Often I have clients who come in who are successful and intelligent who reveal to me that deep down they feel that they are not good enough and never have been or are unsafe in the world or deeply damaged or unworthy of good things in life. It shocks me every time but I get it every time. It's not about being good enough or being safe or being unscathed or worthy. It's about the human brain trying to make meaning out of trauma.
When something traumatic happens, whether it's a big scale trauma or a smaller developmental trauma, our brain creates meaning. After all, we are always looking for meaning. Unfortunately, the meaning we create is usually not an empowering one but something involving feeling defective, unsafe, unloved, or unworthy. When something else traumatic happens, our brains look to further that meaning and find more proof that this meaning we have created is true.
EMDR can be a helpful tool to process some of that trauma and work through the negative cognitions or destructive negative beliefs that our brains have orchestrated. It fascinates me when EMDR is going well and I see clients let go of their beliefs that they can't stand up for themselves or they are not good enough. I have seen clients stuck in abusive relationships finally stand up for themselves and free themselves up for healthy ones. I had a client once terrified to drive as a result of a trauma who enthusiastically set out to get her license after completing EMDR.
As I finish up my work towards EMDR Certification, I have come to really believe in the power of EMDR. I don't use it with all of my clients. However, when I do work with a client using EMDR and we process trauma together, I enjoy watching them let go of the destructive cognitions that have held them back for so long.