Therapy Talks

Unpacking The Myths of Trauma: 10 Ways to Use EMDR to Transform Pain Into Freedom with Jen Savage and Bridger Falkenstien

February 07, 2023 Switch Research Season 1 Episode 55
Therapy Talks
Unpacking The Myths of Trauma: 10 Ways to Use EMDR to Transform Pain Into Freedom with Jen Savage and Bridger Falkenstien
Show Notes Transcript

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This week on Therapy Talks, we are joined by two experienced and passionate therapists, Jen Savage and Bridger Falkenstien. On this episode, Jen and Bridger discuss a variety of topics related to EMDR and trauma-focused therapy approaches. Jen and Bridger delve into the misconceptions surrounding trauma and explore the origin story of EMDR. Additionally, they examine the evolution of EMDR from solely treating PTSD to being applied to a wide range of challenges including anxiety, depression, personality disorders, addiction, trauma, pain management, grief, physical health, and the impact of the past on the present. They also chat about the importance of establishing a deep, safe, and meaningful relationship between client and therapist, along with the inner workings of EMDR and why it can take time to reprocess and trust the newly gained insights.

Jen and Bridger share their experiences and offer insight into this powerful modality. Listeners will be sure to gain a greater understanding of EMDR and how to apply it to their own lives.

Jen Savage is a trauma-focused therapist who works with openness, curiosity, and compassion to foster a secure attachment between her and her clients. Bridger Falkenstien specializes in EMDR and is passionate about teaching and equipping healers in their development.

Find Out More About Jen and Bridger:
Instagram: @beyondhealingcenter417

Learn More About Switch Research:
Instagram: @switchresearch

Disclaimer: Therapy Talks does NOT provide medical services or professional counseling, and it is NOT a substitute for professional medical care.

Welcome back for another episode of Therapy Talks. It's Haley here hosting this episode, and today I'm really excited to announce that we have Jen Savage and Bridger Falk in joining us. From there, notice that a MDR podcast, we talk about where MDR started and how it's transformed to the therapy that it is today.

We also talk about the misconceptions of brown trauma and mdr, as well as what's happening in the brain when we facilitate e mdr.

I would love to have you both introduce yourself so that you can fully explain all of the offerings that you have with Be Beyond Healing and the Notice that podcast, and a background of Brown, both of you. That would be okay. I'm Jen Savage and I'm a co-owner at Beyond Healing and one of the hosts on the notice that podcast and I have a long history.

Offering therapy services. It's evolved into also doing consulting and training and owning a practice and continues to just evolve evolve and grow over time. So my clinical history has been in substance abuse counseling and then that kind of, Changing into working with a lot of kids who have been affected by addiction and reco, the process of recovery.

So through that journey, they're really focusing in on attachment work family systems work, and E M D R came in really handy in that. And so I have a long journey in history working with EMDR therapy and integrating that into a clinical practice as. I'm Bridger Fainstein. I'm also a co-owner at Beyond Healing and the creative director.

And that my my role there is pretty multifaceted. We all wear a lot of different hats. But I do a lot of assisting with different research projects and different creative campaigns, whether that be in our trainings or in our podcasts or just in all sorts of things. I'm also a professional counselor, therapist and what that looks like for me, I focus a lot on personality disorder.

And just relational or interpersonal issues and treating that from a holistic conceptualization. So viewing symptoms as strategies and not necessarily as just these free floating categories that we sometimes get bit by and now have depression or anxiety or bipolar, whatever. But viewing everything from a systemic strategic lens.

So in some way it all makes. And for us as therapists, it's that's our role is to try and figure out how it makes sense for that person. EMDR therapy is my main modality of choice. Outside of that, I embed it in a very relational framework that puts the relationship between the counselor or the therapist and the client.

First, and that, that's like our main conduit by which we hope to experience change together. So there's a lot baked into that. But yeah. And again, I just wanna repeat that. I'm so happy that you guys are here because I took my basic training several years ago. But the amount of people that have mentioned your podcast to me, and I hit them with a Me too, I'm listen.

Has been so lovely because of how helpful it's been in conceptualization of cases. I think that in the basic training that gets lost, it's more about how to apply the basic protocol. And you guys do a really great job on your notice, that podcast of talking around different topics around emdr, how they relate, bringing on different guests that specialize in those area.

and I would just say you guys really just show your passion for Emgr on that podcast. I really appreciate that and so big surprise. I'd love to chat about e EMDR today, and I would think it'd be really helpful if we could just have a little bit of a discussion around the trajectory of e MDR and like what Francie Shapiro originally hoped for from Emtr and how it transitioned.

Not only just modality for P T S D into a widely applicable meta mortality for many different challenges that clients may face, because I think that gets missed a lot because when someone, a client goes, what is e mdr? We go into our explanation, which is great, but we forget that it's been around for quite some time.

Yeah. Yeah. And I feel like one of the most missed pieces is people want to preserve E M D R in its most original form, and there's so much effort to put towards certain population. People wanna Rigidly hold it there. And we so deeply believe that if this is going to stay alive, it has to evolve as research evolves, as practice continues to develop and the application of it.

And so I love that experience of let's give acknowledgement to what it was and even some of the beautiful stories we've heard passed down of what was Francine's deep desire in all of this, and her heart and passion behind it. How she wanted to cure the world of P T S D, and she had this hope and desire that's so beautiful in it.

But in order to do that, we have to continue to hold onto it loosely, not so rigidly. Because there's so much new modern neuroscience that's saying Hey, there's some shifts and updates and things that we know more about now that we just didn't have the technology to know in the past. And so I think that being a part of that journey of seeing it go from this beautiful hopes and visions, but applied in a very small way.

First used with just veterans and sexual abuse survivors and in a very small population. And then it expanded into saying, okay, maybe we can, with special protocols, we can apply this to more symptoms, more disorders. And now in a way we're conceptualizing it now is. What if we're integrating that more broadly?

It's not that you need a special protocol step by step to treat each symptom, but it's how are, what is this doing neurobiologically and relationally in terms of consolidating memories and the way they're stored, and we can. Apply it with more flexibility. . And so I like how you're giving those specific examples of how E M D R was originally targeted for.

So maybe you could just give a little bit more detail around how that's transitioned from that, maybe more stereotypical P T S D case towards what it's being applied for today. Yeah, I think the origin story of EMDR and is just so interesting and how it went from the original kind of E M D into now a more integrated reprocessing therapy that has a ton of research behind it.

Not just from an NBR R'S perspective, but also from other integrative therapies that are doing things with memory consolidation and different embodied forms of trauma resolution. But as you look at the kind of the initial people that were developing emdr notice that has been such a platform for us to connect with people that we otherwise would not have.

And so we've gotten to connect with some of the people that were in that first group of people around Francine that were developing this modality in their own homes, like they were meeting up together and practicing these things and coming up with what standardized way can we bring this cure to PTs D.

To other people. And so I think any story that's gonna explain or explore where E M D R has gone, has to start there. That this was really a very deeply held excitement and revelation that this is it, this is gonna cure P T S D. . And so you can use this now for any anxiety disorders or any type of really whether it be chaotic or rigid hyperactivation or hyperactivation presentation and see some really incredible results in a very short amount of time.

So from there, the. The can of worms just goes everywhere where you can now start applying these different modalities and these different protocols to really diverse presentations. Yeah. So Jen, I don't know what's coming up for you as you think about that. Yeah. To piggyback off of that, just to give an example of a typical session or like client that I'm working with is not necessarily someone who you can just say, here is the identified trauma lineage, right?

Here is the exact moment when this symptom started. That's associated now with panic or phobia. . A lot of people think, okay, we have to have either a P T S D diagnosis or we have to have a clearly identified traumatic experience or cluster of those to use E M D R. Often we're working in a way that says, we're actually starting with saying what is the symptom?

And as Bridger mentioned earlier, we're calling this strategy. How is it that your body, your nervous system, learned generalized anxiety as a necessity for the sake of survival? Like I need increased levels of arousal in my system to make sure that I'm safe, that I have my needs met, that I'm anticipating threat and harm.

And so my body, my nervous system became shaped and wired into holding that level of activat. in order to get its needs met and to maintain safety. So through E M D R and in case conceptualization, we're looking at where did that begin? Where did you first learn that you needed increased arousal to be okay?

When did your system first learn that in a state of rest there may be threats, there may be danger. What were the moments in your experiences where. You maybe released some of the hypervigilance or the hyper arousal and something bad happened or when you held it so tightly and then it was reaffirmed that good thing.

I had that cuz it kept me safe. And so now we're planting this modality of e MDR at these specific memories. That actually started to shape the way in which we interact with the world and the strategies that we've learned in relationships, the strategies that we've learned in our world, and have said, if we can restructure the way those memories are stored in your system and offer new information, offer information that said yes, that was necessary then, but if it's different in your world now and shift the way that's stored, we can see nervous systems begin to let go of the strateg.

I don't need that hyper arousal anymore because I have learned that my environment is generally safe now, even though it wasn't earlier in my life. . And as you speak, it makes me think of a client that I'm recently working with where her presentation is that anxiety state, that hyper arousal state, and I was trying to express to her that.

This anxiety, how arousal state does not have to be your continuous state. If you are able to understand where that started for you and provide more adaptive information so that you don't have to respond with those anxiety symptoms and you learn can be safe in your current environment, even if your current environment feels safe to you.

Currently, it gets misconstrued as unsafe and therefore the anxiety comes. . Yes. And the, for some listening to this may say, okay, with C B T, we're approaching that similar. Let's give an update. Let's shift the way you're thinking. With emdr though, we're saying yes, but we've gotta do this from a bottom up approach.

Like we have to not just convince our cognitive mind that, okay, yes, I know my situation is different. We have to convince your nervous system. It's different. We have to convince your body far before it even emerges into a thought that it is different now. And that is where traditional talk therapy hits against a wall to say, how do I convince your body of this?

And instead, we're looking at doing more body focused and bringing E M D R as a tool for that of saying, let's really re-update the entire system, not just your. Not just your feelings, but also the somatic experience of it. And I think, go ahead, sorry. Oh, sorry, Haley. I was just gonna add I think that is such a an important, and for I think how we view it as beyond as an essential posture to understand the change process of psychotherapy.

Like we can do so much just in the cognitive mind, but it's only so much, from there. Asking the body to change its response pattern to a stimuli or a circumstance or a relationship. You might be able to think of, I wish I could handle this differently, or I can't get out of this rut.

But when we can actually understand its origins, Haley, as you were talking and see why that response strategy is coming up in the present, we can see that's not actually us responding to the present. That's us responding to something long ago, but it has fogged our vision to the present moment, and we're just reacting at that point.

Exactly, and that's why I try to also express the clients the difference between those bottom up versus top down modalities. Because again, with gone to behavioral therapy, I always tell people, stuff's gonna come up and you should always be able to cope, so please keep coping. But just understanding the difference that it's gonna, e m D is gonna allow this opportunity for maybe not needing to cope because you've already changed the way that you respond to the environment before you can even recognize that you have that.

Yes. And what a, even just hearing you say that again, and I've heard it a million times, like the relief that I feel, even like that hope that comes with that when we're constantly having to manage, there's a level of exhaustion and hopelessness and discouragement and sometimes even self shame of like, why is it that they say it's so simple, but I can't convince myself to do.

When we can utilize approaches that are really focused bottom up let's focus in on the body and the nervous system, and we can see shifts happen there. It's just such a relief from the exhaustion of always trying to manage. Yeah, and I, it was making me think of a client that I had that came in as a very.

Self-proclaimed master of their own thoughts, like they had gone through a lot of therapy and had talked about how, I know what to say. I know stinky thinking. I know how to, thought stop. I know all of this stuff. And I even got this like rubber band to snap to try and condition.

Response and I just can't seem to get over these nightmares that I keep having. And they described over and over again these different modalities that they had tried to get rid of something that was, from an EMDR perspective, a target and something that we really could do a lot of work with pretty quick if we, use the natural process of the body to release and validate that trauma and see a different change, a different strategy come to be after.

. And so what do you both think or feel mainstream society misunderstands around this trauma experience? , that's such a good question. You get to go question. Yeah. Haley, what do you think? ? I think for me that is such a broad question. All joking aside, like a big question but what's coming from to me right now?

I work so much, it feels like over and over again with the shoulds of how I should be able to get over this or it shouldn't be such a big deal, or, I didn't suffer as bad as this person. And so there's still, even though we've seen, I feel such a decrease in the stigma of psychotherapy and reaching out for help, there's still such an ingrained critic.

That to me, just like Nas at us for how we should be handling a situation or how, we're failures or X, Y, and Z because we can't seem to get past our past. And that to me is what I feel like I speak so much with clients about because it's just NAS at them. And I feel like decompensation is so likely when they give in.

To the thoughts that I should be better, faster, or, this shouldn't hurt as bad now since we've worked on it for so long. But really the role, which I think is pivotal and foundational to the a i p model, the role that the past plays in the present. I feel like we're still, as a society, not really understanding.

It is what makes up our meaning making of the present moment at every. Just saying that sentence feels so simple. It's like it's not coming through to no, you're not understanding. I'm talking about every moment of your present. Awareness is made sense of through your past experience. And that goes with the good times, the bad times, and the worst of times.

And so for me, that's where I see, to answer your question, as, with as many holes as I can, that's my answer. I think I have two, two that come to mind quickly. One being it's not a six simple sessions come in and quick, rapid. Everything's taken care of. And that's, that I feel like is a misconception created by our trainings and how we talk about it.

And again, we just show highlight reels. It can be six simple SE sessions if it's a well-resourced human who has a lot of adaptive networks to draw from and a simple isolated trauma. I get a lot of referrals of I have been working in therapy for years and it's not working, so here, try this for six sessions and see if that works.

And that is a huge misconception. It is highly effective and it's very efficient, but we're still talking about years and years of experiences that have shaped us to be who we are. And we're identifying the ones that feel really influential that if we reprocess that we can see it generalize. But there's a lot that comes to our nervous system, trusting even once that's reprocessed, trusting, can I rely on that truth now?

Like I, I have feel this update, but I may need more time, more experiential evidence to show me that it's something I can rely on fully. And so it can take time. The other one that comes to mind is it's not just something that we are doing to you as a client, and it's not. We do believe that the system has everything it needs to heal itself, but we emphasize so much the relational dynamic of it, that it really is in my perception and in how we practice it beyond, but it must be embedded in a deep, safe, meaningful relationship to get the most out of the.

If you have beautiful networks and resources and deep meaningful relationships, you can go in, it can be a bit more of a transactional dynamic. A we're gonna apply this modality and see relief, but if we are talking about attachment wounds, developmental trauma, this is a modality that has to be deeply embedded in a meaningful relationship between therapists and client, where safety, Is not just thought it's felt, and having that felt sense of safety will be the key ingredient in really shifting the way these past experiences are stored.

Regardless of how you know much, how many eye movement sets we do, if that piece is missing, we're gonna have a really hard time restoring the memory of the past. That did make me think of one more where it, I love the, it's not something we're doing to you, it's something we're doing with you and providing space for, but that's also where the work can't stop just in this moment.

That's where the generalization to outside the room is really important and for so many change feels impossible. To actually integrate into their lived experience because all of these relationships that actually formed that person are still active once they leave the office. So for me, I do spend a lot of time in my processing sessions, whether it be after pretty intense reprocessing session or something like that, talking about how do we make sense of this now in your life out there.

And just letting what comes up. And I think that's a great opportunity for future templating and things like that, but also just something relationally to explore because that may not be something the person has put any energy to or thought into. And so as they go out into the world and tried to.

Introduce this new version of themselves that's freed from the burdens of all of this unprocessed trauma. It can be like a slam door in their face because none of their relationships are open or prepared to encounter them as a healed or more healed version of themselves. , and I think you guys are doing a really great job of not only talking a misconception about trauma, but some of the misconceptions around the application at B mdr.

A therapist does not do that to you. It's not a treatment like going to get a massage, right? And it is quicker in the means that in one session, if you've already been properly prepped and things are going smooth and you have the adaptive relationships and all of that, you may feel better in that one session.

But it does not mean that the one session is actually encompassing all of emdr, all of the eight phases and all necessary going into that moment. And I will add a case examples. My, my own answer to this as well is that recently I had a client that shared with me who I had a really good rapport with.

She was like, I was like, how's it going today? And she's I'm feeling a little off. And I was like, okay, what's happening? And she's I'm worried that you don't like me. And I said what's happening there? She's I'm worried that you think that my experiences are not traumatic.

and the reason I bring this ex example up is because I think in society we have a big misconception around the word trauma and what that encompasses. So I like the word hurtful. Anything that was hurtful, whether it was 1% or a hundred percent hurtful, whatever it may be, I think that's trauma. And because I think all as therapists, we've had that before, that client has that fear that they're, their trauma or their hurt is not enough to be sitting in that.

That reminds me of our, the definition of trauma that we use Jen in our trainings and the different ways we talk about it. And this is a mosaic of research from the past, more than a decade, but that we believe that trauma is anything that is too much too soon. Too much for too long or too little for too long, especially in the absence of any secure attunement or relationship in their life.

And so for me, I'll write those things on the board like too much, too soon, too much for too long, too little, for too long, and just let almost like a free association. Occur in the session where we can actually talk about, yeah, there were some big T traumas, quote unquote, that felt like too much too soon.

But then there were a lot of little T traumas that were too much for too long or too little for too long. And then that secure attunement or the. Nourishing relationship sometimes is a way to describe it to clients. That's one where for so many of my clients, it's yeah, I don't even know what that is.

I don't know what that looks like, and I've never, I don't believe I've ever experienced it. So that illuminates so much from a case conceptualization standpoint on the things that we're gonna be working on. Yeah. And that word too, being so subjective that it eliminates any box to fit in of what's too much for me is just what's too much for.

Body to tolerate in that moment. Also think that definition lends really well to then the follow up question to any experience they talk about is like, who did you go to with that? Or who was there with you while you faced that, or who was there to support you in trying to come back from that? And that second piece of the definition, especially in the.

Of a of tune relationship and secure relationship. That's to say that when we don't have a two minute security, as we face really difficult life experiences or hurtful experiences. , our systems can tolerate so much less before it's overwhelming. Before it's too much. And so if we're noticing that second piece, one, we're either identifying resources that we could be building upon and strengthening, or we're seeing a lack of resourcing and being able to say, where do we need to start to fill in the gaps here?

. And could you guys maybe also go into a bit of that practical piece of how EMDs applied in terms of not only is it a desensitization process, it's not only a reprocessing thing, but it's also an installation or resourcing experience. And maybe explain that in a way that a client could digest as well.

Yeah. If we're just to be adding to that list of misconceptions, that's one that definitely goes on there is people think it's just about focused direct trauma reprocessing. That is a big part of it, but I think depending on how you How you see yourself as a clinician. That doesn't even have to be the majority of it.

There's so much beautiful healing and trauma work that can come out of the emphasis on building resources and this building resources. Is it? It's different and it's more than just what coping mechanisms do you have? That's a piece of it, but it's really looking at neurobiologically. What neural networks do you have that holds.

Adaptive material for you to make sense of your life and all of your life experiences. What memories hold something, whether it's a body sensation, emotion, belief, image that holds something adaptive that's gonna help you make sense of your life in a way that's meaningful and supportive to you. And if we are lacking in neural networks that hold that kind of information, because we have extensive, trauma, we have developmental trauma that we're really seeing without those pieces being in play, we can open up the trauma and just start cycling through it, but nothing's gonna shift.

Not unless they have access to neural networks that hold adaptive information. Are we going to see these memory networks start to change the way they're. So that means a big focus of E M D R at the beginning, all throughout the entire process is where are we at with our resources? What do we need to build, what do we need to develop and link back into so that when we do go into that activated state of mom re of trauma memory retrieval, , we have something to connect it back to for the consolidation.

Yeah, and I want to deepen that explanation as well with why resources even matter. And as social organisms, what that means evolutionarily is that we rely not just on ourselves for problem solving, but on the resources relationally around. And as we move from small, tiny infants up into mature adult, mature adults, we are gathering information that helps us understand what resources are available to us in our relational environment and what that means then about our sense of self or how, strong our sense of self is and resilient than to handle problem solving and difficult situations and things like that.

So if we go through a. That, an early life that shows us that maybe our world isn't very open to our spontaneous expression or even helping us make sense of our emotions or in any way. Seeing us in pain and struggle and attuning to that struggle and raising us up with it's okay to struggle.

We're stronger together, we can make this work. And now as we move on to the next problem, we're more prepared to handle. If we don't have a lived experience that's, attuned in that way, we're gonna struggle as adults in relationships, in problem situations, in critical tasks, and especially in things that are dysregulating like trauma.

When we have that, those insecurities built so early on in life, it really can tip us over without much force in, in, in later in life. And so for resourcing, when we talk about. Resourcing as EMDR sees it, it's trying to identify those adaptive networks, if at all, present in the lived experience of the client and pair them with the distress and dysregulating content of what is now maladaptively stored.

So that's where you see that, that coupling of why it's necessary for us to link those types of experiences throughout our life, because that's what's gonna let the body. Lower the distress, increase the, positive feelings about it, and thus increase the integration of self, making them more resilient, more able to handle things the next time around.

And then because of that reality as the foundation, the, the possibilities are endless in what we can focus on and prepare for. When we look at future templating or going into a, an experience later on in life that maybe previously we've not handled very well or has felt still very difficult for us, we can imagine ourselves into that situation, responding with the resources that we've just installed.

and as the clinician, I'm like, I'm with you. I understand. But maybe could we give like a little bit of a specific example that a client could digest for me? The way I try and help clients understand this is, Just through, EMDR has so many things built into it that are going to help along the way, even starting with a low distress event.

So this is something that brings up mild distress. Maybe on a scale of one to 10, like a three or a four. . And if that's like a, fender bender that you got into or that you were late for work and that, put you into a troubling situation with your boss or something in their lived experience that really can bring up that physiological activation that we can then start to process through with some of the mechanics of emdr.

Yeah. Jen, I'm curious if you have a very specific example. I'm almost wanting to go into a demonstration. I can also provide maybe one, and Jen, maybe you can follow up as well. For example, in a reprocessing phase where we are using bilateral stimulation, maybe a client has had an abusive household growing up.

And so part of the reprocessing was a memory in that abusive household. But the way to allow for the desensitization, the reprocessing was to happen was the client was able to also remember that there were some good memories. Sibling in that home, and so now they don't look at that specific uncomfortable memory with such an uncomfortable lens.

They're able to look at it now with more of an appreciation for the good experiences that they have with their sibling. Yeah. Yeah. I have a couple examples of just a client I saw this morning even coming up. Her and I are working together, newly working together, focused on some really severe anxiety symptoms that she's suffering from, and I asked her, I said, can you just tell me like when's the last time you feel like your body just took a breath and just relaxed?

You melted or un he felt it unwind and she couldn't think of one. I don't know. I've been feeling this for years. I've been so anxious all the time. And we finally got to you after exploring, she said, tr, after getting married, I just remember the feeling of laying my head on my husband's chest and hearing his heartbeat and the sound of just really focusing on his heartbeat.

My whole body would melt and I would actually fall asleep with ease. And so we created an A resource out of that moment where she can recall what it even feels like to feel. And the really precious moment of that, that I love is that it's through co-regulation with her partner. It was through feeling a connection and a safety with him.

It wasn't like I went and did something alone to take care of my stress. It was through really safe, healthy connection. I felt my body released and come to a place of ease, and so we captured that moment. What image represents the strongest point of that memory for you? What belief feels true? What emotions are coming up?

What do you notice in your body as you recall this memory? And we just spent a lot of time installing that specific moment for her system to remember this is what it feels like and that I can't find safety and connection with other people. And that will, that's a little tiny drop in the bucket of all of the anxiety.

Like it definitely, I'm imagining like a bucket of blue water and I tried to put some red in it or something like it didn't dramatically change the color. But through enough of adding those drops in we'll st. We can start to see a shift in that color and then we add in trauma processing on top of it and start to work through some of the traumas that we're gonna see.

Even more significant ships. Haley, you used an example where you were going for a material that was in their lived experience, and that's definitely one version of resourcing that can help illuminate and hopefully, spread out the distress of that experience to where, oh, yeah, I didn't realize that I was only focusing on the really terrible parts.

There were also some of these things that helped me feel now as I look back on it a little bit better. A lot of the resourcing that we talk about is also image-based resourcing, or even mindfulness-based resourcing, like what Jen was just describing. There's so much evocative power in what can be imagined and then added to that memory, and that's what I find myself doing a lot.

In the creative resourcing sessions that I have. So if a client is let's just say they're thinking about a childhood experience that was, they felt powerless and they felt really on the spot. And unable to, get out of that place. And they just remember, I don't know what happened, but I was just like locked in fear and I couldn't say anything.

And doesn't matter how many sets we do of BLS or anything like that, nothing is coming up that's like an existing positive experience for that memory. That's when I reach into the chest of imaginative resources to. Are you familiar with Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or any type of creative, story of that way, Narnia, anything.

And if they are, we can start talking about some of the things they liked about that. And I can't tell you the amount of. Wizards, wands, or staffs or cloaks or any of these things that I've helped people install to where we will grab onto a symbol that represents the strength that they needed or the security that they needed in that initial experience where they were just locked in fear and unable to speak.

And. Before you know it, they've got a wizard's cloak on and they're standing up in the classroom that they remember being so terrified in and suddenly feeling, oh my gosh, if I had that thing back then I would've just felt so empowered and I would've been able to speak and I would've been able to move in the way that I needed to.

And when you check back in with, how distressing does that memory feel to you now as you imagine yourself there with a wizard's cloak and a. Like, this would be great. Even though it didn't happen that way at all it now has changed in the meaning they've made of it because they can see the resource that we developed.

They can feel what that would actually be like to hold that resource and to wear it and be with it. And now we're updating their sense of self to incorporate that now new resource that we. . . Yeah. I really appreciate that. More granular explanation of what that would look like in a session because I think a lot of our listeners come to the, this podcast and when we talk about emdr, it's very abstract, so I appreciate that.

More specificity around it. But I'd also be interested if you guys could now explain a little bit what that means on a neurobiological level. What's happening in the brain when we're doing. . Yeah. As we grow throughout our life, again, I've already mentioned that we are adding to our sense of self throughout our lived experience, what that means.

Now, on a physiological level, that was a psychological construct. What would that means on a physiological level is that each and every developmental stage that passes. Builds on one another. So if it's from our earliest experiences in utero, post concept, or all, then throughout our sensitive stages, we're adding onto the existing physiological integration.

Of those experiences, this is where Neurobiologists will talk about how exposed to stress and absent of attunement a child might have been throughout their lived experience. Because what that establishes is our stress tolerance, or we talk about it like a window of tolerance or even our affect dysregulation in that, We're now going to have vulnerabilities built into our physiology that given a circumstance, a situation, or even a single stimuli like a person or a tone of voice, our.

Early vulnerabilities developed into us throughout those sensitive stages of growth will be exploited. And now our system is prone to a level of dysregulation that doesn't seem to match the present experience. And so from a, therapeutic standpoint, those are the situations where we see, oh, I'm clearly overreacting, or I'm not reacting as if to the present, something's going on in the.

That's, again, a very simple memory recall phenomenon wherein I'm reacting to the level of dysregulation that I experienced back then and did not find a good solution for. So I'm going to employ those same activation patterns to see if I can find a resolution to that distress in the present moment.

I don't know how much more granular you wanna go. Jen, would you have anything to add to that? I think we could , keep talking on a lot of levels about it. Maybe not more gra granular, less granular. I would just add this. To be resourcing. Creating neural networks with the stored felt experience of an adaptive moment gives us an opportunity to have something to reprocess the earlier traumatic experience with.

So with trauma processing, we're ac we're finding the memory network and activating the nervous system in the present moment with the storage of that past memory. We have to have some form of new mismatched experience. We have to have something that on a body level, the system knows that is the past and there's new information where I don't have to generalize my meaning of that experience over into all future experiences.

So by creating resources, new resources imaginable resource. Or helping them to reconnect, re strengthen, wake up these old memories that they've had that are stored with adaptive nature, that kind of combat, directly combat and disconfirm all of the meaning they've been making of the trauma memory.

So when something really catastrophic happens we come to very generalized understandings of the world to try to keep ourselves safe. Like people are bad, right? We can, if we've been hurt enough times, we come to something very broad like that to say, if I can just know that all people are bad, I'll never trust anyone again.

Maybe I'll never get hurt again. So resourcing is about saying, can we find the moment of the past that, where that wasn't true and create new felt experiences where that's not. And have that mismatched moment so that your system can change the way in which that's stored and the meaning that it's making from it.

and that's really where that whole case conceptualization piece comes in. Because not only from basic training where there's a large emphasis on processing a single incident trauma, it's looking at a human's life and in its entirety and looking at where did things, where did we learn something maladaptive and where are we taking that forward in an unhelpful way?

Can we go back to that? Having one foot in the present, one foot in the past and being able to really have more of a helpful, healthy adapt. Yeah. I love your mention of helpful. Is it the most helpful to us? Because that's again, where E M D R embraces the adaptive nature of human physiology to always find a safe enough for long enough to survive.

If we got here, if we're to this moment, that means no matter what you've experienced in the past, You made it through somehow. And so for us going back into the past to try and make meaning of the present, it's not trying to invalidate those, strategies or those different meanings that you've made of those situations throughout your life.

It's trying to see, is that the most helpful strategy to you? Now, and that's where that dual awareness of present to past can be so powerful because we get to validate the origin of the strategy when it was needed back then. And also then see in the present moment if there's a different strategy that we want to develop.

, definitely. I'm just curious if there's something in our discussion that you feel like you wanna add to or missed. Cause I wanna make sure that I keep on time for you all. And if not, I'd love for you guys all to share, like if people are interested in reaching out to your business and to connecting with you all, how should they do that?

Yeah we love to connect. So as we had mentioned the notice that podcast before. It's just a space where we want to be able to connect with as many people who are interested in working this way, talking this way. So I think that's a great, just first step is finding the notice that podcast, you can find it on any platform, just searching.

Notice that, and through that, we have a tons of different resources listed throughout our episodes where you can connect. But the one other just like easy free platform that we have is our Beyond Healing community. And that's a like a private social media platform where we have so many different private groups.

Group discussions, different courses people from all over the world who really find similar interests in therapy in this way, coming together to share experiences, ask questions, talk about things they're passionate about. It's a beautiful community of people. So I would just encourage everyone to come and fight us.

I'll combine. Hailey, you're prompt of, is there anything we want to add to and then ways to connect? You've mentioned throughout the conversation case conceptualization and that just on a very practical level is how you make sense of what's coming up in the room and parrot with a treatment that you feel and agree with the client that is going to lead.

Change in a positive way. And that is something that we spend a majority of our time talking about in the two different trainings that we've developed around case conceptualization. And how much of that has then informed the way that we teach E M D R. So the case conceptualization trainings that we have are open to all.

Walks of therapy life. So it doesn't matter if you practice E M D R or something else. Our case conceptualization model embraces a very wide array of therapeutic modalities to come to a trauma informed application of that modality and understanding of the human process. So any, if anything, that peaked, if anything in this conversation peaked your in.

And wanna know more about where strategies come from and where, we can pair some of our modalities that we are familiar with to help our clients find healing and change. That's what Somatic Integration and Processing is all about. That's our case conceptualization model. S I P. Thank you.

For sure. You can plug into Beyond Healing or our website if you wanna see all of the information on trainings. Our, we have retreats for clients tons of different services on there. That's at connect beyond Wonderful. Thank you so much for both coming on today and sharing your wealth of knowledge.

It was such a great experience. I appreciate it so much.