There are times in therapy when common strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy, processing feelings, taking medication and skills building, just don’t work out. It can feel like you are talking and talking about a problem and getting nowhere. Sometimes you may notice that you have the strategies you need to get through an anxiety attack or a highly triggering situation, but feel exhausted afterwards and wonder if it will always require so much effort to cope. Another common problem people report is that grief, anxiety and trauma can get easily activated in close relationships and suddenly both people are feeling misunderstood and alone. You should know that these are normal experiences for people who have experienced traumatic events or significant losses.
Though changing our thoughts, talking about our feelings, taking medication and learning new skills can all be helpful to some extent, there are times when more advanced and specialized treatment is needed. These treatments can engage our mind’s natural ability to heal from overwhelming experiences by working with both the emotional and the body memories associated with grief, anxiety and trauma. Examples of these specialized treatments include EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), clinical hypnosis, tapping and progressive counting. These are evidence-based and brief methods of helping people heal and can be highly effective when delivered by a well-trained therapist. The good news here is that it is possible to feel a lot better through brief treatment.