Are there things you think about from your past that make you cringe when you remember? Are there memories that are hard to even picture from your past? Do you find yourself coming up with ways to try not to think about a difficult memory? EMDR can help you get past those things. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is very helpful to help you move past a memory that keeps intruding into your thinking.
Here’s an example from a former client of mine. (Printed with permission)
After several sessions of preparation and treatment planning, I conducted one, 60 minute EMDR session with a client whose PTSD came from past domestic violence. We targeted one intrusive memory she kept seeing in her mind. She had been experiencing nightmares most every night about this one specific memory for nine years. After one EMDR reprocessing session she reported she stopped having the intrusive frightening memory and in the follow up session when I asked her to recall the memory, she smiled and said, “I never realized how powerful I was until now”. “I wasn’t able to keep myself safe then but I am safe now”. Two years later, when I worked with this client again about an unrelated issue, she reported that she had only thought about the memory a few times and each memory made her smile and remember our session.
“Getting past your past” is a phrase often used in EMDR treatment because that’s exactly what EMDR can do for you. It doesn’t make the memory disappear. It doesn’t make you feel as if it never happened, but instead it makes you have a new, more adapted memory of the event. Instead of feeling the pain or the sting of a painful memory, EMDR we can bring the memory from the past, into more adapted, more experienced present day thinking and help you consider it from the current perspective. This allows us to focus on a past event without going back into the past and reliving the event or re-experiencing the event with the intensity of emotion that we once couldn’t escape. EMDR offers freedom from your past.