The urge to write this guide followed me for years and it may not have happened without the prompting of a friend who saw the idea independently of my ever mentioning it. His saying it prompted me to get my ass in gear. Thanks for that, friend.
Some people want to write their stories, I want to share some of the process that has kept my story alive for so many years. It’s not a secret to friends and family that my journey through depression and anxiety has been a long one. At the same time, for some reason, I was gifted in this life with a desire to keep going, to seek answers that have led over and over to renewed energy. This is my gift back to the world, a guide to the healing modalities I have used and my experience of each. I am forever grateful for the amazing healers I have met who have opened my eyes to see myself as I really am.
This guide is arranged in the same way for each modality:
- Introduction of the modality’s definition and purpose
- The link to the official information
- A sharing of my experience of the modality
I do not claim to be an expert in regard to any of them nor do I claim to have information about every healing modality that exists.
The purpose of this guide is meant to raise awareness as to what I know exists in the hope that others may also be prompted to seek healing and transformation for themselves.
Whether you seek something written in this guide is not the point. The point is to engender you to seek beauty in this world from the inside out. May you find more and more beauty each day.
Chapter 1: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Definition per the EMDR Institute
EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Link to the EMDR Institute’s Definition: https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
I delved into EMDR a handful of times when I was deep in the midst of the pain after my divorce, I remember being surprised at what came up for me during those first few sessions. We started with a really young memory, when I was three or four, when I had a disease and spent a lot of time in the hospital. I had never considered this as something to work on, because it all ended well, meaning I was healed of the disease. The story I had was positive; I just hadn’t considered there were other ways I had related to it as a kid, that somewhere inside me I carried a different interpretation. The three-year-old was scared and, in her eyes, she was the cause of fear and pain in the family. I felt the weight of that little girl’s experience. I felt what had been stuck in me for so long. She now had a voice and was acknowledged. Being present to it all gave me the opportunity to complete that lingering story. The result was a shift out of the weight of that energy.
That experience was a small piece of a large, complex puzzle that made up the whole body of the intense pain I felt. I remember at the time being disappointed that we landed at that story because I wanted to fix all of the other pain, the “real” pain, as I saw it. I was impatient and, rightfully so, as I was barely surviving each day and desperately pursuing relief.