Spiritual Psychology
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Soul Transformation through EMDR
Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.

     EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, was discovered by Francine Shapiro in 1987. As she walked in a park in Los Gatos, California one day, she was preoccupied with old memories and disturbing thoughts and feelings. Suddenly she realized she was feeling better and the memories seemed to be dissipating. She asked herself, "What's going on here?" She noticed that her eyes had been moving quickly back and forth. She was excited to discover that the more she did it, the better she felt.
      Francine experimented with friends and family. They, too, seemed to get relief when they held old images in mind and moved their eyes rapidly. Realizing the potential of her discovery, she went on to complete her doctorate in psychology. She focused her research efforts over the next decade upon creating a breakthrough therapy—EMDR, acclaimed by clinicians, lauded by crisis intervention organizations and endorsed by academicians. As one of the most extensively researched and supported methods for treating trauma, EMDR is now practiced around the world in areas where people have gone through major traumas such as war, earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, bombings, etc.
      Dr. Shapiro is a licensed psychologist and senior research fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto. She has trained over 20,000 clinicians in the EMDR method in the United States alone. EMDR clinicians have successfully treated over a million individuals suffering from the aftermath of assault, domestic violence, rape, "bad trip" drug experiences, combat, loss of loved ones, accidents, serious illness, childhood traumas, natural disasters and recurrent nightmares. EMDR has been extensively researched and is now viewed as a highly effective method for treating trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
      What exactly is EMDR? It is a complex method of psychotherapy that integrates many of the successful elements of a range of therapeutic approaches in combination with eye movements, sound or some other form of rhythmical, bilateral brain stimulation that stimulates the brain's information processing system. The processing is similar to what happens during REM sleep—however, with EMDR, the person is awake.
      Dr. Barrick has found EMDR to be an important healing technique to help people resolve pain and trauma they have experienced in this life as well as past lives. Our deep soul pain is the pain we felt when we departed from our spiritual path, made karma, and consequently felt separated from God, our twin flame and our own Higher Self. Through spiritual work and EMDR therapy, we can let go of the pain, understand the lessons for our soul and see ourselves in a new light.
      Dr. Barrick has fascinating case studies that show how EMDR therapy enables a person to achieve understanding and resolution of the vulnerabilities of soul and spirit. In the course of an EMDR session, individuals not only realize why certain patterns and desires have been so hard for them to break but also gain new insights and move through a transformational healing process.
      Our key to moving on in life, spiritually and psychologically, is to learn the lessons our souls are meant to learn from our life experiences. Why do we continue to be troubled with hurtful memories or repetitive negative experiences? Our souls are intent on mastering certain spiritual lessons, and we draw to ourselves experiences that confront us with those lessons-until we learn them. Once we learn a particular lesson, we are ready to let go of the experience. Both present and past life traumas related to the lesson may be cleared. Clearing means that the associated memory dissipates, negative emotions neutralize, negative thoughts shift to a positive perspective and the body is often relieved of physical symptoms related to the trauma.
      EMDR is appropriately used by licensed clinicians specifically trained in the two basic levels of EMDR and experienced in using the method in their practice. In addition, it is important that the client feel a sense of trust and rapport with the therapist. Perhaps the most important aspect is the consciousness of the practitioner and how comfortable the client feels with that person. Treatment success is always an interaction among therapist, client and method.

      Dr. Marilyn Barrick specializes in spiritual-transformational work for the healing of soul and spirit. Her illumining books, Sacred Psychology of Love, Sacred Psychology of Change, DREAMS: Exploring the Secrets of Your Soul, EMOTIONS: Transforming Anger, Fear and Pain, SOUL REFLECTIONS: Many Lives, Many Journeys, A Spiritual Approach to Parenting: Secrets of Raising the 21st Century Child, and Everything Is Energy: New Ways to Heal Your Body, Mind & Spirit are available in fine bookstores and online at BN.com or to order direct, call 1-800-245-5445.

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