I have been a practicing social work for over ten years now, with five of those years in direct therapy. My experience has helped me develop a very deep appreciation for how important the body-mind connection is in our daily lives. When we are in distress either temporarily or chronically, we tend to shut down that connection. This break in our body-mind connection can lead to further pain and suffering. Our emotions take over; we dwell on thoughts in an attempt to control them. The resulting distress may be seen in such symptoms as anxiety, depression, addiction etc. However, if we are able to find ways to maintain our body-mind connection even in times of distress, we can open the door to so many more possibilities that in turn can help us whether it’s acceptance, taking action, seeking help from others, building resources etc. I have experienced success in finding ways to achieve and strengthen this connection using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and trauma informed yoga.
Sometimes our memories, in particular the traumatic ones, can make it difficult for us to develop our body-mind connection. These memories, which are not processed (frozen in time due to their severity) tend to come back, time and time again, hijacking our thoughts and emotions at any given time. However, through EMDR we can take those traumatic memories and make them play a lesser role. This is achieved through Bilateral Eye Stimulation, which mimics REM sleep. As a result, memories that often trigger and force us to feel an incredible amount of pain and suffering, become something of the past with a beginning, middle and an end. EMDR has been recognized through research (RCT) to help those living with trauma to feel relief.