Couples and Therapy

Day 1 of Teach Me Something was yesterday, and I volunteered to go first. If you want to get caught up on my Growth Plan, check it out here, https://mountainmindset.org/2019/03/02/the-plan/

I’m sure my husband loves being dragged into my crazy social experiments, but at least he is a good sport. I decided to give him a glimpse into the work that I do with clients every day by teaching him about EMDR. Showing him that soft science side that he is unfamiliar with.

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EMDR is an effective counseling theory for treating trauma and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I love EMDR because it is an entire theory complete with foundation skills, emotion regulation principles, and intense therapeutic catharsis.

So I started by explaining EMDR to him, where it comes from, how trauma effects the brain, and how EMDR helps to heal the traumatized brain. He was listening intently and leaning in. His hand on his face and fast blinking told me he was processing information but also very confused.

Next, show him an actual EMDR exercise called the Calm Safe Place. I asked him to picture a place, real or imaginary, that is always calm and always safe. After a couple of rounds of eye movements (an important component of EMDR), he let out a couple of yawns (which is a good sign!). I realized that knowing your partner’s Calm Safe Place is an important thing to know. Nothing ruins a calm safe place like having an uninvited guest asking stupid questions. Keeping your partners’ space sacred is important to respect.

His reaction was as expected, interested but nonchalant. I could tell it was a little difficult for him to tap into feelings and sensation changes. During EMDR it is common to ask the client, “what do you notice?”, to which his answer was, “I don’t understand the question”. Which is normal! When you don’t practice taping into emotion states at the drop of a hat, it is going to be difficult.

At any one moment, if you were to ask me, I could name at least 3 different emotions I am feeling at that time. At the same time, if you wanted to know the reason why a watermelon hits the ground at the same time as an egg, why the shampoo bottle has an infinite air bubble, or what E=mc2 even means, he is the person to ask.

And that is what this resolution is really about- honoring and valuing the knowledge that we have under our own roofs. And valuing each other for our hard work, both my husband and I have Master’s degrees. This was such a huge part of our lives, yet when we were going through it we rarely talked about what we were learning.

Here’s to learning something new!

Published by annkendig

I am a mental health and addiction therapist in Cincinnati Ohio. Happy exploring and may all beings be well.

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