Following on from my last post, I found this explanation of how EMDR can help with our difficult memories or PTSD,
I am feeling grateful for recently completing level 3 EMDR training. This therapy is great treatment for various mental health difficulties such as PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Anger and Pain.
EMDR is an acronym for ‘Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing’. EMDR is a powerful psychological treatment method that was developed by an American clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s. As a Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute, she published the first research data to support the benefits of the therapy in 1989.
EMDR featured on BBC Radio 4s programme iPM recently. The programme told the story of a woman revisiting intense experiences of being bullied very early in life, with event at just age four. Listen to here story here: http://emdrassociation.org.uk/whatis-emdr/
let me know what you think!
CBT can help us identify and challenge unhelpful thinking styles such as:
Compare and despair
Seeing only the good and positive aspects in others, and comparing ourselves negatively against them
Putting ourselves down, self-criticism, blaming ourselves for events or situations that are not totally our responsibility
Low self esteem can lead to an increase in these types of unhelpful thinking styles, which will create a vicious cycle impacting on mood and behaviour.
One thing we can do is challenge these by writing them down using a thought diary:
Making this a regular thing can increase our awareness and allow more opportunities to challenge and dismiss these – thoughts are not facts!
Depleting activities are what drags us down, spending too much time on screens, not taking lunch breaks, too busy to connect with others. Not enough time spent doing nurturing activities such as getting outside, connecting with nature and friends can cause low mood.
Try getting a balance of depleting/necessary/nurturing activities in your life to create more meaning…
In support of clients suffering with OCD and intrusive thoughts, I recommend a course of CBT treatment. Often those suffering don’t seek help for up to 12 years which means that some of the patterns of thinking and behaviours can become cemented in.
There’s a lot of evidence that CBT is effective for treating OCD. But it can be challenging and may make you feel more anxious at first. Talk to your doctor about whether you are ready to start CBT.
Clients can begin to learn how to manage OCD when speaking to a therapist.
ERP is a type of CBT that is recommended for treating OCD. ERP works by helping you confront your obsessions and resist the urge to carry out compulsions.
During ERP the therapist will support you to deliberately put yourself in a situation that would usually make you feel anxious. Instead of performing your usual compulsion you will be encouraged to try and tolerate the anxiety. They may even suggest that you do something that makes you feel even more anxious.
ERP helps you to see that the uncomfortable feelings will eventually go away even if you don’t perform a compulsion. As ERP continues people find that their obsessions cause them less anxiety and the anxiety they do feel goes away faster. They feel less need to do compulsions. This is called habituation.
You would always start by confronting situations you find easy and building up slowly to more difficult situations.
Relapse prevention strategies such as Mindfulness (MBCT) can then be helpful in order to sustain recovery.
In the midst of presents I am reminded to value the presence of my loved ones and appreciate what they bring to my life…
Warmest wishes for the season xxx
Acceptance is easier said than done and in our busy interactive world we seek to get rid of difficult feelings by way of avoidance, distraction and keeping busy. Through this struggle, suffering is maintained and resistance persists.
Cultivating acceptance will assist us in accepting where we are right now with this experience. You might be avoiding the difficult emotions, situations and moments of your life, but it might benefit you greatly to ask instead “what can I learn from this?”
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times.
The problem is that we need to cultivate the ability to truly accept whatever comes and embrace it, mindfully in this moment as best we can.