It’s hard to enjoy the here and now when your brain keeps bringing up the painful past.

Especially at a family gathering.

Maybe you’d like to enjoy family functions, but often end up feeling uncomfortable. You might have even excused yourself from the dinner table simply to go collect yourself. It could be that the sights, sounds, or even smells at family gatherings trigger a negative emotional response from you.

If you’re all too familiar with these scenarios, then you’ve been suffering for too long. Following is how EMDR can help stop the suffering so that you can enjoy family gatherings.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing is a therapy targeting memories that evoke a negative response. These memories are not always new or fresh, but they are unaltered in your mind.

This means that you haven’t processed them as anything but harmful. Thinking of them makes you feel anxious and can cause an intense emotional reaction.

Often, the memories are buried under some type of coping mechanism.

EMDR works to pinpoint these memories and process them into something innocuous. When you can recall these thoughts without them wreaking havoc in your mind, then you can start reclaiming your life.

During an EMDR session, you will be asked to recall the traumatic event. At the same time, your therapist will facilitate dual stimulation of your brain, usually through guided eye movements.

EMDR Takes the Sting Out of Common Experiences

When you experience something traumatic in your life, your brain remembers the stimulus surrounding the trauma and connects it to the memory.

This stimulus becomes what’s commonly known as a trigger. It could be something as simple as a smell, a phrase, or even a physical location that reminds your brain of the negative memory.

A domino effect typically follows and often ends in you experiencing anxiety. At family gatherings, it’s often simply the people in attendance serving as triggers. It’s no surprise that the sound of a relative’s voice or the way they smell could be a trigger as well.
EMDR effectively processes the traumatic memory and redefines it, per se. Essentially, the poison is sucked from the memory and replaced with neutrality.

You will still be able to recall the event, but it won’t cause anxiety or panic like it did before the therapy.

How Does EMDR Make Recovery Possible?

There is no cure-all when it comes to recovering from traumatic events. We’d all love to wave a magic wand and zap away the terrible hurt that follows trauma.

But there are other ways to find healing.

When it comes to trauma that occurs within a family, proximity can hinder healing. It’s not uncommon to remain in contact with someone you shared the traumatic experience with or who caused the trauma in the first place.

This obligated closeness might make you feel like you can’t move on past the negative experience.

EMDR methodology allows you to process the trauma from a safe mental distance. It also allows you to keep this same safe distance from the trauma and its triggers after the session, too.

Once you can approach the memory anxiety-free, it becomes possible to replace negative emotions with positive emotions.

Take the first step…

If you are ready to consider EMDR therapy for a painful past, I would like to help. I have been a Certified EMDR Therapist since 2004. I have helped hundreds of clients benefit from this incredibly useful methodology. Please get in touch with me via voicemail or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Linda K. Laffey, MFT

Thank you for requesting an appointment. One of our representatives will contact you shortly.

Inquiry Form