I’ve been thinking about what to write for this post for a few days, and honestly I’m not any closer to having a single experience to talk about.
So, with that said… therapy. I love therapy! I’m in therapy three days a week, so I’d better love it! There’s regular talk therapy, of course, then there’s EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and finally, couples therapy. Each type of therapy brings it’s own “stuff” to the table.
My favorite of the three would have to be the talk therapy. My counselor is the best. The first time I stepped foot into her office I knew I was there to stay. She’s the type of woman everyone would like as a mom. Nurturing, yet no-nonsense, practical and insightful, she has the uncanny ability to see straight to my core, yet she is always gentle and knows how to handle me with kid gloves. Nothing shocks her. I like the way she never looks at me with pity in her eyes. Rather, she looks at me like I’m her equal and we’re just sitting there having a conversation about the weather. She likes to draw pictures on the chalkboard she keeps in her office and she likes to lend me books. We have that in common: books.
She’s taught me so much and given me real-world ways of coping with situations that have come up. She’s taught me practical ways to set healthy boundaries. She knows how to predict situations and give me ways of dealing with them before they happen.
I feel completely comfortable sitting in that chair once a week and always look forward to going.
Then there’s EMDR. This one is a huge challenge for me. I struggle every week with going and it’s taken a lot of guts and gumption to keep showing up there every week. I’m not even sure why it’s such a struggle, possibly it’s a defense mechanism because while regular talk therapy has helped me cope with today’s world, EMDR focused on things that happened to me in the past and that’s hard. Really hard.
EMDR involves coming up with “target” areas to work on, things that were traumatic that happened in the past, and basically taking the sting out of those memories by using bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation is following hand movements back and forth, using a light board that blinks lights to the left or the right, or holding hand tablets in either hand that pulse.
No one is really sure why this works, and I’m truthfully not sure whether it works or not. We really haven’t started the bilateral stimulation yet because we’re still working our way up towards the “targets.” But all I know is that this type of therapy is no walk in the park and not for the faint of heart. Hopefully it’ll be worth it.
Finally, once a week my husband and I go to couples therapy. This one falls right into the middle of the continuum of hard to easy therapy. While it’s nice to have the focus be divided between my husband and I, it’s hard in knowing that my “issues” are at least partly to blame for what’s wrong in our marriage. Here we work on communication skills, as well as intimacy issues that have arisen because of my history. I neither look forward to, nor dread going, it just is. It can be difficult in it’s own way, however, because working on a marriage is never an easy thing. There’s a lot of mind reading that we’re trying to break out of, as well as learning how to take turns and split the responsibilities in the relationship evenly.
So there you have it… one girl going to three very different types of therapy. Like I said, each brings it’s own qualities to the table and each has it’s own purpose. I’m realizing that the three types represent the past (EMDR), the present (talk therapy) and the future (couples). Each will hopefully bring help me to become a fully grounded, healthy and whole person someday.