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  • Writer's pictureBrianna Collier

Is EMDR Therapy worth the hype?

I had a conversation with a client recently that went something like this,

"I'm just feeling stuck. Nothing I am doing seems to be helping. I just want to be better already."

I feel that. The desperation. The feeling that maybe you won't emerge from this reality of hard emotions and lack of motivation.

Sometimes we find ourselves looking at ourselves in the mirror one day and don't like what we see. We can have thoughts like, "How did I get here?" or, "This isn't what I thought life would look like."

You're not alone, many of us have felt the same at one point or another.

The important thing to remember is that without trying something new or doing the work, we simply will not move forward or progress.

The client I mentioned above suffers from past trauma that resulted in feeling triggered and stuck in the present. They have tried different kinds of therapy and haven't made the progress they really want.

I recommended EMDR Therapy to help them.

What is EMDR therapy anyway? Why do people keep talking about it?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a highly researched and evidenced based effective therapy for treating past trauma and providing relief and healing much faster than with talk therapy alone. It incorporates the body's natural way of processing to help move the things along that feel stuck.

So often I encounter people in my practice that have just been in survival mode for so long they don't know anything different. They have trauma but don't realize it or aren't willing to face it.

Most times, trauma and the hard emotions it carries is scary and intimidating to think about let alone face. I hear, "I'm afraid of being overwhelmed and not being able to resurface if I feel these feelings."

I hear you and I see you. My response to this is that we have been conditioned to not be on good terms with emotions. We have learned in one way or another that if we feel hard emotions we will be overcome and sink under the weight of them. So, we learn to bury them under the age old pretense that "time will heal all wounds."

It simply isn't the case my friend. Time doesn't always heal all wounds. Some wounds require intensive care to heal.

The hard reality is, we didn't have the coping skills we needed to deal effectively with these hard moments and hard emotions. Your system did the best it could and helped you through that hard moment. Now, like many of my clients, you're recognizing that surviving just isn't enough. You're ready to thrive.

Emotions at the core of their design, are supposed to be helpers. Emotions signal that something is wrong or right and always point to our needs. They need to have space to breathe and room to move to be let out or else, like a volcano, they do explode and overwhelm us.

Dealing with past trauma helps let emotions breathe and come out. I recommend doing that in a safe and controlled environment where you can get specialized help, like therapy.

EMDR therapy is designed to be a gentle and effective way of dealing with trauma so that it doesn't affect us in the present in the forms of triggers, the inability to handle distressing emotions and events and mental health diagnoses like anxiety, depression and anger.

Trauma is anything that was too overwhelming for our system to handle. This could be something "big" or something "small." A car accident, war crimes, or even chronic emotional neglect or bullying in childhood.

Undealt with, trauma is like open tabs on an internet browser constantly loading, constantly draining you of energy. You try to open up new tabs and find you have difficulty loading them.

You try to move on with your life, but you find you don't have the capacity, or are blocked by debilitating feelings of anxiety or depression.

EMDR literally helps rewire your brain to reprocess these painful experiences drawing energy in your system and moving them to just memories so you can release and let go.

This same client I mentioned earlier was afraid to face their past because it was overwhelming. When they finally did face it with me using EMDR, they found that they were able to heal their painful experience within 3 sessions. Something that a year of talk therapy wasn't able to accomplish. They were free from the familiar triggers and they found their feelings of anxiety and depression started to lift.

If you're ready for relief and a real change, please reach out to us. You're not alone and healing really can be within your reach. Collier Counseling and Life Coaching has trained EMDR therapists who can help you on this healing journey.

Call (702) 860-5249 to schedule a consultation or initial therapy session with founder, Sherri Collier LMFT.


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