Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

1715734276Our clients have gone through many different types of trauma.

Some have experienced big traumas like car accidents, physical or sexual abuse, or assault that have left a lasting mark and colored everything they see and do.

Others experienced emotionally explosive parents who made growing up very unpredictable, especially in the early years. This led to all kinds of coping, from stuffing everything inside where it was safe to “acting out” behaviors like substance abuse, cutting, or punching walls.

Others had parents who were emotionally neglectful and never contributed to their self-esteem in any kind of positive way.

Or they were invalidated whenever they expressed negative feelings like depression or anxiety.

When parents repeatedly send the message to a child that they’re not safe emotionally or physically, it leads to that child believing that they aren’t loved unless they act happy, unbothered, or accomplished.

All these events are damaging, all of their messages are false, and any one of them makes you a good candidate for EMDR.

It can be a daily struggle.

Most of our clients who have experienced trauma have significant anxiety, depression, and self-esteem challenges.

There’s no area it doesn’t affect: school, work, friendships, relationships, and intimacy.

You can be distracted by your thoughts all day as if they’re running in the background like music. Or you try to be so busy that the memories don’t come to you… and then they do the moment your head hits the pillow at night.

EMDR is an effective trauma treatment.

You’re likely a good candidate if you’re bothered by vividly intrusive memories or are “triggered” regularly.

It’s appropriate for all kinds of traumas – from that minor fender bender you got into last month to deep-seated childhood memories that still affect you today.

We’ve used EMDR successfully with clients (children through adults) who have experienced toxic relationships, car accidents, childhood divorce, and sexual assault… just to name a few.

As part of our training, we’ve done EMDR ourselves… and can say that it works!

2120760704This type of trauma work is a lot like eating a two-pound hamburger…

You can’t eat it all at once; you must do it one bite at a time.

First, we’ll ensure things are safe in your present world before diving into the past. EMDR is heavy work. To look at the foundation of your “house,” we must put the fires out initially. One of the first things we do is check basic needs: resource needs, emotional needs, social supports, and family dynamics and work on stabilizing those as much as possible.

Next, we’ll teach you some grounding and regulation skills to cope with any emotions that might arise when addressing the trauma. In EMDR, many feelings can come up: joy, relief, anger, etc. By tapping your go-to coping skills, adding a few more, and wrapping them in the blanket of various other tools we use, like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, we give you the armor you need to face your past.

As with everything we do at Nurtured Hope, we work at a pace you’re comfortable with. We’ll be right there beside you every step of the way.

1168791064Now, on to actually doing EMDR…

It will feel a little goofy at first, watching fingers move across a screen and following only with your eyes. You might get distracted by the movement or your thoughts or dissociate a bit. But once we start getting into the emotional content of the memory we’re going after, you’ll find yourself falling into a groove.

You’ll start being back in that room, some of the feelings coming to you through the layer of time that’s passed since that moment. You’ll swear you were “mostly” over it until you remember, eye movement set by eye movement set, how much it affected you at the time.

Here’s the good news: you’re still here now. You’re older, wiser… SAFE. You still have your perspective and all the skills we worked on up to this point.

Bite by bite, the memory gets taken down like a piece of IKEA furniture until nothing is left of it. EMDR doesn’t make you forget, but it does take away the weight, the burden, the wound that never seemed to close fully until now.

It’s never too soon (or too late) to start!

If you’ve felt stuck by something that happened to you….

If you’ve felt weighed down by the past….

If you’ve struggled with letting people close to you because of how you were raised…

Now is the time to reach out. Contact us today to let us know how we can help: (786) 401-5603.