NOTE: This letter was written to Anita’s EMDR therapist about her fear of doctors and dentists. Anita kindly gave permission for it to be shared here so others could learn ways EMDR can help with issues that mysteriously resist good psychotherapy.
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I want to share with you the results of some of the work we’ve done together and what I’ve experienced in the past month.
All of my life I’ve been very fearful of anything that had to do with doctors or medical or dental procedures. I avoided them like the plague — once going eight years without seeing a dentist. Routine check-ups at the doctor’s office were pretty much non-existent.
Now at age 66 I’ve experienced peace for the first time in my life while going through a serious medical event. I’ve had an astonishingly calm feeling that I didn’t know was possible. I thought my frantic, worried, desperate, terrified feelings were inevitable because that’s all I have ever known.
Working with you on the “no words protocol*”revealed that when I was an infant in pain from teething, my parents took me to a doctor who lanced my gums. This caused excruciating pain, terror and trauma. I discovered that througout my life this experience has been a trigger for my fear of anything having to do with doctors or dentists.
With your gift of EMDR I was able to release those gut-wrenching feelings from by body and to reorganize those events in my brain. As a result I didn’t have that “frozen terrified” experience when I was called back for more tests and a biopsy this past month. I was able to think clearly and ask questions easily and naturally. I had a feeling of some concern, but at the same time I felt very calm. I also remained calm as I was going through the procedures.
I was so shocked by how my feelings had changed and how I responded so differently this time. I even wondered, “What’s wrong with me? How could I feel so peaceful while I’m going through several mammograms and a biopsy that could potentially reveal that I have cancer?”
This has been a truly amazing transformation that has set me free from the feelings of my past that have crippled me in my life for so long. I don’t have the words to express fully how grateful I am for you and your work with EMDR, and that God chose to impart to you His wisdom, knowledge, understanding, compassion and love enabling you to help me and so many others heal from wounds in our past.
I’m so very thankful that my biopsy was benign, and that I was able to go through this whole experience in a completely new, healthy and peaceful way!
God bless you always!
The EMDR Early Trauma Protocol is also called “When There Are No Words” because it is an excellent way to address early experiences that may not be stored in conscioius memory with words. The brain has trouble remembering experiences before age 5 because the brain connections are not myelinized sufficiently for clear memory. However the body does remember. This protocol helps the body to remember and process early trauma, leaving the body clear from the residue of the stressful or traumatic experiences, or the times when simply one did not get needs met. It’s hard for the mind to remember some of these events, but the body can tell the story through the feelings that come up during treatment according to the EMDR Early Trauma Protocol. For more information about this topic,
link to Early Trauma article