EMDR Therapy

In my last post I told you I was seeking therapy to help me work through what I thought started out as my fear of scorpions that may have turned into a full-blown scorpion phobia. I promised to give you an update as soon as I could. It’s been a while since my last post because what I thought was going to be a simple fix turned out to be so much more. I will share all that with you but, first, I want you to know why I even want to share my personal issues here at all.

When I started my blog my goal was to share things from my life that I felt might help someone else who might be dealing with similar issues. My bi-line on my blog clearly states my blog is about “Family life..with a unique perspective of motherhood”. So what does that mean? Well, to me, it means I will share honestly with my readers, everything I know to be true from the events of my life because I wish I would have had someone being honest with me as I was growing up, as a young adult, and as I became a mother. Life isn’t always easy and I know we all have our own crosses to carry in this life and my struggles are no more or less than anyone else’s, but I am more willing to talk about my issues in the hopes I can help even one other person who might be dealing with big life issues like the betrayal and broken trust of a loved one, which for me, that lesson came directly at the hands of my father. Growing up, I never knew that sometimes father’s aren’t always your hero, and mothers can live in denial… I wish there would have been someone sharing with me how one moves past all that and what can happen to you if you don’t deal with the impacts that kind of hurt and grief brings. Even though I forgave my father, and I did, I never sought the help I should have to help me put me back together as a healthy, whole, person. I went through the motions, and even took care of those who hurt me, but I was not skilled enough to patch up all the holes the emotional stress caused me and had no idea how the walls I put up could come crashing down around me.

Turns out, as I went merrily along my way in life, I thought I had all the emotional hurts packed neatly away and I would never be haunted by them again. Then, we moved to this beautiful little dream house, and I found out we had scorpions, not unlike thousands of other people who live in the beautiful Arizona desert. But, for me, what should have been a “healthy” respectful fear of the scorpions, quickly turned into Traumatic Stress as diagnosed by my Therapist.

Well now, how did a fear of scorpions turn into traumatic stress? Turns out, all the stress I have been packing neatly away all these years from growing up in a dysfunctional family, Shantel losing her eyes to cancer, my Katie not stepping up to be a real mother to Shantel, my father hurting Shantel which in turn tore our entire family apart, my mother’s denial, my brother’s deaths and not having them in my life which has direct ties back to the hurt my father caused… and all the other things I discussed in my past blog posts, all these things I saw as evils in my life… then, one day, after we moved into this new home, I saw a scorpion, and suddenly I had a break from reality as that scorpion represented every EVIL I have ever dealt with in my life or thought I dealt with. I am finding out the human brain will shut down what it cannot process or it will put the excess stressful information into a part of the brain where it gets locked in and causes traumatic stress until that information is unlocked through psychotherapy followed by intensive counseling.

I found a wonderful Therapist, who not only is a professional counselor, but also a EMDR Trauma Clinician Level II. EMDR is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a powerful method of psychotherapy that has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress.

Next Post: How EMDR Works!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 20:57:34

    So so proud of you!!! xoxo MORE!


  2. Megs
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 14:37:21

    You still amaze me! Dealing with this head on shows such courage & strenght. Very proud of you. Love you!


  3. Dr. Patti Levin
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 11:45:58

    Awesome blog, Beyond Cinderella!! I’m a therapist who uses EMDR as my primary method and I’ve also personally had EMDR therapy for my anxiety (regular old anxiety), performance anxiety, and grief. As a client, EMDR worked extremely well and also really fast (just a few sessions) on my problems. Recently I read Dr. Shapiro’s new book “Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR.” Dr. Shapiro is the founder/creator of EMDR (but all the proceeds from the book go to two charities: the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program and the EMDR Research Foundation). Anyway, the book is terrific! It’s an easy read, helps you understand what’s “pushing” your feelings and behavior, helps you connect the dots from past experiences to current life. Also gives lots of really helpful ways to calm disturbing thoughts and feelings. I recommend it to all my clients, and to all my friends and relatives! I just want to add that in my experience as an EMDR therapist (certified by the EMDR International Association and trained by the EMDR Institute, both of which I strongly recommend you look for in an EMDR Level II therapist) I have used EMDR successfully with PTSD, anxiety issues, depression, grief, body image, phobias, panic attacks, and bad dreams. And probably more stuff that I can’t remember at the moment. Other EMDR therapists are more proficient in using it for eating disorders, OCD, dissociative disorders, etc. It’s a very gentle method with no “down-side” in that in the hands of a professional EMDR therapist, there should be no freak-outs or worsening of day-to-day functioning. You know if it’s going to be helpful for you within a few sessions, even though the full treatment might take longer, so it’s efficient and cost-effective. You learn self-soothing techniques, many of which are also in the book mentioned above, so you can ground yourself both during the sessions and between sessions. Unlike CBT, there’s no homework. Unlike Exposure Therapy, you’re not forced to relive the horrors of bad events without relief. I can’t say enough good things about EMDR. It’s changed my life both as a person/consumer, and as a therapist. It’s so satisfying to have someone come in for help and then to witness them get through their issues and finish therapy relatively quickly (compared to regular talk therapy, it’s like night and day). I am both humbled by and grateful for this wonderful method that heals suffering.


    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 01, 2012 @ 13:10:40

      Thank you so much Dr. Levin for reading my blog and leaving your comments. I looked at your website and marked it as a favorite so I can read the articles you post. I also appreciate you taking the time to suggest Dr. Shapiro’s new book “Getting Past Your Past”. I will buy that book and read it. I am still working with my therapist, who is a EMDR Level II therapist here in Arizona, and who I feel very comfortable with. I can’t say enough about EMDR either. It is just amazing to me how it works and is the best treatment I’ve ever experienced! Virginia


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