Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy by Francine Shapiro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm starting to notice a trend in the books I appreciate most. They often include unique experiential exercises to try out to support healing. This is what I love so much about this book. After trying the techniques out of myself, I wrote them out and tried a few out with clients, and overall people really seemed to like them.
The exercises are geared strongly toward folks who feel like their past is still running their lives - whether in the form of visual flashbacks, feelings of overwhelm, pain that won't go away, or a sense of being transported back to an earlier, younger time. They were hugely helpful with clients who were in the early stages of healing trauma or were experiencing flashbacks or nightmares. It helped my clients when they were feeling unsafe or having difficulty grounding. It helped when they were having repeated disturbing images come up that they were having a hard time getting away from.
Now, like I do with most self-help books, I skipped the first two chapters, because I usually find that it's a review of information I'm already quite familiar with. Jumping in at chapter 3, I was immediately pleased with how the author encourages readers to notice the sensations in the body. I've really found that the body is the centre of healing trauma, and it's also the part of ourselves we tend to be most disconnected from. I'm trained in using a trauma healing technique called Somatic Experiencing (intermediate level) so of course the body-focus would make sense to me. What the book adds is the use of imagery for healing. I really like that and find it to be a nice pairing with body work.
This book could be used as a precursor to undergoing EMDR with a trained therapist or a precursor to any other trauma therapy. It could also be used as a standalone for people who feel fairly confident in managing their own symptoms. In addition to recommending this book to many of my clients, I would also absolutely recommend it for clinicians, even those like myself not planning to do any official EMDR training.
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By Marc Colbourne
If you are like me, you have probably found yourself at one point or another asking yourself this very question. Perhaps it is as your breathing is slowing to normal following the intensity of a climax, the next morning in the shower, or maybe even during a dry spell when you are trying to convince yourself it isn’t that important anyway.
The answers you give yourself as the warm water washes down your back are likely varied and dependent on the day. “It is a way to express my love.” “It is a stress reducer.” “Because my partner wants to and I want to please her/him.” “It is fun.” “I’m horny and just want to get off.”
None of these answers are necessarily a problem or cause for concern. In fact, many of them are perfectly valid reasons for having sex.
Sex is a natural expression of our selves and whether we are having it with a partner, several people, or just ourselves, it can be a healthy aspect of our life; one that can lead to greater self-love.
The answer to this question only becomes a concern when the honesty and vulnerability of it causes us distress. If we feel we aren’t in control of the reasons we have sex, the type of sex we engage in, or with whom, it can be problematic. In this case, we may want to examine the reasons behind our sexual behaviour more closely and ask ourselves some additional questions:
About Marc Colbourne:
Marc Colbourne, MSW, RSW, is a sex-positive therapist practicing in Edmonton. He can be reached at mcolbourneRSW@gmail.com or by visiting www.cambiocounselling.ca
This post was originally published on queerspaceyeg.wordpress.com
Nicole Perry is a Registered Psychologist and writer with a private practice in Edmonton. Her approach is collaborative and feminist at its heart. She specializes in healing
About the Blog
This space will provide information, stories, and answers to big questions about some of my favorite topics - boundaries, burnout, trauma, self compassion, and shame resilience - all from a feminist counselling perspective. It's also a space I'm exploring and refining new ideas.