Would you like to reprogram your mind…using just your eyes?
That might sound a bit strange at first but one of the most popular therapies in recent years does exactly that thanks to EMDR: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
As a coach, I’m intrigued by anything that helps my clients get results. While coaching is future-focused (as opposed to the past-focus of many types of therapy) trauma is still something I must consider when helping my clients move forward. However I’m intrigued by the idea of EMDR–even though they won’t officially allow coaches to use it (yet!).
So while I can’t officially offer EMDR as part of my offerings, I can encourage you to learn about it and explore the practice on your own! And that’s exactly why I’m creating this post today.
After all, if there was a way for you to process and fully release old traumas that didn’t require hours of therapy, wouldn’t you want to give that a try? (Especially if nothing’s worked for you in the past.)
While I can’t conduct a session for you, I’ve had some interesting results playing with this at home. Why not at least give a try if you’re also intrigued by this powerful tool?
The DIY method I’m teaching today costs nothing except your energy and time. If it can give you a shot at life-changing results, then isn’t that worth a shot at least?
The basic theory is that EMDR works like Rapid Eye Movement during sleep (ie. when we get our most intense dreams). We often process experiences and memories during our sleep and it’s thought that EMDR helps us in the same way.
Basically, trauma needs a way to be released. Most of us have no idea how to do this however! Instead, we learn to fear and avoid our intense emotions. That means running away from them and piling behaviors on top of them in an effort to not feel. Those numbing behaviors can be innocuous but they can also easily turn into addictions. Alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction etc are all really just an external response to trauma (not a moral issue as we’ve been led to believe).
Please note: I am not a licensed therapist! You try this at your own risk. However, if you’re looking for a relatively easy way to deal with your past traumas and cannot afford a therapist at this time, why not at least give it a try? You can’t break yourself (and on a related not, you’re not already broken).
However, I’ve been playing with this and find it fascinating. I’ve also read the accounts of several others online who’ve had great results with the DIY method.
So whether you can’t afford a therapist right now or you’re just committed to diving in and doing the healing work ASAP, then I’ve put together a DIY EMDR process just for you:
DIY EMDR: How To Conduct Your Own Session At Home
DIY EMDR Step #1:
Prepare For Your Session
Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for your DIY session. Choose a comfortable chair and make sure your TV (or phone) is at a comfortable distance and height for your eyes.
Some practitioners recommend that you remove your contact lenses in case the procedure causes dryness. (Eye drops can also help out a lot with that!)
DIY EMDR Step #2:
Dig Into Your Memories
Take a few minutes to tune into your memory or trauma. Let your mind go back to that moment, that age, that word etc. Instead of pushing the uncomfortable feelings away, let them bubble up. Our aim is to work through the emotion so don’t be afraid! Let yourself feel back into the moment.
DIY EMDR Step #3:
Conduct Your Session
Once you’ve summoned the memory, then you can hit play on the EMDR video. Then just let your eyes follow the light back and forth.
I like to set a timer ahead of time for 10 or 15 minutes so I don’t have to keep an eye on the clock through the treatment.
Here’s an example video you can try:
DIY EMDR Step #4:
Rest & Process
Give yourself some time afterwards to chill out and process what’s happened. Sometimes the feelings will be intense but other times not so much. Build a buffer into your schedule anyway to make sure you’re not rushing off to an appointment right after. Napping is a great way to let your brain relax and allow what’s just happened to sink in.
DIY EMDR Step #5:
EMDR is not a one-time only affair! Plan on giving yourself 6-8 treatments about the same memory before you feel permanent healing. However, since you’re doing this at home, carving out 15 minutes for yourself once or twice a week shouldn’t be so difficult! Just be sure to keep at it and don’t expect a miracle from just one treatment.
So tell me: what do you think? Have you tried EMDR before? Are you excited to give it a shot in an at-home setting?
I’d love to hear your experiences with this so don’t hesitate to report back and let me know! Wishing you much ???? and healing!
PS Looking for more? You might also want to check out this post about how to deal with anxiety and depression or this one about how to stop being nice.
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