Follow @EMDRReadinessCourse on Facebook and Instagram for the most recent posts of my reflections on the treatment of PTSD and Complex/Developmental trauma.
A friendly little reminder from Jericho - just because you try to
hide it doesn’t mean it isn’t there and won’t come jumping out in just a
It can be SO tempting to try to shove things under the rug (or hide them behind the curtain as the case may be).
That’s why I talk so much about the courage it takes to do the work, Lionhearts!
Facing the pain - facing the past - is tough!! But the healing and the freedom can make it well worth it!
Keywords: courage; trauma; ptsd; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy
I think this is true both of the tears shed in the acute pain of
trauma - but it is also true of the tears that flow as we heal.
When the brain locks down on difficult experience - it leaves us only
aware of the harshness, the damage, the awful conclusions that we are
worthless or powerless or destined for a life of eternal winter.
Yet, hidden in the seeds of our experiences are actually evidence of our
unique beauty, the resilience shown in our survival, and the wisdom gained through the storms that can help us thrive!
The work of healing with EMDR therapy can be painful - and feel like
unfairly having to choose to return to the storm - but it is this that
can release the life that has been trapped in these seeds.
What are your experiences in learning to welcome the rain? Does it
seem possible yet? Have you been able to glimpse the bits of green
sprout forth yet - or even seen the blossoms?! I’d love to hear!!
Keywords: seeds; trauma; ptsd; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy
It’s true!! I see it every day, Lionhearts!
EMDR therapy allows us to stop reliving old stories - and gives us the power and freedom to author new ones!!
Keywords: story; brave; worthy; trauma; ptsd; complex ptsd; emdr therapy
There is so much wisdom in understanding that we must consider the
cost of no longer being a caterpillar before we will be able to take
flight and live fully.
We can easily dismiss this notion, thinking it is ridiculous that we would want to stay in a restricted, limited state.
Yet, our symptoms are often the adaptations we developed to survive as
best we could - in situations in which we had no better alternatives.
And we have often grown so used to the perceived protection they
provide, that we must acknowledge this before we become able to let them
Some of the most useful questions, we can ask are: What is
good about living as a caterpillar? How does it seem to serve me? What
am I afraid of - or what might I lose if I no longer live this way?
If we truly appreciate how living as a caterpillar has served us - it
can allow us to appreciate the gift that the adaptation has been for us
when we needed it.
It can also allow us to acknowledge if this benefit has expired and
what once provided security is now just keeping us from enjoying the
freedom of our wings.
Keywords: transformation; anxiety; depression; ptsd; emdr therapy
Lionhearts, so often the quality of our relationships as adults is shaped by our early attachment dynamics in childhood.
When our earliest relationships weren’t protective or nurturing, it
becomes hard to believe we are lovable and deserving of respect and
security in our adult relationships.
Despite “knowing better”
and making concerted effort to choose differently, our nervous systems
cause us to be magnetically drawn toward the familiar.
I want to offer some encouragement that I have seen these patterns be
transformed - and Lionhearts become better able to choose secure
relationships - through EMDR therapy modified to treat developmental
trauma and repair the attachment system!!
Thanks to @daryldellsafaris for permission to share this powerful photo
Keywords: lionheart; attachment; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy
We need to know we’re not the only one. We need to know we’re not alone.
Keywords: buddy system; anxiety; depression; cptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy
I use this quote in a module on Defenses in The EMDR Readiness Course.
It can be so hard to let ourselves feel what we feel, connect to how
our body is holding those feelings, accept the complexity of those who
raised us rather than insist they be all good or all bad, and see our
history for what it was and not what we wished it would be.
Doing so allows us to become our own best nurturer and protector - so
that we can be free to author our future rather than be trapped by our past.
Keywords: tears; truestrength; cptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery; emdr therapy
We don’t get to choose how our stories begin.
There is a time though when we realize that we get to author what comes next for us.
To do so, we often must engage in the courageous work of editing the past - which I believe is possible through EMDR therapy.
We have the power to reprocess memories, so that the meaning we have assigned to our experiences is re-written.
Instead of worthless, we become able to see the evidence of our worth.
Instead of unlovable, we see that we are and have always been precious.
Instead of bad and to blame for what happened, we see that we were
young and powerless - and that we are now adults and powerfully able to
choose our next chapter.
Keywords: story; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy
No matter how exhausted we are - or how discouraged - or how hurt - we must remember that at our very core, we are Lionhearts.
Keywords: resilience; undaunted; lionheart; ptsd; anxiety; depression; complex ptsd; emdr therapy
The book “Attached.” by Levine and Heller does an incredible job of
explaining adult attachment theory. We often think of attachment as
something that only applies to infants, but the reality is that it is
crucial throughout our lives.
If as little ones, we had
caregivers who provided us with the nurture, protection, and guidance we
needed, then we are far more likely to gravitate toward secure
relationships in adulthood.
When this is not the case, our nervous system learns
to predict that others won’t be there in the way we need them to be,
and this tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy with those we
instinctively choose as partners.
We are most able to thrive when we have a secure base, both as children and as adults.
Repairing our attachment systems - so we are better able to choose
secure relationships - is possible through EMDR therapy modified to
treat developmental trauma.
Keywords: secure; attachment; developmental trauma; complex ptsd; trauma recovery; healing
Was looking back at some photos of the first few days after baby Jericho
came home and met his big brother Jack . . . We are all made for
Keywords: secure attachment; held; emdr therapy
The discouragement is thick some days - and it is immensely difficult
to keep moving forward - weighted with the heaviness and daunted by the
height of the obstacles before us.
Yet, somehow we do.
And sometimes in the light of the new day there is a new perspective, a
new hope, a new breadcrumb to follow toward a path of hope.
This gave me chills when I read it. It is exactly the reason I do EMDR therapy.
Whatever any of us may believe about the afterlife, too many people are
carrying around hell inside themselves now - memories they feel they
EMDR therapy allows them to finally know all that is over and that they can be free.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Keywords: memories; trauma; ptsd; complex trauma; emdr therapy
I received this review today from a woman who used The EMDR Readiness
Course in conjunction with her work with a therapist (which I think is
an awesome way to get the most out of it!). I was floored by what she
had to say and had to share!!
“I highly recommend this course! My issues of self-criticism,
procrastination, co-dependent relationships, and passive aggressive
behavior seemed impossible to stop. After coming to the end of trying
harder and psychoanalyzing myself and those around me, I decided to give this course a try.
Through Susie's gentle and thoughtful videos I received empathic skills
and savvy tools to address the ways trauma had negatively impacted me.
In the videos Susie invites participants to document their journey
through drawing and writing their experiences. Drawing and writing
about experiences of pain as well as victory was incredibly empowering. I
have become more accepting of myself and others through this process
and my ability to respond to conflict has improved tremendously. The
change that came from practicing these exercises is amazing!
These videos in conjunction with my own personal therapy helped me
identify and move through traumatic memories that I would never have
been able to face alone. I am so much more free in talking about my life
and responding to my own and other people's limitations. I am so
thankful I found this resource.”
Keywords: healing; transformation; trauma; ptsd; cptsd; anxiety; depression; emdr therapy
As little ones we are designed to have a cry that PULLS our caregivers to us!
It is called the “attachment cry” and was identified by researcher Jaak
Panksepp as linked to the affective system of panic. The first time I
heard this, I was fascinated, panic is actually the cry and reaching for
As little ones, when
our caregivers reliably and lovingly respond, over time we internalize -
I’m not alone, someone will be there for me, I am worthy of love and
care and protection.
But when our attachment cry is met with anger, non-responsiveness, or
unpredictable patterns of sometimes care, sometimes anger, and sometimes
nothing - our nervous system cannot feel secure.
We conclude - I am alone, I am unsafe in the world, and I have no one I
can rely on because something is intrinsically wrong with me.
For, out of a need to survive, we as little ones figure out some way to
adapt - to make it more likely that our basic needs will be met. We
have no power to change our caregivers - our only power is to conclude
we are the problem that needs to be changed - and learn to cry less, cry
louder, act out, be pleasing - whatever it takes!!
The work with the little self through Attachment Repair is my favorite -
and perhaps the most profound - part of the EMDR Readiness Course!
Keywords: attachment; healing; trauma recovery; anxiety; depression; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy
I have had the incredible privilege of witnessing my clients experience this so many times through EMDR therapy.
I cannot wait for the day when EMDR therapy is a household word and
therapists are commonly well-trained in applying it to everything from
single incident PTSD to the most complex trauma.
Keywords: freedom; ptsd; complex trauma; emdr therapy
There are some of us so good, so practiced, so skilled at holding all the pain inside - that no one can see the suffering.
Perhaps we learned this because there was no one interested in
responding to our tears or no one strong enough to handle what hurt us.
With no one to hold us, we learned to hold it in - to show up -
to keep going regardless of, as the poet writes, the “catastrophe”
What a gift to find
someone who notices anyway, who asks, who sees the pain behind our eyes
and makes it safe enough that we can allow the tears to surface.
Not everyone will resonate with this learned pattern of coping by
constriction. But for those who do, where is it okay to let what hurts
be seen? With whom (person or animal) can you stop - at least for a
moment - holding it all in?
Keywords: seen; heard; healing; depression; anxiety; cptsd; emdr therapy
Be the adult we needed as a child.
Yes, of course to the children in our lives. But, also to the little
ones, our younger selves, that are still inside of us - locked in the
perception that it is still the past, not yet healed, not yet grown up -
because they still haven’t received the nurture, protection, and
guidance that would allow them to mature and function as adults in the
here and now.
Remembering that we deserve our own nurture - our own protection - to make choices based on our wisdom rather than our fear - this can radically change the trajectory of our paths.
Keywords: attachment; healing; trauma recovery; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr
There can come a day in which we can see ourselves accurately -
in which we can see the beauty in the scars from wounds healed only through honesty, patience and compassion with ourselves,
which we can see the strength and determination evidenced in the cracks
where we have picked up our broken pieces and glued them together,
trusting that no matter how awkward and unfamiliar the new configuration
is better than the old,
and in which we can see the story of a warrior, a Lionheart, that is our own regardless of any external opinion or validation.
Thank you to @jmstormquotes for the beautiful words and original post.
Keywords: true beauty; true strength; lionheart; ptsd; cptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy
If hopping out of the curtain at your brother counts . . . then we definitely have our own little Easter Bunny in the house!!
Keywords: ptsd; complex trauma; emdr therapy
The miracle in EMDR therapy . . . that the past can finally be in the past.
Keywords: healing; trauma; ptsd; cptsd; emdr therapy
Activating trauma memory networks - so that they can be desensitized
and reprocessed with EMDR therapy requires being able to notice where
disturbance is felt in the body.
Learning it’s safe to be present
with and feel our body is no small feat, Lionhearts, if we have
learned, since early on, that it is a choice to either be shut off from
or overwhelmed by its sensations - nothing in between.
I’ve been learning more recently about how trauma-informed yoga can be a gentle yet powerful way to learn it is safe to inhabit our own bodies.
I love having increased knowledge of the array of components that can
be drawn on to restore a nervous system and heal a life!!
(By the way, my other go-to favorite adjuncts to EMDR therapy are neurofeedback and DBT!)
Thanks to @daryldellsafaris for permission to share this beautiful photo!!
Keywords: trauma-informed yoga; trauma; cptsd; lionheart; healing; emdr therapy
We, as little humans, are entirely dependent on our caregivers to
stay alive and will instinctively adapt in order maintain attachment in
whatever way is possible.
Idealization occurs when it is too
difficult to hold onto the connection with a caregiver while also
becoming fully aware of the pain caused by that caregiver’s actions — or
the pain caused by inaction when we needed their protection, nurture,
This often involves us, as little ones, taking on the belief in
our own worthlessness or unloveability – or even the shame of abuse
endured – because making ourselves bad allows for the caregiver to stay
This is crucial when we instinctively perceive there are no other
options for us to turn to — and it allows us to hold onto an illusion of
some power and control, believing that we can earn love or stop the
abuse by trying harder and being better.
I have seen the
idealization defense to be particularly intense when the caregiver who
was abusive was also the only caregiver providing nurture and
I have also seen a more subtle type of idealization
when a person senses they were more equipped mentally/emotionally to
handle things than their caregiver or deeply believes their caregiver
did the best that they could – as this can make it difficult to
acknowledge the reality and impact of their caregiver not having met the
needs they had as a child.
Working with the Idealization Defense
can allow us to develop a realistic view of a caregiver, allowing
awareness of all the nuanced complexities of that person rather than
insisting on an all good or all bad perspective.
It can also allow our unmet needs to be acknowledged so that the experienced can be processed through and finally healed.
Keywords: healing; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy
Fresh as a doggie daisy!!
Sophie is such a sweet sport about having regular baths so she doesn’t “smell like a dog” for work!
I can’t imagine doing trauma work without the assistance of a therapy dog.
Her ability to bring someone back to the present, calm their nervous
system, help them laugh through their tears - far surpasses my own!
Keywords: grateful; grounding; therapy dog; trauma recovery; ptsd; cptsd; emdr therapy
Learning to look at the little one - the younger self that went
through whatever they did - with loving eyes is such a crucial part of
healing from early painful experiences.
To be able to speak to
the little self with words like these is also SO important - recognizing
and communicating that they came up with the very bravest and best
strategies they could to make it through a situation in which they had
no real control.
These adaptations often no longer work all that well in the adult world - and can lead to so much frustration and self-loathing.
But, if instead of rejecting, we can scoop up and hold and comfort and
thank that little one, then the nervous system can begin to recognize
that the powerlessness of childhood is over.
And the brave
child that fought with all they had to survive - can grow into a warrior
and embody the power of adulthood and the wisdom gained through the
battle to make it to today.
Keywords: warrior; survivor; adaptation; attachment; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; emdr
Don’t give up fighting, dear Lionhearts. We have what we need - we ARE what we need - to win the battle each of us is facing.
Please share your thoughts on this - and especially your encouragement
for each other today!! We definitely can’t do this alone.
Thanks to @papercrumbs for this beautiful original post
Keywords: lionheart; ptsd; trauma; emdr therapy
I came across this quote and both nodded and cringed. In times of
trauma, we often develop methods of coping that are the very best we can
do at the time. Letting go of them is not so simple.
It might be that we learned to freeze and be silent - or drown out our
emotions with alcohol or food or some other compulsion - or rage and
lash out - or placate - or isolate - or any number of things just to try
to get through, be safe, be loved.
These “adaptations” become habit, and
it’s true that their appropriateness and usefulness does seem to have
an expiration date. They can begin to do more harm than good.
Until the trauma memories are healed, it is hard to convince our nervous systems that we no longer need these adaptations.
However, I’ve seen the old coping behaviors lose their draw once we
process through the pain that was their origin. It’s tough work to get
there, but it’s possible.
Keywords: adaptation; ptsd; cptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery; emdr therapy
Lionhearts, sometimes it is tough to feel our worth, our strength, our power.
And, yet, we ARE worthy, we ARE strong, and we DO have far more power than we realize!!
This photo is a friendly reminder for all of us to question those
feelings of insecurity and inadequacy - and a bit of encouragement to do
whatever healing work it takes to be able to be able to embody the
truth of who we truly are.
Thanks to @joergstoeber permission to share this fantastic photo!!
Keywords: lionheart; worth; strength; power; healing; emdr therapy
So many of us are looking out at the world - and scrolling through
our feeds - feeling deep down that we just don’t have the life others
And we think it’s because we’re not good enough, not lovable enough, just not enough period.
The reality is, as Glennon Doyle so vividly states it, life is tough for every single one of us.
The appearances and pretty feeds hide a lot of pain and struggle.
To make it worse, so many of us use comparison to also diminish the
validity of our own troubles - as if they weren’t “bad enough” to count
because others “have gone through worse.”
Someone I was recently talking to - who has a only-in-your-nightmares
kind of trauma history, reflected that above all else it was the WORDS
that sunk in deepest and, like poison in her veins, destroyed her sense
of worth more than all of the other stuff she went through.
On the other hand, I think far more of us do than realize it.
I believe that if we looked more at our stories - and not just at symptoms we label as biochemical #depression or #anxiety - we’d get what’s going on a whole lot better.
Perhaps, we’d also more readily understand how healing the way memories
are held in our brain can be a possible path to finally feeling we are
lovable - good enough - or simply enough!!
Keywords: healing; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery; emdr therapy
I love these words by Brene’ Brown and this wonderful Lionheart image from her team @themarblejar.
It is SO challenging to live this way when we grow up without the
consistent nurture, protection, and guidance of secure attachment!
We often gravitate toward relationships that feel familiar - with
similar dynamics to those we grew up with - and thus experience repeated
reminders that love just leaves us with unmet meets and that risking
vulnerability is entirely unsafe.
Healing the attachment system through EMDR therapy, modified to treat
complex/developmental trauma, can shift what we see as possible in
relationships, the quality of relationships we are attracted to, and
what kind of treatment we believe we deserve!
It can help us
follow Brene’s encouragement in the way I believe she means it - and
choose secure relationships in which it is wise to love hard!
I believe the courage to do this work is truly Lionhearted!!
Keywords: lionheart; cptsd; developmental trauma; attachment; emdr therapy
We can be so hijacked into believing something IS true because it FEELS true!!
This is especially the case when we have a history of frightening or painful experiences.
The reality based information often exists in our brain (we KNOW what
is true) - but we simply can’t connect to it emotionally.
EMDR therapy can shift the way information is held in the brain and
link up what was previously held neurologically isolated - so we can
FEEL congruently with what we KNOW.
But, in the meantime
Lionhearts, I hope this post can serve as a bit of encouragement, a
reminder that your perception might actually be mistaken.
Whatever you are facing might not be as impossible as it seems, and you might just be quite capable of handling it!!
Keywords: complex ptsd; anxiety; depression; healing; emdr therapy
So much of what we do in my household involves the buddy system!!
Jericho has been going with Sophie to her acupuncture appointments for a
while now (the acupuncture works miracles for Soph’s hips and back -
and their vet is wonderful and welcomes the bengals coming to increase
their socialization and learn the vet doesn’t have to be scary).
Yesterday was Jericho’s first fore’ into wearing “Doggles,” so he could stay in the room during Sophie’s laser treatment.
Jericho did fantastic with his Doggles!! And I had to share this -
slightly fuzzy but hilarious! - shot of his little grin as he hangs out
and offers moral support to his big sis!!
Keywords: complex ptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy; therapy dog
A client once told me, “ I keep referring people to EMDR therapy, but they aren’t getting what I’m getting with you!”
The content of The EMDR Readiness Course represents much of what I have identified is that difference.
I crystallized the most powerful components of the work I do with
clients to prepare them for trauma memory reprocessing — all of which
have independent value even if someone never goes further on with EMDR
These exercises are what I have learned from the best
of the best in the field and synthesized with my own 17 years of
Here is a look at what is inside The EMDR Readiness Course!!
Week 1 – Introduction
An introduction to how EMDR therapy can transform the way trauma
memories are stored in the brain and important differences in safely and
effectively treating Complex/Developmental Trauma compared to Adult
Onset or Single Incident PTSD
Week 2 – Here Now not There Then
Two practical tools to remind the nervous system that the circumstances
of the past are over and that the Here and Now of adulthood IS
distinctly different than the There and Then of childhood
Week 3 – Okay to Feel Okay
Two methods to stop the swirling of negative thoughts and emotions –
and a powerful exercise to tease out compelling reasons it actually
might NOT feel okay to stop the swirling and feel better
Week 4 – Defenses
An examination of four intense obstacles that can block healing of
Complex/Developmental Trauma – and multiple methods for profoundly
down-shifting these defenses
Week 5 – Support Team
The development of a dynamic team of support figures – and the
strengthening of a visceral connection to their Nurture, Protection, and
Wisdom, as powerful scaffolding to support the work of healing from
Week 6 – Top Tens
An exercise designed to identify key life experiences and their ongoing
impact on beliefs about your Worth, Responsibility, Safety, and Choices
Week 7 – Trauma Memory Networks
The identification of the Core Negative Themes causing disruption to
your self-image and healthy functioning – and the strategic mapping of
memory clusters to be addressed with EMDR memory reprocessing
Week 8 – Positive Memory Resources
The highlighting and strengthening of Neurological Golden Nuggets – so
that EMDR reprocessing can more readily connect them to the trauma
memories from which they had previously been isolated and unable to
Week 9 – Attachment Repair
A means of becoming the most powerful source of Nurture, Protection,
and Wisdom for your younger self, who went through whatever your younger
self went through – and developing a foundation for healing from
Complex/Developmental Trauma and forming secure relationships in your
Keywords: ptsd, cptsd, developmental trauma; anxiety; depression; healing; transformation; emdr
PTSD is said to be a disorder of time and space – the nervous system
becomes confused and reacts in the present as if it is the past – it is a
confusion between the There & Then versus the Here & Now.
Some of the most practical skills I teach my clients involve actively
grounding in the present and identifying concrete reminders of how Now
is distinctly different from Then.
With these reminders, the nervous system begins to learn that it can stand down from it’s incessant guard - reassured and reminded that the danger of the past is over.
Thanks to @langleav for the beautiful original post!
Keywords: trauma; ptsd; emdr therapy
I often observe to my clients that their experiences with early trauma seem to have given them spidey-senses.
Initially, there can be so much hypervigilant reactivity to trauma
triggers, but EMDR therapy works wonders to calm this down by sorting
out facts from fears.
An incredible gift comes when it becomes
possible to listen to the wisdom of the intuition gained through the
experiences of neglect and abuse. There is so much protective power in
our gut instinct if we can learn to trust it.
Thank you to @yourbeautifullife for the original quote
Keywords: intuition; ptsd; cptsd; emdr therapy
Lionhearts, a few days ago I posted about how the confidence to speak
- or the belief that it is unsafe to have a voice - is often shaped in
our earliest attachment relationships.
I couldn’t pass up
adding this photo to the discussion!! I love that the father lion has a
hint of a smile at his little one’s roar.
If - unlike this
little one - our voice is silenced rather than encouraged, we often
instinctively continue our silence long into adulthood - too often
gravitating toward or staying in situations and relationships that do not welcome our voice.
To heal, we so often need to learn we can speak - and that there are
those who welcome our voices and with whom we will be heard!!
We must learn we can roar, Lionhearts, when roaring is needed.
Thanks to @andrewschoeman for permission to use this amazing photo!!
Keywords: lionheart; attachment; complex ptsd; developmental trauma; trauma recovery
This honestly brings tears to my eyes, as it makes me think of my
clients doing the work of EMDR therapy to repair what - for most of them
- has been a lifetime of trauma.
Keywords: developmental trauma; cptsd, ptsd; anxiety; depression; healing; emdr therapy
As it is not only Monday - but the first Monday after Daylight Saving
Time begins and arguably my least favorite day of the year as I am
anything but a morning person! - I wanted to post this little bit of encouragement for all of us!!
And, in the spirit of this quote, Lionhearts, I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for all of you.
It wasn’t so long ago that I began sharing bits of my thoughts on social media.
I have been struck by the courage many of you have had to tell parts of your stories.
I find myself sometimes tearing up, sometimes cheering, sometimes
painfully wishing I could do so much more to support each one of you
than this context allows. And, more and more often, I am
becoming familiar with names and smiling when I realize that something I
posted made a difference for someone I recognize. Please keep sharing your stories, your thoughts, and your kind words for each other, as you have been!! It is such powerful support when we are reminded we are not alone.
#lionheart #kindnessmatters #yourenotalone #grateful #ptsd #cptsd #traumarecovery
Keywords: lionheart; ptsd; cptsd; trauma recovery
I am ecstatic that this much needed paradigm shift is beginning to
occur - and that Oprah is using her powerful voice to help it gain
Oprah’s presentation on Developmental Trauma is airing on 60 Minutes tonight (Sunday 3/11)!
Research is showing that trauma and attachment disruption during early
development have a profound impact on the brain, the nervous system,
mental health, and overall ability to function well in the world.
In my opinion, this fundamental shift in our understanding leads us to
ask the most useful questions to inform our treatment approach.
And, perhaps even more importantly, it shifts our attitude from
pathologizing to seeing a person’s story with eyes of understanding and
compassion - which is especially important when the person we are
looking at is our own self.
Keywords: paradigm shift; developmental trauma; cptsd; anxiety; depression, ptsd
One of best things about Saturday is that I can give in - to the relentless insistence on love that is Operation Belly Stop.
Every weekday morning as I head for the front door, Jack runs ahead of
me and sprawls - cute spotted belly up - repeatedly - right in my path.
I tell him every morning with a laugh that, if any belly could keep me home, his would!!
And it’s true, he has assigned himself as officer in charge of ensuring
everyone in this household feels securely attached - and he’s
definitely winning over hearts and minds (and just about bending
Keywords: secure attachment; family; love warrior
A significant factor in trauma being trapped, unresolved in our
nervous systems is the inability to respond in the way that we needed to
at the time - to fight, to flee, to SPEAK!
Instead - because of
our being little and without choice at the time or because of the
absence of someone powerful and caring enough to intervene to protect us
- we too often learned out of pure necessity to freeze, submit, please,
Thus, the trauma experiences and the related emotions and incomplete actions of things we needed to do and say stay locked inside us.
And we instinctively continue our silence long into adulthood - too
often gravitating toward or staying in situations and relationships that
do not welcome our voice.
Gabor Mate speaks powerfully to how damaging this can be to our bodies in his book “When the Body Says No.”
To heal, we so often need to learn we can speak - and that there are
those who welcome our voices and with whom we will be heard!!
Keywords: speak; truth; healing; cptsd; developmental trauma; anxiety; depression; emdr therapy
Keywords: international women's day; true beauty; true strength; ptsd; cptsd; trauma recovery
There are some gifts that come only out of the darkest times of
deepest pain - like the lotus from the mud, the rainbow from the storm,
the phoenix from the ashes.
For some it is intuition so sharp it
is like a superpower - for some it is a type of empathetic wisdom that
allows them to touch others’ souls - and for some it is a drive that is
determined to overcome all obstacles.
These are just a few that I have had the privilege to witness. What is yours?
These gifts do not make what happened okay, yet they are a beautiful redemption of what was ugly, unjust, and undeserved.
Keywords: redemption; pheonix rising; ptsd; complex ptsd; trauma recovery; emdr therapy
A sad but hard truth.
So often it is that we repeatedly find
ourselves drawn into close relationships that parallel and repeat the
patterns that hurt us growing up.
Perhaps even more tragic is
that we can also inadvertently step into patterns of treating others in
the way that was modeled for us.
very wise young person put it this way while we were talking recently:
“Hurt people hurt people - don’t become the people who hurt you.”
It takes so much courage to look squarely at all of this for what it
is and to do the work of repair. But, Lionhearts, it can be so worth it
to be the one to stop the chain of trauma and pain.
Keywords: repair; cptsd; intergenerational trauma; trauma recover; emdr therapy
The places that hurt - even if they are deep inside invisible to
others - deserve to be acknowledged, held gently, and honored as valid.
They don’t have to measure up to some objective scale of what “should” be trauma.
They just ARE trauma.
And so they deserve healing.
Keywords: wounds; trauma; depression; anxiety; healing; emdr therapy
It is so much more difficult to form secure attachments in our adult relationships, if we did not have this as little ones.
Lionhearts, we can repair this!! We can learn to look at our little
selves (who went through whatever they did) with loving eyes.
And by becoming our own most secure source of comfort, protection, and
wisdom, we become more able to find and experience this in our
relationships with others.
Beautiful photo and permission to share thanks to @wildmanrouse
Keywords: lionheart; secure attachment; developmental trauma; cptsd; emdr therapy
When we grow up without secure attachment - without the consistent
experience of being seen and heard and held and defended - we can get
all mixed up about what love looks like and feels like.
conclude that somehow we aren’t good enough to to be loved the way we
see others can be - so we must cling to whatever inconsistent bits of
affection come our way (even if these crumbs are tainted with treatment
that we know deep down is poisonous). Or we can conclude that love is too dangerous, so it is best to hunker down on our own rather than risk vulnerability to what feels like certain pain.
More and more research is showing that insecure attachment - early
developmental trauma - is at the root of so much of what can cause us to
struggle as adults - depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to repeated
traumas and hurtful relationships.
The most exciting part of my
work in recent years has been seeing how EMDR therapy can be modified
to repair the attachment system and to see people re-learn what it means
to be loved - and that they have been intrinsically lovable all along!!
Keywords: lovable; secure attachment; cpstd, developmental trauma; emdr therapy
I received this wonderful response on Instagram from @thecptsdbrain
to watching the first video of the EMDR Readiness Course! I am so
excited at her response!!
There’s a link below to the video she is talking about - which explains what EMDR therapy is
and how it heals trauma memories in the brain. The video is part of the
first Module of a self-help course designed for those with Complex
Trauma - meaning the tough stuff has been happening in your life since
way back at the beginning.
It’s 40+ minutes long and is FULL of important information about how
treating Complex Trauma safely and effectively with EMDR therapy is
possible! But it has important differences from treating
The first Module of the course is
available totally free of charge - because I wanted anyone considering
EMDR therapy to treat life-long trauma patterns of trauma to be able to
hear this information (without any obligation to buy anything). If you
haven’t yet, please WATCH and SHARE! Not only could the video be
important for you to see - but you never know who else might need to see
it today too!!
Keywords: healing; transformation; traum; ptsd; attachment; complex ptsd; emdr therapy
As EMDR therapists, we talk about the "posttraumatic growth" we can
see so often in our clients - that after the work is completed they
become healthier and able to thrive beyond where they were before they
experienced the trauma.
It is beautiful to see - especially how
some of the darkest, most painful experiences not only heal but become
the source of wisdom and strength with which they soar!!
Thanks to @butterfliesandpebbles for the beautiful words!
Keywords: transformation; posttraumatic growth; healing; emdr; ptsd; complex ptsd
Sharing this in case you need a warm fuzzy today . . .
I absolutely love that this is Jack’s favorite pillow. I so often find him touching it while he’s sleeping.
It’s so fitting. I’ve joked before that Jack has appointed himself in
charge of making sure everyone feels “securely attached” in the
household. He gives Sophie and Jericho baths, he cries when Sophie goes
outside at night, he runs as fast as he can to the door and lays
himself in front of it when I leave for work in the morning.
It’s so funny because he is an absolute rascal - who has a heart of pure gold.
Keywords: secure attachment; cptsd; developmental trauma; emdr therapy
There’s something about this that I really love.
Maybe it’s the quiet hope in it.
Healing from trauma doesn’t make everything smooth and perfect . . . But it can allow what is good and true to be felt.
Keywords: trauma; cptsd; ptsd; healing; emdr therapy
I’ve been thinking this week how important it is that we know -
WHATEVER it is that we have been through - if it hurt us then it counts!
I have learned through years now of being a trauma specialist, that trauma isn’t just the the Big T kind we all think of.
While those events, of course, do damage, so can the littler
experiences that our brain just didn’t quite know how to deal with -
thus, they became like a fissure, which led to a series of cracks, and
maybe eventually left us feeling like we were in pieces.
A similar sort of thing can happen - not from the occurrence of
something bad - but from the absence of something necessary. It is so
difficult to grow up feeling whole and secure in ourselves and able to
lean into the support of those around us, without being seen and heard
and guided and protected and nurtured as little ones.
seen that any or all of these types of traumas can be at the root of
depression, anxiety, addictions, compulsions, and “personality
disorders” - not just classic PTSD.
I believe it is so important
that we recognize as valid anything that has caused, as the poet writes,
“a beautiful soul made to feel anything but” - so that the impact of
this tragedy can be honored and that soul can repaired and restored.
Keywords: trauma; anxiety; depression; ptsd; cptds; emdr
I found this quote in the preface of Francine Shapiro’s newly updated
text book for EMDR therapists. I think it so beautifully captures what
EMDR therapy is all about!
Keywords: transformation; trauma; ptsd; emdr
©2018 All Rights Reserved by Susanne Morgan, LMFT