My Husband’s experience with EMDR

My dear husband tried everything to feel better you guys, like EVERYTHING!

I believe everything happened as it needed to, when it needed to. General Doctor, General Therapy, Psychiatrist, Yoga Therapy, Specialized Therapy for his anxiety, Chiropractor help, Neurologists, Endocrinologists, Muscle Testing gurus, Energy Workers, Neurofeedback, CSAT Therapy, etc. I admire Danny and his tenacity to try anything that could minimize his depression.

One thing that was a big piece of his recovery from anxiety was EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). It is an 8 phased approach to processing trauma.

People generally tend to think of trauma as big things like natural disasters, war, big car accidents, divorce, etc. but according to Jennifer Sorenson at The Center for Hope and Healing in Utah “Little trauma can look like the side effects of not making the volleyball team in high school, having a parent yell at you when you didn’t clean your room, or when you were dumped by a boyfriend/girlfriend. Trauma can be any life experience that has an ongoing impact on us.” These things can keep sneaking up on us an impact our current life.

Ultimately the effect of this trauma can, in Jennifer’s words, “take the face of anxiety, depression, feeling a lack of connection to life and people, addictions, eating disorders, and personality disorders.”

So what is EMDR? It’s a modality of therapy to help a person process trauma in a guided environment.

My understanding is that it simulates the REM cycle, which is the part of the brain that processes memories. When people struggle to get to this REM cycle they aren’t able to process memories as well. Also, traumatic memories are stored differently in our brains and can get stuck.

An EMDR therapist can help an individual tap into his/her brain’s natural ability to heal itself. It is also said to be able to help people process trauma and experience relief faster than normal psychotherapy sessions.

After trying out four different EMDR therapists in Salt Lake/Utah Valley, he found Jennifer Sorenson at the Center for Hope and Healing in Lehi, Utah (no we don’t get any kickback for this!). He came home drained from a lot of his sessions. When he first started EMDR he would be exhausted for 1-3 days after his session. That time gradually lessened, and the heartburn-like anxiety he had slowly decreased—which was huge! It wasn’t easy.

He said that he had to re-live some ugly experiences but doing it in a safe environment with a professional expedited his recovery. I’m so grateful for Jennifer, and for Danny’s courage to do this for himself.