EMDR Negative Cognition

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Soft hearts, you’ve heard me mention Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy a lot in these blog articles and on our podcast. Basically, EMDR therapy is a tried and true strategy to help people feel more in command of their lives. EMDR can help you reduce blocks to your success, feel better about yourself, reduce trauma, or release old patterns. EMDR therapy has been helpful for people with medical trauma, war trauma, eating disorders, anxiety and so much more. Today I’d like to get into the root of the problem with the EMDR negative cognition.

The EMDR negative cognition is something you’ll uncover with your therapist. When I work with clients to name a point that’s hard for them, like a stuck point in therapy we are taking breaks to relax and calm them. It can be hard to think of what feels stuck for them! When we identify what’s hard for them or a stuck point in their therapy process I then ask them to identify a memory that represents the worst part of this experience. For example, if I were to say a stuck point of mine is this limbo place I feel between diet culture and eating disorder recovery I would link it back to many memories of being told my body was less than other girls who were in smaller bodies than I. In EMDR therapy we’d pick one particular incident or memory or the overarching experience of people saying or doing hurtful things around my size.

Then we’d help them to identify the EMDR negative cognition that goes with this memory. This would be the root of the tree of the overall issue. If we go with the eating/body issue I’m using as an example you might hear me identify an old story of feeling not good enough. Some people might identify their root of the problem to be blame/shame, devaluing themself, not being able to get what they need, over responsibility, or not being able to take up space. These old stories or the roots of our problem are the EMDR negative cognition.

Once we identify the stuck issue for you in therapy we have you notice what you feel about yourself when you recall the worst part of this memory so you can name it and recover from it. Once we identify this root we come back to it and see how true it is for you as you reprocess using EMDR. Some people may quickly spot that their EMDR negative cognition is “I’m to blame” or “I’m unworthy” while others may not really know what’s at the root of the incident. It’s very understandable to use the help of your EMDR therapist to have them help you try a few on. Some people may start with one EMDR negative cognition only to find another seems to be more linked to the trauma or anxiety they are working on.

There’s really a lot we can do once we know what’s going on. Once you know what you’re dealing with, what’s at the root of your stuckness, there’s an abundance of healing possible. I am so excited to apply some EMDR therapy to some of the eating/body stuff I shared with you here today. Where are you stuck in your healing? If you’d like to get to the root of your problems for more healing reach out to me today and we can set up your free consultation!

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