By Linda K. Laffey, MFT
The beginning of a new year is a popular time to gauge the quality of your life. Many people become more transparent than usual, creating a list of areas in which they want to see a change as well as a game plan to make it happen.
Such a purposeful list is often called a wellness plan. This strategic approach can be beneficial in several ways. For one, it helps you to identify what you genuinely want in your life. Also, it encourages you to develop a method to reach your goals.
Sometimes a wellness plan involves recovering from a mental condition, such as an eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or trauma-induced anxiety.
If this sounds like your to-do list this year, consider Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to help you recover. Here’s why.
How to Create Your Wellness Plan
- Before landing on a specific treatment method to assist in all your goal-reaching, you must first create your wellness plan. Here are three steps to take to help you get there:
Identify Your Goals – Make time to sit alone with your thoughts and desires. Write down your core values—those things that genuinely matter to you—and formulate your goals based on those values.
- Develop Your Strategy – After pinpointing your mental health goals, brainstorm ways to make recovery happen for you. Some ideas might include participating in therapy, starting a yoga regime, meditating, removing toxic people from your life, etc.
- Benchmark Your Progress – Recovering from a mental health condition isn’t the same as healing from a broken bone, for example. However, you can still benchmark your progress by celebrating small victories and gauging your daily emotions. Keeping a journal is an excellent way to document your pathway to wellness.
How EMDR Supports Your Goals
Once you’ve hashed out the changes you’d like to see in your life, it’s time to dive into a treatment program. Many people choose EMDR to help them reach their goals—and for good reason.
Works with Your Mind
Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR works with your natural brain function to eliminate having to re-live the trauma. Instead of taking a number of months or years to reach a safe place of wellness, EMDR therapy often works in a few sessions.
Just like your body works diligently to heal itself, your mind does the same. When an emotional blockage stops the healing process—much like a splinter would do under your skin—healing is arrested. Removing the blockage allows healing to resume.
EMDR works in the same way—but through a biological mechanism in the brain.
Allows You to Release the Past
It’s not uncommon for “everyday” memories or recollections of traumatic events to cause severe emotional and mental discomfort. While no one can change the past, EMDR helps you to release those memories (aka emotional blockages) harmlessly.
To remove emotional blockage via EMDR, the therapist will collaborate with the client, and together they will determine which painful memory to target. Through an eight-phase treatment method, the painful memory can be reprogramed so that it doesn’t cause you pain upon recollection.
Encourages You to Embrace the Future
Managing painful memories and the mental health conditions that accompany them can be an excruciating process. Many people exhaust all their energy merely to cope, leaving no zest for the future.
EMDR helps you to embrace the future by redirecting your energy. No longer will you have to put vast amounts of effort into coping mechanisms because the memories won’t be so hurtful.
In other words, you can stop trying so hard to “live.” Instead, EMDR encourages you to move forward in your life, embracing your future and the healing therein.
Take the first step…
If you’re ready to explore how EMDR therapy can enable you to release the past and embrace the future, I would like to help. Please contact me by phone 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