I became fascinated by memory and trauma after being in a car accident. As you may know, one day I was sitting in my car at a stoplight, minding my own business, and was broadsided by another driver. Of course, this kind of trauma changed my life. But eventually, with the help of family, friends and a great neurotherapist, I gathered the effort to heal and go forward.
One of the most important components in my healing was neurofeedback for my traumatic brain injury, and it was a game-changer. However, after giving a brief talk on my accident and recovery at my church one Sunday, many months later, I went home, sat in my living room chair and stared, dazed and numb for the rest of the afternoon. More than three hours.
In talking with my best friend, who is a psychotherapist too, I realized I had post-traumatic stress. Despite all my clinical training, it was somehow a surprise. (Counselor, heal thyself!) I felt so lucky to have healed physically, and yet my recovery wasn’t complete.
We had heard of an approach called EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing). It’s been used a lot on soldiers returning from war and also with people who live in New York and had witnessed the effects of the 9/11 attacks. It helped them be able to go back to work and resume their normal activities.
I went through several sessions of EMDR therapy to amp down my fear while riding in cars and not feel numb or like crying when I talked about my accident and brain injury (well, I still feel a little emotional sometimes). Then I went through extensive EMDR training and supervision to be able to help my own patients with this new tool.
With clients who have experienced trauma or just want that extra edge for peak performance, we add EMDR to help them get past their crippling memories. EMDR is a powerful tool that’s well worth it in order to achieve peace of mind.
Learn more about EMDR and how your eyes can help you get past trauma to reach your peak.
Diane Wilson, LCPC, BCN