(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
Unbearable Physical Pain… Sometimes without Relief
After seeing a variety of counselors, Doug entered my office feeling defeated. He has walked around in pain for many years.
Doug has peripheral neuropathy, which causes excruciating pain in his arms and legs almost every day.
And instead of offering some sort of relief, surgeries have added even more pain.
But, that was just the physical part…
Psychological Suffering… and Not Knowing Why
For him, the mental part was much worse.
Anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and suicidal thoughts left him shaking most days.
But why? He couldn’t identify any significant traumas.
In fact, he described a pretty decent childhood. He said he had parents who loved him. Siblings who were close. But for some reason, Doug felt overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed.
He honestly did not know why.
A New Approach in a Safe Place
After a few months of talk therapy with minimal improvement, Doug agreed to try EMDR therapy.
He was eager to try anything that might help.
We began by creating a calm, safe place. Creating this safe space assists the therapist in offering an escape for the client if and when panic arises.
This simple, safe, and effective first step also helps to discover if EMDR therapy is a good therapeutic fit moving forward.
It worked well for Doug, so we proceeded.
Relief from the Pain
After our very first session, Doug was completely amazed and grateful that he was absolutely pain-free.
He cried, for he had not been without pain for many years! But during session, he was!
We continued using EMDR therapy for the next several weeks and, within 9 months of seeing Doug, his wife was in my office to say THANK YOU.
She explained how she had a brand new man by her side. She had all but lost hope that her husband would ever be the same man she married.
Back to Life with Less Physical and Mental Pain
Doug was an eager client. He was more than willing to be vulnerable and try something different—anything really. Doug still experiences sporadic but less intrusive pain in his daily life.
He is always eager to do some basic EMDR techniques in session, to give him some temporary relief. He has also learned some basic pain management techniques to practice at home, and he says it helps reduce the severity of his pain.
Mentally, Doug says he has “come off the ledge.” He will tell you that he makes self-care a daily priority. It is not a one-and-done type thing for him. He needs to manage his self-talk and personal core beliefs every day.
How Trauma Affects Us… and How EMDR Helps
EMDR is a highly recognized technique that helps to treat and lessen the disturbances of trauma.
When trauma is introduced (big or small—trauma does not need to be life shattering), our bodies are uniquely designed to get through it in the quickest way possible.
Often times we are then stuck with negative side-effects (depression, anxiety, panic, obsessions, etc.) due to our brain’s inability to process what had happened.
EMDR reconnects the neuropathways in the brain, which lessons the disturbance of that event—even though the memory of it still exists.
You are then able to remember the event without the negative feelings associated with it.
And, in some cases, it may have been many, many years.