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EMDR Intensive: Healing from Betrayal

“When I found out, I just felt so many different feelings, confusion, anger, pain, loss..”

Britney had been through a lot, and had also done a lot of therapy. After being betrayed by her boyfriend, at first she thought talk therapy would help her work through the pain and move on. But it just wasn't cutting it. She really liked her therapist, she was “doing the work”, she read the books, but something in her just wasn’t shifting.

See, Brittney had given her whole heart to this guy, only to find out he was cheating on her the entire time. This is after a long period of dating, and an engagement. The only way she found out was by accidentally getting linked to his Ipad, and then seeing a ton of messages come through that made the whole story very clear.

The trust was shattered, and so was she, and no matter how many times she talked it out with her therapist, she just couldn't seem to heal.The thing is, traditional talk therapy is great for a lot of people.

But for Brittney, she needed something more. She needed to find ways to process that intense emotional trauma, to reconnect with herself on a deeper level. Talk therapy alone just couldn't give her the tools she needed to truly move forward.

When Brittney came to me for EMDR, she was willing to try anything. She said she needed change, on a deep level, inside, beyond the words that had been repeated in session so many times. She did the EMDR, going deep, into areas of wounding, pain, and broken trust from an early age.


We got into hour two, and towards the middle of the hour, Brittney finally broke into something, connected with something in her core that she had so longed to touch. It was this sense, that things with her boyfriend had confirmed something she knew long ago, that she wasn’t deserving of trusting relationships.


It was a small moment with her mom that had taught her this, and from that moment on Brittney had worked hard to keep people at a safe distance for her. She was an expert at work, she knew how to handle a variety of problems that got thrown at her, she was a great sister and an even better friend.


But under all of this, Brittney continued to have a wall that was there for her protection, ever since that moment with her mom in the kitchen.


Brittney let out a soft sigh and told me later that as she did that she felt something shift in her body. The intensive still took time, we did a total of four hours together day of, and in the following hours, Brittney found something she didn’t know she had lost. Her ability to trust herself, that she could make the right choices, and that her ex-boyfriend’s actions didn’t make up all of who she was.


She told me at the end of the intensive:


“There are so many things I touched on here today, that I think on some level I knew, but I really couldn’t put words to, or I would retreat from. I’m really thankful that I came and did this work today, because I believe more than ever, talk therapy would never have gotten me here. There is something deeply meaningful in this work, but it also has this dream-like quality to it. I can tell I’m a different person, at least on some level, leaving here, and the somatic as well as EMDR we did today helped me author that.”


Interpersonal trauma is something that can happen to any of us, and the effects can often be long-lasting, especially when we are in 50-minute sessions that might drip out a bit of healing but never hit on the heart of what we are trying to heal. Brittney is just one example of why I do these intensives, and why this work is so important, so we can reclaim and move forward.

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