As both a therapist and a student of life, I am constantly searching for ways to help both myself and the lives of my patients. I feel that any provider, whether they are a medical doctor, nurse, psychologist, or therapist, should be open to possibilities that what they currently know to be true could one day be turned upside down. This is what happened to me this past March.
I have a colleague friend of mine that I have known since my early days of counseling. She practices in my hometown in Florida, while I practice here in Gastonia. Ironically, we each recieved training in the exact same forms of treatment that the average therapist never takes the time to learn. It was not until last year, I saw her post on Facebook about the Neuro Emotional Technique or NET for short. I asked her how much better is it at helping people with trauma, anxiety, phobias, etc compared to traditional talk therapy, EMDR, and hypnosis. What she said made my skeptical. She said NET blew those treatments out of the water. It was not until six months later when I was talking to an old friend from the church I attended as a child that NET became a reality. She said that she went to my therapist friend for help, and was helped immensely in just a couple of sessions. It was my friend's testimony that prompted me to sign up for the next training. What happened at the training completely took my previous 16 years of practice and stood it on its head.
I attended this training in Orlando. I am not going to lie, I was planning on going to the training, and if it was total garbage compared to what I had already known, I was going to leave and go on a mini vacation for myself, and spend the next few days lying on the beach with a cold one in my hand. Well, within the first hour, I was mesmerized. What I learned blew my mind. NET is a technique and a treatment method that helps people uncover and understand how life events in the past contribute to how we feel today. Often times, the events appear to be seemingly unrelated. We call these Neuro Emotional Complexes or just stuck points. It also uncovers emotional setbacks that keep us from healing physically. I literally watched people and now have treated people for chronic pain such as ear, leg, and stomach pain literally go away after uncovering and releasing past emotional stuck points. On a personal note, the physician who was teaching me asked me what I want to be different in my life, I said I want to be free of my addiction to sugar. What was uncovered was that my sugar addiction became out of control when my parents divorced when I was 17. To be perfectly clear, I am happy my parents are divorced and happily remarried, but at that time, but it was traumatic for me to go through. It was emotional residue, so to speak, that I was unaware that I still had in me. Since March 22(as of this writing on 5/5/18), I have lost over 30lbs without even trying. Another personal testimony is my elbow pain. I injured my elbows lifting weights. My elbows hurt so bad that I could barely lift myself up from the chair without help. I even had to have my intern open a bottle of water for me. To doctor helped me find the stuck point to that as well. My elbows have been bothering mefor about 5 months, and it was at that time, I remember making an off handed comment to my wife about a family member causing me a great deal of stress. That stressor was related to my elbow. Immediately after NET, I was to lift myself up, open my own bottle with out pain, and do unassisted push ups. My elbows now can finally heal. Needless to say, I am a believer.
So what does all this mean to the people that I serve and treat. It means that I am one of only 8000 practitioners in the world that are trained to provide this service. There are over 600000 therapists in the US alone. So, NET is pretty darn unique. What I have literally seen happen is that we can get through a year of traditional talk therapy in less than one hour. The results speak for themselves. I do not have to know deep, dark, family secrets. Nor do we have to rehash the painful past. Check my link for NET on our website for a video demonstration. It is really that simple. To be fair, this is not a cure all. The individuals who are not well suited for this technique are people who suffer from active psychosis, and people with severe mental illness that need immediate long term hospitalization. Almost everyone else achieves success. So if you are someone else you love could benefit, give us a call.
Till next time my friends,
Survivors of sexual abuse, often times, hide in darkness. For years, survivors suffer afraid that if they tell, they will be accused of lying, face rejection, and worse, judgment.
We at Bright Hope want survivors to know that there is hope, and just by reading this post, salute and applaud the courage that is being taken to just read this blog. For starters, I am going to give a synopsis of treatment options available to treat and help survivors heal.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Trauma Focused - (CBT-TF)
This form of therapy is designed to confront irrational thinking about what happened, and to provide education so the survivor knows how to better cope with the negative feelings. I am not going to lie, this technique is my least favorite by far. Research shows that it works just as well as the other two methods that Ia m going to describe. However, in my almost 17 years of experience, I am not a believer.
2. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing - (EMDR)
EMDR is the treatment of choice for veterans coming home from conflict. It's premise is that the brain is set up in two parts - Emotional and Logical. When trauma occurs, the emotional side of the brain basically freaks out and cause a freezing effect very similar to when a computer freezes up. The result of this is the all too familiar feelings of panic, fear, nightmares, etc. What EMDR does is connect both sides of the brain by either tapping back and forth on both sides of the body, holding vibrating paddles, and using the eyes to look right and left. When this is happening, the survivor starts to discuss or think about what happened. The result is that the trauma starts to be processed by the logical side of the brain. The results are usually nothing short of astonishing. Now, I must warn of the downside to this technique. It is exceptionally difficult for the survivor to go through. It is a controlled flashback, and for healing to occur, the trauma will have to be relived.
No, I will not make anyone bark like a dog. Clinical hypnosis uses the subconscious mind to work through the sexual abuse with little emotional pain. It is slower than EMDR, but is still significantly faster than CBT-TF. To fully explain what hypnosis is and does would require several more blog posts. Fortunately, I already discussed this great detail in earlier posts. In the beginning, until the brain takes hold and eliminates the trauma completely, relapses may occur. They are not, however, as strong or as bad as before. This is my personal favorite all around because it is holistic and can be applied to almost any situation in life. Plus, it is not as painful as EMDR. Rule of thumb that I tell my patients is that however long EMDR takes to provide relief, it will usually double that with hypnosis.
4. Exposure Therapy
It is EMDR with out the paddles, eye movement, and tapping. Faster than CBT-TF, and more painful than EMDR because it is longer. Basically, the survivor recounts their story until they no longer have anxiety about it.
All in all, please know that help is available. Reality is that different people prefer different things. My usual course of treatment is a 1, 2, punch with both hypnosis and EMDR because hypnosis strengthens the person before undergoing the difficult task of EMDR. Again, whatever method is used, please do not give up, and seek help.
The internal struggle of depression and trauma can run incredibly deep. The scars and wounds of emotional pain , though not seen by the naked eye, cause infinitesimally more damage than anything physical. Society places an unfair stigma on the people that suffer because the world just does not understand. For some, many of these wounds have been going on since childhood. For others, they may be more recent. Either way, the person feels that they are completely alone and have no where to turn.
To those suffering, there is hope. I say this because our office has helped thousands of people find hope, purpose, and healing. Have we helped everybody we met? Unfortunately, no. In working with emotional pain, there is unfortunately, no guarantee. Will we give our best? Absolutely. The people we were unable to help refused to take the journey to healing with us. The reasons are many, but core is the same. They are afraid. Healing is scary, and sometimes past healers caused more damage.
I have heard dozens of stories where a person gave up hope because a therapist did not know what to do, or made a blanket statement that going back church will fix them. To those therapists, I say, "How dare you." There is nothing wrong with referring out to another therapist who has a different level of expertise, but to flat out deny the person the opportunity to heal is wrong.
So here is our proposal:
Give us a chance. We will compassionately listen and hear you. Since we specialize in non traditional methods of counseling, our chances of success are far greater than just talk therapy alone. Together, we will develop a plan of attack, and develop measurable goals for success. At times, it may be painful, yet goal will be in sight. If you feel that we are not a good fit, talk to us, and we will find someone that will. We are diverse group of therapists working with a common goal. Just know that there is hope.
Thoughts of rambling therapists.