By Tracey Palmer
Wake up, anxiety sufferers! It’s time to denounce that Paxil/Xanax/Prozac approach to life.
There’s another way to rid yourself of debilitating negative thoughts without years of expensive psychotherapy and mind-altering meds. It’s called EMDR — Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
And here’s how it works: Traumatic memories and negative events are stored in the brain as visual images, emotions, sensations, and beliefs. EMDR operates on the theory that up- setting or difficult memories can bleed Into all thoughts and infect someone’s Well-being and create high anxiety.
EMDR uses visual stimulation. to trigger the brain to convert the negative feelings into normal and less-disturbing thoughts. By removing the emotional impact of memories (and negative beliefs about ourselves that often accompanies them), many of life’s anxiety-producing problems. are more easily resolved.
Studies have shown that EMDR has helped Vietnam veterans along with victims of violent assault and emotional abuse. It can also help with performance anxiety; grief, and phobias and has been known to significantly relieve those battling depression, addiction, and a variety of self-esteem issues.
Barbara Radin Fox, LCSW, EMDR, founder of Body & Soul Therapy at 2045 Maybank Highway, on James Island calls EMDR her magic wand. In an EMDR session, the therapist helps the patient reconstruct a negative thought using mental stimulation.
The patient visualizes the memories that reinforce negative beliefs, such as “I am stupid” or “I am inadequate.” The therapy concludes with a mental reprocessing. The negative beliefs are replaced with positive thoughts, such as “Everything is going to be OK” and “I will be in control.” The goal is to help change negative behaviors and alleviate anxiety. This author, who has completed two EMDR training sessions, can report an instantaneous reduction .of performance anxiety at her full-time job working food and beverage.
People, this therapy works. Godspeed.
For more information on EMDR, contact Barbara Radin Fox at 843-795-1000 and visit her website www.bodyandsoultherapy.com.