Effective communication is based more on how you say things rather than on what you actually say. A conversation can go very well or wind up in a lot of anger and upset, depending on the communication style used. Our means of communication impacts all facets of life.
Your breath is both a complicated and conveniently simple process that weaves together the communication between your body and mind. Linked to your nervous system, your breath has the capabilities of keeping you alive, soothing your body and mind and increasing energy. Your breath holds a wealth of resources for you. All you have to do is attend to it. Here’s some ways to access its usefulness.
"We cannot love others until we love ourselves"
This saying has been a cliché statement that has been thrown around as a way to encourage self-care or even used as a convincing statement to those who find it hard to love themselves. What does this statement truly mean?
It means that someway, somehow we must find, within us, love. This must mean that love is an innate ability and we all possess the ability to love ourselves without the assistance of others.
Personally, I do not believe this to be true. Can we truly have an innate ability to love ourselves without any help from others? If we truly cannot love others until we love ourselves, we have to be able to love ourselves without help, right? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Which comes first, our innate ability to love? Or is love taught to us from our caretakers, partners, peers or a higher power?
What if, “We cannot love others until we love ourselves” becomes “We cannot love ourselves and others until we have been loved.” My argument is that in order to learn to love others, we must first be loved. We must learn how to love and what love is.
Imagine a child who is neglected by their caretaker. This child never truly learns love. Instead, to them, love means neglect. Later on in life when meeting new people, how will they love them? If all this older child has known is that love is neglectful, they too will neglect those that they love.
Compare the first child with someone who has a loving caretaker who has shown interest in who they are. This child will grow up with the idea that love is showing interest in others and will love in this way. These examples may not be true for all, but it is something to think about. The child in the first scenario may
learn somewhere how to truly love but this will not come as easily as the child in the second scenario.
We need to learn what love looks like towards us and we also need to learn how we love. We may love by giving others gifts or our time. We may show our love through compliments or by offering a shoulder to cry on. We all have a unique way to show love. In order to practice our ways of loving, we need people around us to accept our love. If our unique way of showing love is rejected, we learn that we are not good at loving, or our way of loving is wrong.
Let’s say you show love with your time but your partner becomes annoyed and tells you they just want space. Your way of loving has been pushed away. We need other people around us to affirm the way we love. While the statement, “We cannot love others until we love ourselves” has a good message at the core, it can be damaging for those who have never learned how to love themselves.
We all need love whether it is from other humans on earth (maybe even from a pet) or a supernatural love. Then we can truly love others’ authentically and comfortably.
Mikala has an intensely compassionate and unique way of connecting with you to help you identify and express your feelings and your deepest sense of self. She is persistent and encouraging in the face of hopelessness and despair. She especially loves working with women to provide tools to alleviate anxiety and depression. Mikala has a wealth of experience and is skilled in the mental health field working with domestic violence, food & body issues and addiction. If you're struggling to tolerate your emotions and you're looking for a guide to help you get to know yourself better, give her a call now at 570-412-4516.
Lucky us! Scott Giacomucci, MSS, LSW, CTTS, CET III, trauma specialist, psychodramatist and all around amazing therapist has shared his insights and explained that complicated title: Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, also known as EMDR. The following is a handout Scott put together for his clients to help explain what EMDR is and how it's done:
EMDR: Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Often, when something traumatic happens, it seems to get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, etc. Since the experience is locked there, it continues to be triggered whenever a reminder comes up. It can be the basis for a lot of discomfort and sometimes a lot of negative emotions, such as fear and helplessness that we can’t seem to control. These are really the emotions connected with the old experience that are being triggered.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a late-stage, trauma resolution method. Developed in the late 1980's, EMDR currently has more scientific research as a treatment for trauma than any other non-pharmaceutical intervention. Based on empirical evidence as well as thousands of client and clinician testimonials, EMDR has proven an efficacious and rapid method of reprocessing traumatic material.
EMDR appears to assist in processing of traumatic information, resulting in enhanced integration - and a more adaptive perspective of the traumatic material. The utilization of EMDR has been shown to be effective with a variety of conditions including generalized and specific anxieties, panic attacks, PTSD symptoms (such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks), dissociative disorders, mood disorders and other traumatic experiences. Theoretically, EMDR is about integration - bilateral hemispheric (right/left brain) integration; triune brain (brain stem, limbic system and cerebral cortex) integration; and mind/body integration, but practically, it’s about convincing the mind and body that the traumatic event is, indeed over. EMDR helps to put the past in the past, where it belongs, instead of staying stuck in it (feeling like it is happened all over again in the present-with the same thoughts, emotions and body sensations- that accompanied the event in the past).
The eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) we use in EMDR seem to unlock the nervous system and allow your brain to process the experience. That may be what is happening in REM, or dream, sleep: The eye movements may be involved in processing the unconscious material. The important thing to remember is that it is your own brain that will be doing the healing and you are the one in charge.
How is EMDR Done? (Parnell, 2006)
- Establishment of Safety and Resources - Safety within the therapeutic relationship and safety within each individual EMDR session. During each EMDR session, your therapist will begin by activating your own internal resources. (S)he will guide you in an imaginal, multisensory imagery exercise designed to activate images, emotions and body sensations of safety, protection, nurture and comfort. Once these images have been activated, the actual trauma reprocessing will begin.
- Activating the Traumatic Memory Network - The therapist will ask a series of questions regarding the traumatic memory. The purpose of these questions (or script) is to activate the entire traumatic memory network.
- Adding Alternating Bilateral Stimulation - Once the entire traumatic memory is activated, the therapist will add alternating bilateral stimulation using:
a) buzzing in your hands by turning on the Theratapper
b) alternating auditory tones via headphones or ear buds
c) moving his/her hands back and forth, so you may visually track the movement
- Reestablishment of Safety - regardless of whether the traumatic material was completely processed or not, the session will end at a pre-set time. Before you leave, you will be stable, embodied, oriented and calm. Depending on you and your therapist’s preferences, this may be accomplished in a variety of ways including, but not limited to re-activating your own internal resources, breathing exercises, prolonged muscle relaxation, etc.
Looking to continue EMDR therapy?
-You might begin by asking your IOP/PHP counselor for a recommended outpatient counselor who is skilled in EMDR.
-At the EMDR International Association website (EMDRIA.org) you can navigate to the “Find a Therapist” tab and search for a certified EMDR therapist in your community.
The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies designate EMDR as an effective treatment for post traumatic stress. EMDR was also found effective by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, the United Kingdom Department of Health, the Israeli National Council for Mental Health, and many other international health and governmental agencies.
(Giacomucci 2017)(References: EMDRIA; Linda Curran; Laurel Parnell)
Scott Giacomucci, MSS, LSW, CTTS, CET III is a certified trauma treatment specialist and licensed social worker in Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College where he received his Masters in Social Service (MSS) with a concentration in clinical social work. He facilitates trauma treatment services at Mirmont Treatment Center serving a variety of populations including young adults and emergency responders (veterans, police, fire, etc..) in both individual therapy and group sessions. Scott has a gentle, non-judgmental treatment approach that honors the inherent worth of each individual. He utilizes a blend of treatment modalities including both traditional talk therapy and experiential therapy which have been research-proven as the treatment of choice for treating trauma.
To learn more about Scott Giacomucci and the work he does, you can visit his website at: http://sgiacomucci.com/
Any comments or questions? We'd love to hear from you! Please comment below. For confidential questions, email TiffanySpilove@yahoo.com. If you need help finding an EMDR therapist, please call 610-314-8402, I'd be happy to help.