THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL IN MY TOOLBOX IS EMDR. It is possible with EMDR to clear a "simple" PTSD memory of its toxic effects in just a few sessions. PTSD, of whatever origin, no matter how long ago, can be effectively treated with EMDR. So can Complex PTSD.
I WAS FORTUNATE TO BE TRAINED BY FRANCINE SHAPIRO, the originator of EMDR, and other EMDR experts. I have been using this tool effectively since 1993.
IT HAS TO DO WITH PROCESSING AND STORAGE OF MEMORY. The way I explain it is you can eat a whole sliced cantaloupe at one time with no adverse effects. Ok, maybe a tummy ache. But it wont last. It won’t hurt you. But if you swallow a whole cantaloupe, all at once in one big gulp, you will have profound complications. It won't be digested. Similarly, huge traumatic memories of child abuse or memories of life threatening situations can overwhelm your system and not be processed properly so they trouble your mind, both waking and sleeping,.They can affect your relationships and your happiness for decades until you deal with them effectively. EMDR is the best way I know.
TRAUMATIC MEMORIES ARE SO BIG THEY CAN GET STUCK IN YOUR MIND CAUSING YOU PAIN FOR DECADES
Traumatic memories can be so big that they overwhelm your mind’s ability to process them so they get stuck, hurting you for years and decades. Sounds, smells, situations and more act as triggers causing you to have flashbacks that take you back to the moment of injury so you get to relive the horror over and over again. You get to feel the fear, the betrayal, the sadness, the anger, and sometimes a wild swirl of emotions over and over again at high intensity. EMDR can help that, sometimes in just a few sessions the memory can be completely "digested" and detoxified. Sometimes it takes longer.
BUT EMDR ISN'T JUST FOR "TRAUMA" AS WE THINK OF IT. Many of you suffered from neglect as children. Others did not get the nurturing and cuddling and soothing they craved. Some of you were bullied. Some were ignored. And all of those "little" traumas combined to make your life very, very difficult. And now maybe you are sad, depressed, anxious, even suicidal and don't know why. And if you know why you may not know what to do about it. Now you do.
One final note about these complex mental processes and responses to pain: They can affect all aspects of your life: mate selection - or selections; addictions - sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography - you name it. They can make you numb, incapable of feeling. Or they can make you so sad you can't stop crying. Thankfully we have EMDR. It is a Godsend.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
Those weren't enough exclamation marks! FLASH THERAPY is so new there has only been one paper published but it the most exciting therapy I've found since EMDR. It is incredibly rapid and most of my clients claim that they leave the therapy office feeling great.
One quick example in which I have changed identifying details. A woman was visiting San Antonio for a convention. Several months before she had suffered a rape. She began having flashbacks and reached out to a therapist friend here for help. The therapist called me and I was able to see her the night before her plane left to take her home. We had only an hour together but with Flash I was able to help her reduce the emotional power of the rape so she no longer felt hopeless and suicidal. During a follow-up call a month later she told me she was no longer bothered by the events we addressed and that she had found an EMDR therapist in her area with whom she was continuing therapy.
A SKILLED EMDR PROFESSIONAL CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
CLASSIC "TALK" THERAPY
IS A MIGHTY TOOL The center of talk therapy - as with most therapies - is the relationship between the client and the therapist. That truth makes it vital that you choose your therapist with the utmost care.
As one of my clients told me, "I don't want any of that new stuff ... I wasn talk therapy. I need to talk to someone aboout my problems. I want to be listened to. Nobody listens."
BOWEN FAMILY THEORY
COUPLES AND FAMILIES OFTEN HAVE TROUBLE WITH BOUNDARY ISSUES. From the father of family therapy Bowen Theory is a remarkable tool. It helps people separate from their families of origin. It’s also great at teaching folks what to do when they get their buttons pushed, Always a useful capability to have.
CHRIST-CENTERED COUNSELING FOR CHRISTIANS
All of the emotional problems that affect non-believers affect Christians, too. And the same tools are called for.
But the believer has more. We have prayer and we have the Bible. We have the Holy Spirit, our guide, our counselor, the one who walks along beside us. And we have our brother Jesus and his Bride, the Church.
I have written two books on Christian living: Confessions of a Struggling Christian and Seeing Behind the Masks: a book about being real, being loving, being transparent, both published by Questar Multnomah Pubishers. i have served as a minister to single adults and am now serving as an Elder at a large congregation in San Antonio.
IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER AND WANT A THERAPIST WITH A CHRIST-CENTERED WORLDVIEW, I'M YOUR MAN.
Copyright © 2017 Jim Toombs, MA, LMFTA - All Rights Reserved.