Healing Women’s Trauma Through EMDR
Hey, ladies! Are you tired of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Do you feel like you’re stuck in a cycle of trauma and anxiety?
Well, have no fear because EMDR therapy is here! And no, it’s not some weird cult or some type of unachievable yoga pose. It’s Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, and it’s here to help you heal from all kinds of traumas, including sexual trauma, childhood trauma, auto accidents, infertility, childbirth, abuse, and even immigration trauma.
So, what exactly is EMDR therapy?
It’s kind of like a magic trick for your brain. The idea is to stimulate both sides of your brain while you focus on a traumatic memory, which helps your brain reprocess the memory in a more productive way. You will be prompted to pendulate between a negative belief and a positive one. You don’t need to be a magician to make it work.
All you need is a trained EMDR therapist and a willingness to explore your trauma in a contained, safe environment.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Eye movements? What kind of crazy is this?” But trust me, it’s not as scary as it sounds. The therapist will guide you through a series of eye movements or other forms of rhythmic stimulation while you focus on your traumatic memory. It’s like playing a game of “Follow the Leader” with your eyes, and it’s surprisingly effective. Tapping is another big part of EMDR and it can be self-administered so if you do not like being touched, it is okay. Surprisingly, EMDR is just as effective in an online session as it is in person. Many clients report feeling safer in their home and often are able to process their trauma with greater ease in the comfort of their bedroom or living room.
So, how can EMDR therapy help you? Let’s break it down:
Sexual Trauma: If you’ve experienced sexual trauma, it can be hard to trust others and feel safe in your own skin. EMDR therapy can help you process the traumatic memories and reduce their emotional impact. It’s like hitting the “reset” button on your brain.
Childhood Trauma: Childhood trauma can stick with you for a lifetime, but it doesn’t have to define you. EMDR therapy can help you reprocess those memories and let go of the emotional baggage that comes with them. It can help reduce nightmares and night terrors.
Auto Accidents: Car accidents can be traumatic experiences that leave you feeling anxious and on edge. EMDR therapy can help you process those emotions and reduce their impact on your daily life. Who knows, maybe you’ll even feel comfortable driving on the highway again!
Infertility: Struggling with infertility can be an incredibly isolating experience. EMDR therapy can help you process the emotions associated with infertility and find a way to move forward. This can include helping offset the triggering events that take place in a doctor’s office or even the emotions that come with negative news regarding your fertility.
Childbirth: Giving birth is supposed to be a magical experience, but it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. EMDR therapy can help you process any traumatic memories associated with childbirth or loss and reduce their impact on your mental health and well-being.
Abuse: Abuse can leave deep scars – often unseen by others – that are hard to heal. But EMDR therapy can help you process those memories and reclaim your power.
Immigration Trauma: Moving to a new country can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and scary. EMDR therapy can help you process the emotions associated with leaving your home country and adapting to a new culture. This includes immigration as a child and the stressors that came with it.
Lastly, EMDR therapy has gained recognition as an effective treatment for trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. However, it is important to consider the cultural implications of EMDR therapy and how it may affect individuals from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Diversity plays a significant role in the way individuals process emotions, deal with trauma, and seek help. Therefore, it is important for that you as a client seek out therapists who are culturally sensitive and understand the unique needs and perspectives of their clients. Any type of therapy requires vulnerability and it will aid you in feeling safer and more open if you have a therapist who cares about you as an individual.
So, if you’re feeling weighed down by your traumas, don’t be afraid to give EMDR therapy a try. It’s like hitting the “reset” button on your brain and starting fresh. And who doesn’t love a good reset button?
- American Psychiatric Association. (2017). What is PTSD? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd
- Shapiro, F. (2014). The Role of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in Medicine: Addressing the Psychological and Physical Symptoms Stemming from Adverse Life Experiences. The Permanente Journal, 18
- “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.” American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/eye-movement-reprocessing
- “EMDR Therapy.” EMDR International Association. https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/
- Shapiro, F. (2018). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures. Guilford Press.
- “EMDR Therapy: What You Need to Know.” National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eye-movement-desensitization-and-reprocessing-emdr-therapy/index.shtml
- “The effectiveness of EMDR in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis.” Journal of Anxiety Disorders. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887618517301871
- “EMDR Therapy: An Overview of Recent Developments and New Directions.” Journal of EMDR Practice and Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6279746/
- “EMDR Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.” JAMA. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2733734
These sources provide information on the principles, protocols, and procedures of EMDR therapy, as well as its effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health disorders. They also provide an overview of recent developments and new directions in EMDR therapy.
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© 2023 by Stacey Inal, CA LMFT #120626 Los Angeles, California.