Years ago, through a business mentorship program, Double Your Freelancing with Brennan Dunn, I found out about, and started following fellow author and program graduate, Nathan Barry. In one of his podcast episodes, Nathan says something like, “everyone should get therapy”. His context was that everyone should speak regularly with a therapist, a mentor, a coach – someone – to get that outside opinion, that third party perspective that you just can’t get inside your own head.
The Huberman Lab and Finding Mastery podcasts frequently emphasize the importance of therapy. On one episode of Finding Mastery, Dr. Gervais interviews Biohacking founder Dave Asprey. In the interview, Dave mentions a type of therapy called EMDR. EMDR is an acronym for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”. If you were read a description or even watch a session of what an EMDR session is, you might think it was smoke and mirrors, an odd sort of voodoo or just a complete scam. Furthermore the remarkable time in which therapy is effective seems ludicrous when compared to other traditional types of therapy. But, the research is there, and the results are real. EMDR get’s it name from a series of eye movements the patient is guided through by the clinician, but actually you don’t even need the eye movements – there are a number of different techniques that can be used to achieve the result.
I tried EMDR myself, with a trained physician, and I have to say I found it incredibly effective. But there’s a lot more to it than just the eye movements. It involves a good deal of introspection, before, during and after a session. You don’t just jump into an EMDR session. There is preparation and homework, and an EMDR session is typically paired with a follow-up session.
Getting Past your Past, Take control of your life with self-help techniques from EMDR Therapy is a book written by the founder of EMDR therapy, Dr. Francine Shapiro. I listened to the audiobook, then I went to the library and got a hard copy to take notes from.
I highly recommend reading this book, particular chapters 3 & 4 – she gives a really good method for self-assessment that is a great litmus test for figuring out why you are feeling a particular way at any given time. For someone who is seeking to do EMDR or is even currently doing it, using the exercises in the book can also save you a lot of time and money, because you can readily self-assess and figure out for yourself what things, if any, are issues that you need to get help with from a professional, versus being able to self-treat.
Everyone goes through trauma, it’s a part of life. Gabor Mate’s books, especially The Myth of Normal, is a great guide to really understanding trauma and how it affects us. It can be really surprising how something from our past that we never even think about, might be affecting our behavior, outlook on life, or many other things in our present situation. Getting Past your Past can provide you with additional tools beyond what Gabor Mate offers in learning about ourselves and improving our quality of life.