Breaking up is hard to do, yet, breakups happen all the time. The divorce rate remains steady at around 50 percent for a first marriage (it rises dramatically with each ensuing marriage). And while it’s impossible to know for sure about non-marital relationships, many do end in some kind of separation.
All of this adds up to the sobering reality that the vast majority of us will have to deal with a break-up at some point in our lifetimes. Some of us experience a calm, amicable dissolution of our relationships. Some of us have a much harder time leaving love behind.
Obviously, the best thing for our hearts and minds is to exit well. But when that proves too difficult, there is a therapeutic option that can help you work through your tough time: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR. Take a look as we explore EMDR can help you work through a break-up.
The Phases of EMDR
EMDR is a short-term therapy option that uses a blend of visualization and hand and eye movements to help you process painful feelings and memories. Subsequently, your negative emotions are replaced with positive feelings and aspirations. EMDR treatment is divided into eight phases:
- Phase 1: History-taking, explaining the process
- Phase 2: Developing trust and rapport between therapist and client
- Phases 3-6: A focus is chosen and EMDR processing occurs
- Phase 7: The client keeps a log for one week to help reinforce what they have learned
- Phase 8: Progress is assessed and examined
The Phases of a Break-up
Needless to say, every break-up carries with it some unique characteristics. Still, many universal threads are running through all such situations. One very common thread – a sense of feeling “stuck” in negative emotion. In fact, one or both of the ex-partners may experience:
Ex-partners may or may not move on to create new relationships but, until these disturbing emotions are processed, it will be difficult to maintain a healthy, new connection. If you suppress your painful memories, they will surface elsewhere as negative, self-sabotaging behavior.
To your brain, this cycle makes it feel like the present is no different from the past. Hence, you feel stuck and the trauma remains fresh. EMDR can help you work through a break-up
5 Key Ways EMDR Can Help You Work Through A Break-Up or Divorce
1. The Release of Past Trauma
EMDR has been around long enough to have a stellar track record in terms of research. The studies and therapeutic experience make clear that EMDR is a wise choice for those dealing with lingering pain and/or trauma. It often outpaces other psychotherapeutic modalities. Also, this healing happens much more quickly than other forms of therapy.
2. Feelings Can Change
One of the downsides of being stuck is a fear that nothing will change how you feel. EMDR is a stark reminder that every single one of us can change our thoughts and feelings. The catalyst is finding the method to do so. EMDR teaches that one set of emotions can be processed and replaced. This offers peace of mind and deeper self-awareness.
3. EMDR Provides Quick Results
The numbers are in. Anywhere from 84 to 90 percent of those dealing with the pain of past trauma reported relief after just THREE sessions of EMDR. Typically, EMDR therapy only lasts from six to 12 sessions. In our fast-paced world, these kinds of results are appealing and advantageous.
4. Reduced Anxiety
Anxiety makes everything more challenging. With a breakup, it can be the glue that keeps you stuck. EMDR works to replace anxious thoughts with clear-minded perspectives and self-confident belief.
5. Increased Self-Esteem
Replacing negative self-beliefs with positive e self-beliefs can’t help but enhance your self-esteem. In such a state, your worldview shifts and you will find yourself naturally moving towards healthy, productive behavior choices.
Get Un-Stuck and Move Forward
Break-ups happen and the pain can feel unbearable. However, you can endure and feel more empowered with the appropriate support and guidance. Please reach out today to learn more about how EMDR can help you. I am available for a consultation when you are ready.