Healing of Memories.
Problems in the present often have their roots in the past. If we can bring about a healing of “heart scars” from those earlier life experiences, in most instances we can break free from the bondage of psychological distress. We then can become all that God has intended us to be in the present. The Lord brings healing to our lives in many different ways. He sometimes chooses to use Christian counseling and psychotherapy as the vehicle for His healing touch. A breakthrough form of treatment for healing of memories called EMDR is now available in the Brunswick area.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. Trauma is defined here as a memory or set of memories of difficult life experiences from the past. It exists on a wide spectrum of intensity. On the high end of the spectrum examples would be combat experiences, accidents and abuse. On the lower end of the scale and often overlooked are things like being neglected or shamed as a child. All of these “heart wounds” no matter what the level of intensity is can be contributing factors in dysfunctional behavior today. Most importantly all of these difficult memories can be resolved through EMDR. This form of therapy is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages find relief from many types of psychological disorders.
Case #1 –High End Trauma – Abuse
A thirty six year-old married female came to counseling for help with depression, anxiety, phobias, low self-esteem and relationship problems. There was a history of abuse as a child. She chose EMDR therapy to address these issues. At about her sixth session she felt a release from her intense fear of water. She had never been able to be near any kind of body of water. She had only been able to take sponge baths. She was freed from this fear completely and was able to go home and get her face under the shower for the first time in her adult life. When she completed the rest of her memory work her mood had normalized, self-esteem was up and she was able to enter into relationship with her family in a positive way.
Case #2 – Low End Trauma – Parental Pressure
A couple in their 20’s came for help with their marriage. The husband felt that there was no love left in their marriage and therefore no hope. The wife was desperate to fix the problem. She had ignored their relationship when she was completing her graduate degree. She had learned to focus on being the best in all of her endeavors (graduate education) even if other aspects of her life (her marriage) suffered. Both chose to use EMDR to address the problem. The husband found resolution for years of pain and neglect that he suffered through while she performed in school. She found release from the bonds that kept her in a performance loop when she found resolution from memories of parental
pressure and conditional affection that she received as a child. Instead of ending in divorce they renewed their commitment to each other and are now raising a family together.
Most would never have thought that unresolved memories were the source of these problems. The more obvious solution for the first case would be some remedy designed to reduce depression or anxiety. For the second case perhaps some relationship workshop would be the answer. Unfortunately these approaches would have only temporarily addressed the symptoms of problems that were much deeper. In these cases dealing with the root of the problem brought about comprehensive and lasting solutions.
If you would like to learn more about this form of treatment contact: Dr. Neil Schulenburg Abundant Living Counseling 912-264-3076