD, quoted on 20/20, ABC News
3. It helps us alter our negative (limiting) self beliefs to positive beliefs.
Whether we are aware or not, we may have several negative beliefs about ourselves. Many of them may have developed in childhood, before 7 years old. Some of them could have developed in an unhealthy relationship in adulthood. Despite where they came from, these negative beliefs hold us back in so many ways. Beliefs such as: I’m not good enough; There’s something wrong with me; I don’t deserve love; I’m a bad person; I am out of control; I have to be perfect; I cannot trust anyone; I’m not safe; It’s not okay for me to have (and express) my feelings, etc.
These beliefs are HUGE and impact our daily thoughts, how we feel, our behaviors, self- esteem, and ultimately our results in life. If you want to change your life… change your beliefs and your mindset, and EMDR can help you with that in a BIG way.
“The treatment made me look deep, very deep, into my own existence. I’m more attentive to my feelings. Now I treasure each and every moment of my life.” –Richard Webster, mine fire victim, quoted in the Family Therapy Networker
4. It is a powerful tool for Self-Improvement.
Even if you don’t have any traumas or significantly disturbing events in your life, EMDR can still benefit you. The negative limiting beliefs, as discussed above, not only impact us personally. They can also impact our relationships, job performance, health, and prevent us from reaching our full potentials.
EMDR is also extremely beneficial in overcoming our negative habits and patterns, and can also aid in Performance Enhancement when it comes to work, creativity, writers block, sports, and fitness, etc. It helps us change our stories about ourselves and what we are capable of.
“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a real help in overcoming not only trauma but the wide variety of less dramatic issues that bring people in to my office: overcoming jealousy, envy, the loss of relationships, fear of taking a test or fear of an intimidating boss, writer’s and artist’s block and a variety of self-sabotage.” –Lewis Engel, Ph.D
5. It helps prevent Burnout.
Regardless of whether you are a first responder, an ER physician, an accountant, an artist, or a stay at home mom. Everyone is capable of reaching the point of burn out. Where you are drained, exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, and feel like you just can’t hold on any longer…
And it’s not a pretty place to be. The nuances of daily living, job stress, families, relationships, finances, health, and more, they can really get to you. Especially if you have a habit of repressing your emotions.
Coming in for a session of EMDR every so often, dependent on your individual struggles, can help you to avoid getting to that burnout place. Burnout is where we need preventative measures in place, and this is one of those tools that I strongly believe in. It sounds too good to be true, but I guarantee you, it’s not.
“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) , which to newcomers sounds implausible and way too good to be true, may become the psychological wonder cure of the nineties, the non-pharmaceutical equivalent of Prozac.”–New York Magazine
I have experienced EMDR both personally and professionally, and have seen first-hand its’ amazing benefits and powers. It’s incredible. I will always recommend it, regardless of what you are being treated for, or what you would like to work on. It’s a way for people to free themselves from destructive thinking, limiting beliefs, disturbing memories, and it seems to work in cases where years of conventional talk therapy has made no progress.
It’s able to help people to the extent clinicians have never dreamed of until recent years. And I’m an avid EMDR advocate. What do you think about EMDR? Have you tried it? If not, would you be willing to try it? Have you worked on issues where conventional therapy didn’t seem to help? Do you think EMDR could benefit you?