EMDR, by Michelle Gottlieb

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An image of Practitioner Michelle Gottlieb
Practitioner Michelle Gottlieb
The other day, a client of mine was ready to work on the gastritis attacks she kept having. I asked her when the first one she had was. She remembered that it was the night before a major presentation she had to do for a job that she hated. So, we began to do EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a powerful trauma therapy. For an hour and half we processed the trauma that made her choose that profession. When she came back the next week, she reported that she had not had any gastritis attacks at all even though she had been under stress!

Now all the readers of this Wiki page will not be surprised that treating the underlying trauma made such a significant difference in her illness. But the way we worked together may be new to you. EMDR was discovered 20 years ago by Dr. Francine Shapiro who very methodically and scientifically realized that bilateral stimulation to the brain helps to reduce trauma and its aftermath. She worked with Vietnam Vets who had severe PTSD. After being treated with EMDR, they no longer had PTSD.

I have been doing EMDR for 9 years and am constantly amazed by how it can help people. EMDR appears to allow the brain to take the trauma that has not been stored effectively and allow it to hook up with adaptive information. Therefore, as Dr. Sarno would say, the brain no longer needs to be distracted from the trauma. It can be processed and the physical sensations are reduced or completely eradicated. Often in one session.

This can be done even if you do not have a specific trauma that appears to be connected to the pain. I had one client who woke up one morning paralyzed. Even though she got most of her movement back, she remained in a great deal of pain and had to stop working at a job she loved. As we started to work together, I had her focus on the pain while we did EMDR. Within 20 minutes, her pain was down to a zero and she had more range of motion than she had had in years! Her pain level remained at a three or lower as long as her stress level was managed. Her pain had been at a 6 or higher for 8 years!

EMDR can quickly and thoroughly deal with the issues that are underlying your TMS symptoms. Please get information (look at my resource page on my web site, www.michellegottlieb.com, for links to EMDR web sites) and see if it would be helpful for you. Different therapies work for different people so don't stop using the techniques that are helping you now. But look at adding EMDR to your arsenal and get your life back!

If you choose to see an EMDR therapist, be sure that they are certified. It is a complex therapy and you want to be sure that your therapist has experience and proper training. For more information about EMDR, you can go to my web site, www.michellegottlieb.com, to find more links on EMDR. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at drmichelle@michellegottlieb.com

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