A closely held secret about EMDR is that when you take a close inner look at the process it really has nothing to do with trauma at all. The transformation goes much deeper than healing PTSD. Healing symptoms just gets the client to the starting point. Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about.
Are you an I don’t matter person or an I’m not good enough? You are one or the other, or if you are really lucky, you might be both. Oh, I know, you’re saying to yourself, I matter. I know I’m good enough. I have no idea what he’s talking about and what does all of this have to do with EMDR. I thought EMDR was for trauma.
Welcome to the first step of the EMDR journey…AVOIDANCE of the truth is stage one. Sue Johnson, Ph.D., the creator of Emotion-Focused Couples therapy tells us that 85% of couples have an I don’t matter person, and an I’m not good enough person. The remaining 15% of couples have two I don’t matter people or two I’m not good enough people in the relationship and that pretty much covers everyone. They spend their entire marriage triggering each other’s negative beliefs.
So if you are a therapist it is essential to know which one of these types of people you are and correct it. I know, you’re far more complicated than that. Those three or four words cannot capture your complex nature. Wrong. They do. I can go on and on describing where does this negative belief come from, what do I do about it, how does it affect my life, etc. There is not enough space here. I wrote a book about the six stages of transformation. So, for now, I’ll keep this short and sweet or perhaps bitter.
I know, isn’t that EMDR thing for trauma. No, not really, or not only trauma. EMDR and trauma, that is so 1990’s. People compare EMDR to these newfangled therapies like ART or RRT or other therapeutic alphabet soups. Those comparisons are based on such a narrow view of what EMDR is, while completely ignoring the transformational power of EMDR.
Ridding the client of symptoms is just the place to start. Symptom resolution is only taking the client to stage three of the six stage process. Most therapies can do that, stage three work (symptom resolution). Sadly, that is as far as the work goes with most therapies. Resolve the symptoms, and the send the person on their way.
There are, however, six stages for transformation or the negative belief to shift to its adaptive counter apart. Only EMDR has the power to dismantle the person’s maladaptive schema making room for their true authentic self. Stopping EMDR at stage three is like taking the power of EMDR, which is a lightning bolt and turning that lightning bolt into a nine-volt battery. Most therapies are of the nine-volt battery ilk. EMDR has the power of a lightening bolt, and when unleased completely transforms the client’s life. Nothing is ever the same for them ever again. The begin to live their truth. Their authenticity.
EMDR has the power to completely dismantle the schema created by this negative belief. For example, if someone has the belief that they don’t matter, and it truly shifts to I do matter, well, now that is something to behold. That is a true a moment of rebirth, and it happens right before my very eyes. I watch the new true and authentic person appear seeing the world for the first time from the I matter position. The change is permanent and quite frankly it is amazing.
I just don’t understand why every therapist on the planet wouldn’t want to know how to bring their clients to their authentic self. Not to talk about it, not work through it, not to try to change behaviors to get it, but to watch it happen in the client’s own way not your, because really what do you know about what they need? during EMDR there is not talking. It is the clients own process, own solution, access to their own inner self that transforms. It is truly a mystical like process that makes me excited to go to work everyday to see whose life is going to transform today.
So, if you are an I don’t matter person or an I’m not good enough person, this lens you view the world from will not change on its own. I have tried just about every other model of therapy. EMDR is a hundred times more powerful that what ever therapy is second best.
So, I’m not here to debate or argue. For me, well, I’m a not good enough person. Why on earth would I have two master’s degrees and a doctorate. Surely after all that I’m good enough. Of course not, then I have to get certifications, hypnosis certifications, Gottman certifications, EFT certification. Always got to feed the I’m not good enough beast. Sound familiar? Yea, after EMDR therapy to dismantle my negative belief I don’t participate in that insanity anymore. I’m at peace. I barely get my CEUs done in time these days.
I do know I am good enough because if I did not have that belief, I would never be writing this. I would never think I knew enough to train therapists. I would think, surely, they all know more than me. Surely, they are better than me. EMDR has closed that insecurity and opened a road for me that I would have never walked. My work excites me more than ever, even after over 20 some years of doing this work. Much of this inner fulfillment would never have happened if it wasn’t for the EMDR work I had done on myself.
I encourage you all to seek out your own EMDR therapist and see for yourself. If you are a therapist perhaps take an EMDR training. It doesn’t have to be my training. If you are so compelled though, information about my training can be found here.