Hi there love! I’m sitting here with my coffee and my pillow (aka very cozy), and I’m so excited to dive into EMDR—a type of trauma-based therapy that can help heal your pain after divorce. Maybe you’re familiar with EMDR, maybe you aren’t. And maybe it’s something that brings up some resistance. But after we explore it a bit today, hopefully you’ll feel more familiar and at ease.
What Is EMDR?
“EMDR is a type of trauma-based therapy that goes beyond traditional talk therapy.”
“EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.”
As a trained EMDR therapist I would tell you, don’t get too caught up in what it’s called, because the name doesn’t really have much to do with how you experience it.
I became an EMDR-trained therapist in 2017 right after Hurricane Irma. It had been a while since my own divorce from my first marriage, and I had been working with other people who were divorced for a while too.
“I think the reason that I am so pro EMDR is because I had an entire career of working with people and trying to heal myself before I found what I believe to be one of the key missing pieces.”
Once I became EMDR trained and I started experiencing EMDR as a trauma-based therapy as a patient, I saw myself grow leaps and bounds beyond what I had already done. And I started immediately working with my clients and saw it drastically cut their healing time. I can’t even put a percentage on it but it just happened so much faster.
Dating trauma cycle
I think one of the places people who are divorced tend to get stuck is when it comes time to date.
We do the pattern because that’s what humans do. We pick the thing that is familiar. And what is familiar to us in terms of our brain maps is our family of origin issues. And so unless we’ve healed our childhood trauma and have gone through our process of healing after divorce so thoroughly, then we go back and we pick another person who on the surface doesn’t seem to be at all like our ex but ultimately ends up being just like them. And we say to ourselves, “how did we get here?” Again.
Which explains why divorce rates and second marriages are in the 70%. And in third marriages, it’s even higher!
When I started doing EMDR therapy, and I felt myself become lighter, and I watched my clients pick partners differently, I was like, “Oh man, this is huge!”
“EMDR has recently started to gain a lot of popularity. And people who have done EMDR therapy admit that it is intense and you have to be willing to face all the things in a very experiential way. In a way that moves you to your core in your body, in your mind, and your emotional awareness. It’s deep, and I think that can be really intimidating. But it’s also life-changing in the best way and totally worth it.“
Solutions that matter
EMDR therapy is a solution that could shortcut your path to healing after divorce. It could also help you make wiser decisions when it comes to partnering in the future. That idea might just feel too overwhelming, so one of the things that I’ve done in my membership community is create some EMDR resources. That works on the fringes of EMDR. To help you go toward that space – not fully into it – but to go toward that space to start doing that work as preparation. As a way to start working with those issues and to start getting some of those EMDR therapy benefits of healing… without going to the full depth of it.
When I look at all of my clients that I’ve worked with in my therapy practice and in my membership community, it’s very clear to me who has done EMDR trauma-based therapy work and who has not. That is not a judgment. It’s just an opportunity to look within and say,
“How intimidated am I by my own emotional process? By my own childhood traumas? Where do I need some help? Someone to come alongside me and hold me up while I face some of this. Because it just seems like too much.”
And I’d love to be one of those people that comes alongside you. I’d love the women in the community that I work with to be able to come alongside you and say, “I can, I did, you can.”
Access the divorce trauma
“EMDR is something that accesses a part of the brain where our traumas are stored.”
In the brainstem. Those more primal places. This is also why I’m a big fan of EFT tapping and journaling – things that also get into those deeper places in the brain. EMDR is a trauma-based therapy tool.
And it borrows from all these other tools and from the support we create in talk therapy. From the awareness, we create in talk therapy. From the love, we get from a talk therapy process. My clients who EFT tap move through EMDR more easily. All these things work together for good, which is amazing!
“EMDR is considered a trauma-based therapy, but don’t let that word trauma scare you off. There’s so much data about how we all experience traumas.”
Whether it’s little traumas or big traumas, childhood trauma or divorce trauma. A lot of things that we are used to living with – things like hypervigilance and rigid self-sufficiency or not asking for help – we now understand that these things are symptoms of trauma. We’re becoming more aware of it as a global mental health community.
“But another thing I know about EMDR and resistance is that it can be really challenging to find a good therapist. Especially someone who’s highly trained in a modality like EMDR.”
Not to mention a lot of trauma therapists are expensive. And that’s a barrier to access. For you to find someone who’s good, to trust them, to go through that thing that everyone says about starting over in therapy – that’s real. And then to find the time and emotional resources and the financial resources to take on something like EMDR, all while navigating the Single Woman Frontier…I get it!
Because it matters, you matter
That’s a big part of my why. Why this podcast? Why my membership community? Because you need more access. You need less friction points in your life.
So I constantly challenge myself to say, “How can I create more access for the women who want this help? But maybe it’s too overwhelming. Or maybe it’s too expensive. Maybe they need to understand it better before diving in.”
There are two books that I love. They’re not short books I admit, but you don’t have to read the whole book to get the concept, right? There’s a whole new trend about reading books in 15 minutes. There’s an app out there that basically says, “Read this book in 15 minutes!” where it sums up a book for you. I’m going to give you the two book concepts, and then you can just do a little Googling and get the gist of it.
Getting Past Your Past
One of them is called “Getting Past Your Past” by Francine Shapiro. She’s the woman who discovered EMDR. This book explains so much about EMDR: why it works, what it is, why we need it, why it’s so profoundly effective. And that in and of itself, I think, demystifies so much.
The Body Keeps the Score
The other book that you’ve probably heard me talk about before is “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Van der Kolk. He’s a doctor who specializes in trauma and how the body stores traumatic content.
I really think that, together, these two books lay the groundwork for the why. Why it is that we need to do this work at this level. I don’t want you to go through this again. And I know you want to break the cycle for yourself. For your children. For your future children. Your future self is calling up and is saying, “EMDR is something you need to explore.”
This is your sign to explore EMDR and overcome your divorce trauma. Slide into my DMs. Send me an email. Ask me, “How can I find an EMDR therapist? How can I learn more about the EMDR tools you have in your membership? What do I need for my next step?”
Thank you so much for being open to this idea. Thank you so much for being part of this collective of women willing to heal. I love you. There are women in this community who don’t even know you and they love you too! And we all want what’s best for you. And I know that that’s what you want for yourself too.