EMDR Success Story - Client Interview #3

 

This is a 40-something woman who was struggling with issues related to addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression and long standing patterns of procrastination that were holding her back from moving forward with life and career path.

Therapist:  Did you find EMDR helpful and if so, in what way? 

Client:  EMDR was helpful in that it worked through subconscious programming. In other words, the process wasn't so much something I had to think about, it worked on a level beyond my conscious mind and that helped me be able to relax and flow with the technique. I do believe EMDR helped to clear out remnants of various traumas and addictions that were holding me back in ways I was aware and not so aware of. When I would get through the process for a certain trauma, I felt lighter and more empowered.

Therapist:  How does EMDR therapy compare to regular talk therapy?

Client:  It's more more about listening to what your body is telling you. It's paying attention to the feelings and emotions in your body and what they have to say. It's not about consciously engaging your thoughts - the thoughts come to you via cues from your body. It is both a passive and active therapy but it's the wisdom of your body doing the work more than your conscious mind. I think a combination of EMDR and talk therapy is probably most beneficial but both are powerful on their own as well.

Therapist:  Would you recommend EMDR to others?

Client:   Yes, I think it can be particularly beneficial for certain kinds of trauma and addiction.  

Therapist:   Do you have anything else you want to add about working specifically with Julia Barokov?

Client:  Julia is a compassionate and skilled EMDR and talk therapist. She is committed to doing the work it takes to help people achieve their therapy goals and I always felt well cared for.

Posted on April 6, 2017 .

EMDR Success Story - Client Interview #2

This client, a man in his late 20's, was overall very high functioning.  In his quest for continued growth and self improvement, we worked on unresolved grief, relationship issues and releasing old patterns that were holding him back.

 

Therapist:  Did you find EMDR helpful and if so, in what way? 


Client:  I found EMDR to be incredibly helpful. I'm a person who likes to talk through my challenges--which I did with Julia for months before we moved on to do EMDR--yet talk-therapy alone has its limitations. EMDR offers a way to access much deeper material, and to affect significant change in one's life. I was able to break through patterns I was hardly aware of, yet had held me back for many years. I'm very grateful for the success.

 

Therapist: How does EMDR therapy compare to regular talk therapy?
 

Client:  Generally, there is a lot less active processing. After identifying the targets you want to work on and such, it becomes much more about just letting the bilateral stimulation do it's work. This can feel a little awkward if you're used to talk therapy, like "Shouldn't I be doing something?" It's a great opportunity for someone like myself, who tends to be very motivated towards and focused on change, to learn to relax and trust the process.

 

Therapist:  Would you recommend EMDR to others?
 

Cient:  Absolutely. In fact, I recently became an MFT intern myself and just completed a two part EMDR training. It is a very unique and powerful intervention that can help heal a variety of wounds.

 

Therapist:  Do you have anything else you want to add about working specifically with Julia Barokov?
 

Client:  Julia is great. She's kind, insightful, and knows how to meet the client right where they are. In my case, this meant that she was able to go into some pretty existential and esoteric psychological terrain with me, because of my particular background and interests. She was able to hold space for this, which I have found to be a rare and also necessary trait in a therapist for me.

Posted on February 1, 2017 .

EMDR Success Story - Client Interview #1

This client is a 30-something woman who struggled with childhood trauma, social anxiety and depression for many years.  Over the course of treatment she was able to learn valuable self care skills, improve self esteem and find suitable employment that matched her strengths and interests.

Therapist:  In what ways have you benefited from EMDR therapy? 

Client:  Doing EMDR therapy has completely changed my life, it's allowing me to become the person I really am and have always wanted to be. I've suffered from depression my whole life and that has always led me to get into a negative thinking spiral anytime anything went wrong. After EMDR therapy I am able to practice new patterns of thinking so that instead of a negative spiral my thoughts spiral positively so that I find options and solutions. EMDR therapy has allowed me to feel hopeful instead of hopeless. I am so much more confident in new situations, with new people and doing new things. Things still scare and overwhelm me at times but I know that's natural and I don't let it stop me anymore. Because of EMDR therapy I am becoming so secure in myself, my actions and my decisions that what's going on around me isn't as important. I no longer feel the need to beat myself up over choices I've made or things that go wrong. I'm able to accept a situation, learn and grow. Most importantly EMDR therapy helped me learn that being happy isn't a facade or a delusion, it's a possibility.

Therapist:  How does EMDR therapy compare to regular talk therapy? 

Client:  EMDR therapy just seems so much more proactive. It makes me feel like I'm really involved in my healing. I think the biggest difference is that you can really access the root of your issues and accept what your challenges are. Realizations that seem so obvious and simple can change you at your core as opposed to your mind just glazing over them like they were something you already knew. In talk therapy I can have the same realization and it just doesn't have the same power. The connections made during EMDR therapy are much stronger than in talk therapy.

Therapist:  Would you recommend EMDR to others?

Client:  Yes, I would definitely recommend EMDR therapy. Everyday I see people struggling with various issues and all I can think is I wish I could get you to try EMDR, it could change your life like it did mine.

Therapist:  Do you have anything else you want to add about working specifically with Julia Barokov?

Client:  Working with Julia has been incredible for me. She provides a safe comfortable space that is absolutely necessary for the work she does. Julia is an amazing facilitator for growth, using just the right amount of push and reassurance she is able to support you through whatever issues you may be working through. I feel like I've been able to grow and  work through so many more issues in the short time I've worked with Julia than in almost a lifetime of work with other therapists. 

Posted on January 3, 2017 .

Overcoming Anxiety With EMDR – A Success Story

This summer I’ve seen tremendous success using EMDR with Alex* (not his real name), a young adult client who was struggling with debilitating anxiety.  Having worked with him for two years, we developed great rapport and made solid progress using Mindfulness based CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) which helped him learn and apply new skills to manage said anxiety.  However, there was still much anxiety associated with the final task.  This involved moving away from home and embarking on his dream career; starting film school, something that he wanted more than anything but feared he would never accomplish. 

It was not until we started using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) that Alex was able to make a quantum leap into overcoming these struggles and stepping into mastery.  By systematically identifying and working through all contributory life experiences which resulted in a sense of powerlessness and fear, Alex was able to release long held negative beliefs that were holding him back.  In a period of just a few months we worked through all mental blocks and Alex was able to literally move towards living out a life dream with confidence and ease.  Plus, the timing was simply amazing!

As they say, the proof is in the pudding.  Alex recently emailed me from film school and spontaneously beamed: “Everything's going really, really well. Couldn't have done it without our therapy sessions and especially the amazing EMDR. Thank you for everything.”  Indeed, those priceless words speak for themselves. 

Struggling with fears that keep us trapped in self-limitation is a common theme that many people face.  As a therapist, I am inspired by the courageous inward journeys my clients take to overcome these challenges and am honored by the trust placed in me.  It is that poignant choice to stop hiding and face the struggle that makes all the difference and the final victory so meaningful and sweet. 

Wherever you are in your struggle, may you find the conviction and the support to stay the course.  Now, if you’re ready to shorten your struggle by working with the right therapist with the right tools, let’s talk.  My ethos is simple: The whole point of therapy is to make it no longer necessary. 

How can I help YOU master the challenges you face and step into living out your dreams with confidence and ease?

* All identifying details were changed to protect confidentiality.

Posted on October 9, 2014 .

The Magic of EMDR - And What's In It For You!

The Universe works in mysterious ways and this is one such tale, albeit entirely true.  Allow me to share with you then, dear reader, my own marvelous experience of EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and what’s in it for you.  But first, a few background words about EMDR.  This particular therapeutic modality originated by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1989 was first used to treat psychological trauma with great success.  Well-researched since then and embraced worldwide so much so that even the US Military supports the finding that EMDR is one of the top treatments of choice for war vets with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  Now, that’s something!  What’s more, it’s useful in treating other issues such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and even personal growth and performance enhancement.  Meaning, it’s not limited to problems related to the past but can effectively treat current symptoms and empower clients to step into the future with a sense of self-mastery.

Having heard of the wonders of this therapy, I finally decided it was time to get the training for myself which I completed in June of 2014.  I chose my facilitator - Dr. Andrew Leeds of The Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute - very carefully and couldn’t be more pleased with the caliber of training provided.  Having trained directly with Dr. Shapiro, Dr. Leeds made his contribution by systematizing the documentation process of EMDR to ensure fidelity and has written a textbook that is becoming widely used for EMDR training.  Perfecting this art with great clarity and care, he delivered us into the safe use of this powerful toolset which works on the neurological level to help the brain move past self-limiting beliefs. 

Now, for the personal piece; as part of our training all the clinicians were provided the opportunity to practice EMDR in dyads, taking turns playing both therapist and client.  During my experience as client, I chose to focus on a real mental block about expanding my professional growth through writing and specifically… blogging.  Yes, this thing that you’re reading now would not be possible without the help of EMDR.  Working through the process with my assigned therapist-partner, I identified the problem that was operating behind the procrastination; fear of rejection.  There, I said it.  Yes, therapists are humans too.

This fear was sneaky and didn’t want to be seen.  It masqueraded in various forms of rationalization, mostly about being too busy to write which I had unknowingly allowed myself to buy into.  Oh, I’ll get there…eventually, I told myself.  Well, eventually was at that point two years deep.  However, the structured EMDR process allowed us to quickly identify and resolve multiple contributory experiences of rejection, one going all the way back to 6th grade!  In that particular memory, I was rejected by my best friend at the time, Juliana, who unlike me, seemingly made the transition from elementary to middle school with ease, becoming popular and leaving me in the dust.  Unbeknownst to me on a conscious level, the memory of that experience was still stuck in my brain and doing damage.  I was still holding onto a story about how painful it was to be sitting in the cafeteria by myself at lunch without any friends, literally crying in my soup and feeling totally alone in the world.  Due to experiences like that, I created a story in my head that the world was an unsafe place so it was better to avoid taking unnecessary risks.  Hence, the procrastination (aka fear of rejection).

During the reprocessing phase which uses bi-lateral stimulation of both hemispheres of the brain, I was able to quickly and easily work through these memories to realize that in truth we were both kids doing the best we could at the time.  I came to see that it was never personal, so I wasn't actually rejected.  Since I wasn't actually rejected, I could let go of what I made that experience mean; that the world was a cold and hostile place where I couldn't possibly be myself.  Instead, I came to a point of compassion for myself (after all, my mother was struggling with cancer at the time leaving me feeling so overwhelmed!) and my best friend.  Having had an opportunity to correct long held negative beliefs neurologically using EMDR, I came out of that “session” with a sense of renewed confidence, knowing that it was safe enough to share myself with the world through my writing.  Even if not everyone appreciated what I had to say, I could handle it; I am and can be successful. 

Now, as if this wasn't cool enough, get ready for the extra fairy dust magic at the end of the tale.  Remember that best friend from 6th grade, Juliana?  Well, she contacted me within 3 weeks of that EMDR experience.  Having spent over 20 years searching for me, she never forgot our connection despite my having moved across the country after 6th grade and falling out of touch.  We had an amazing time catching up and the gratitude I felt for that synchronous gift is indescribable.  So, dear reader, the karmic lesson is this: when you can let go of the self-limiting beliefs that hold you back and make peace with your past, it all falls into place.  Truly the world is a wonderful place.

Ever since this empowering experience, I’ve felt driven to spread the word about the tremendous benefits of EMDR and am seeing great success with my clients.  If you feel inspired to explore how you can improve your life using EMDR, let’s talk!  I’m available for a free phone or email consultation and the first EMDR session is free.  You have nothing to lose but the beliefs that hold you back from living your best life.  Come on, what are you waiting for?

 

 Here's a photo of my best friend, Juliana and I.  She's on the right.  

Here's a photo of my best friend, Juliana and I.  She's on the right.