Feeling Trapped in the Maze-Part 2
The EMDR Therapy solution can change your life
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a powerful psychotherapy technique, which is very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, fear, disturbing memories, anger and many other emotional problems. In the past these conditions were difficult and time-consuming to treat. EMDR Therapy can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress.
In our day-to-day life we may experience anxiety, fear and anger. We must remember that all of these are very normal emotions. These emotions are very problematic when we get stuck in the maze of the emotion or when we feel these emotions at a greater intensity than what the situation we are experiencing requires. For example, if you are experiencing a level 10+ on a Level of Disturbance Scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents the highest level of disturbance and 0 represents no disturbance, but as you review your experience you feel that your level of disturbance really should be a 3 or a 4. This spike of disturbance represents an unresolved issue in your life that has not been adequately dealt with. With EMDR Therapy I assist my clients in identifying and resolving these past issues.
Here in part 2 we are going to review various scenarios where I have found EMDR Therapy to be really useful for my clients. First let’s talk about the MAZE OF ANXIETY AND FEAR. Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all have to deal with and learn to manage one way or another. For many of us it creates barriers in our lives that hinder us in both our personal and professional lives. I have used EMDR Therapy to help many individuals break through these barriers and to get out of this maze. Examples of this include: 1) Feeling more comfortable and confident in public places. 2) Increased enjoyment in flying and traveling. 3) Having more confidence in and around water, such as swimming and snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico. 4) Feeling more confidence in dealing with issues at work and talking to their supervisor.
Second, let’s talk about the MAZE OF ANGER. Anger is also a very normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. I have used EMDR Therapy to assist several of my clients in the understanding and processing of their anger in healthy ways. We worked together to assess the nature of the anger and determine the root of it and came up with healthy ways of dealing with similar situations in the future. Some issues that I have helped my clients with include: 1) Dealings with their ex-spouse without feeling overwhelmed and triggered to a point where one feels that they are losing control. 2) Dealing with unresolved anger towards a parent or sibling. 3) Dealing with unresolved anger as a result of being bullied physically or sexually abused.
Third, let’s talk about the MAZE OF SHAME. Many of us have grown up into adulthood with lingering feelings of shame. These feelings have their roots in early childhood experiences and they still have this nasty way of affecting our lives and relationships today. These feelings can include: 1) “I’m not good enough.” 2) “There is something wrong with me.” 3) ‘I’m a loser.” 4) “I’m fat and ugly.” All of this negative scripting has its origins in early childhood experiences. These words often originate from our parents, our siblings and/or our peers. Too often as a child when we hear these words, we believe them and allow them to echo through our hearts and mind for years to come. Being stuck in this maze negatively affects our lives in many ways until we find someone to help us change these self-destructive scripts into new and healthy ones. This is what we do in EMDR Therapy. We can go back into those childhood experiences and correct these negative, hurtful and destructive scripts. Once this is completed, the healing and transformation of the individual can begin.
Fourth, let’s talk about the MAZE OF GRIEF. Grief is an emotion that many of us have experienced. I have lost both of my parents and in August of 2000, my wife and I lost our 20-year-old son in a tragic car accident. EMDR Therapy was very useful in helping us navigate through this loss. In my practice I have helped several of my clients address the issue of the loss of a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend, a sibling and even a pet.
The EMDR technique can be really effective when used in conjunction with other traditional methods of therapy in treating these emotional disorders. As a therapist, I work gently with my clients and ask them to revisit the traumatic moment or incident, recalling feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative thoughts, feelings and memories. EMDR is a natural process. The client and I become partners on this journey. Together we work to transcend and free up the energy, so the client can return to their natural grounded state of being. The goal of this work is to help the client heal, so they can return to their life with greater peace. Clients who have gone on this journey find greater harmony in their lives and greater intimacy in their relationships. They feel more confident and have greater skill in resolving conflicts and communicating their needs.
How do I know if EMDR Therapy is right for me?
There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating the appropriateness of EMDR Therapy for a client's particular situation and history. During the initial consultation, all of the relevant factors will be discussed to help the client come to a decision to move forward with EMDR Therapy. For many, this one hour consultation is the beginning of healing which opens doors to greater peace and harmony in their relationships and in all other areas of their life.
Don Short has a Master’s degree in Counseling and has been licensed as a Professional Counselor since 2003 (lic. # 2669). He is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Lic. # 648) and has served as a Regional Director of Gulf Coast Social Services for over twenty-seven years. Mr. Short is the owner of After Hours Counseling located in Lafayette, LA. His practice focuses on clients with marriage, relationship and family issues. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Contact After Hours Counseling 337-781-4565 or www.afterhourscounseling.com