http://caringheartcounseling.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Caring-Heart-Counseling-Denver-Counseling-Blog-What-is-EMDR-Therapy 05 Sep 2018

BY: admin

Counselor Blog / Specialties

What Is EMDR Therapy?

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy, or EMDR Therapy, is a psychotherapy used to treat troubling symptoms, like anxiety, guilt, anger, depression, panic, sleep disturbance, and flashbacks that are a result of traumatic experiences.

When a disturbing event occurs, it can get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. EMDR seems to stimulate the information and allows the brain to reprocess the experience. This may be similar to what happens during REM or dream sleep. The rapid eye movements can help to reprocess the traumatic material; Your brain does the healing and you are the one in control.

How does EMDR work?

EMDR therapy uses eye movements to help you unlock certain memories and reprocess it so that it is no longer a sensitive memory for you. You are often asked to rate the memory on a scale of 0-10, where 0 is neutral and 10 is extremely disturbing. At each session, you will continue to use this scale throughout the EMDR process as one way to assess your progress. This is because EMDR allows your brain to heal itself, meaning that the processing and healing can continue between sessions. You may be in a different place at the next session than you were at the close of the previous session. We continue to process the memory until it is no longer bothersome to you.

How long does EMDR therapy take?

This depends on several factors including the nature of the problem being treated, the client’s history, and the client’s ability to tolerate high levels of disturbance. In some cases, one EMDR treatment session is enough. Usually, it takes weeks to months of treatment. When EMDR therapy is used appropriately it can significantly shorten the overall length of time in therapy.

If you are having nightmares or flashbacks, or are having trouble getting a disturbing picture out of your head, EMDR therapy may be able to help. Give us a call at 303-429-5099 or email info@caringheartcounseling.com to learn more about EMDR Therapy can be effective for you.

24 Aug 2018

BY: admin

Counselor Blog / Relationships

The Truth About Relationships #1

Relationships can be great… plain and simple. I truly believe this! Our culture tends to have two extreme and opposing messages about romantic relationships. First, that they should be REALLY EASY. The Disney ideal! If I have to work to keep my relationship alive, then there must be something wrong, because if this is “true love,” or “the one,” it should be fairly effortless!

The second and opposing message is that relationships are HARD WORK! Get ready for it! If you are going to be in a lasting relationship with someone, it is going to be a grueling drudgery! …But what if there is a third way to look at partnership? Yes, relationships require work. We all know that!

What if the work is fruitful and even fun… meaning it is challenging and rewarding and gives us a sense that we can make good things happen?

(I find myself wondering if anything in life is ever truly easy. Even when we have everything we need, we humans seem to have the capacity to find the difficulty in things. It’s our curse, I think, and our destiny. Suffering and discomfort lead to growth… like it or not!)

Likewise, what if there are some alternative truths about relationships? What if we are transformed by our relationships? Maybe, when we are rubbing up against our partners, challenging them and pissing them off, the relationship is doing exactly what it was meant to do… to transform us and shape us into our truest, biggest, and sharpest selves? Leading sociological and relationship researcher, John Gottman, notes that there are, on average, 10 areas of “incompatibility” in couple relationships. These “incompatibilities” are not the problem! As it turns out, relationship satisfaction rests on HOW these areas are dealt with and engaged in.

This is good news! It is not the relationship challenges themselves that are problematic, but how we go about dealing with these challenges that really matters. And, if we have good information and use it… good outcomes tend to follow!

Tip: Turn toward each other in your differences. Show intense interest in these areas of uniqueness. Is there something for you to learn? Can your partner influence you in some way in this area? Maybe this is part of your growth and transformation as an individual.

Look for a continuing series on relationships over the next year. You might be surprised by what you read and might find yourself hopeful, once again, for the relationship you have chosen. You did choose it, you know! Keep choosing it, if it is safe, and tune in for the next installment…

For more information about relationships and relationship counseling, give us a call at 303-429-5099.

15 Aug 2018

BY: admin

Counselor Blog / Relationships

The Truth About Relationships #2: Solvable vs Perpetual Problems

70% of the problems couples face in their relationships are actually not solvable! Wrap your mind around that for a second… or maybe two… You mean my partner and I keep trying to solve unsolvable problems??? YES!

John Gottman discovered this in his sociological research in the 90’s. One of the great skills in creating the relationship you most deeply desire is the ability to differentiate between the relationship issues that are solvable and the ones that aren’t. Why is this so important? Because it can change the way we approach the issues we come up against in our relationships.

Here’s what Gottman and others have discovered… Solvable problems allow for a clear compromise; a win-win situation is readily visible.

Problem: “I like creamy peanut butter and you like crunchy peanut butter”

Solution: “Let’s buy both!”

Problem: “I want to hike a fourteener and you want to do yoga”

Solution: “You hike a fourteener and I’ll do yoga!”

Problem: “I want things clean and you want things neat.”

Solution: “I will spearhead clean and you can spearhead neat!”

Many other problems are perpetual issues across the lifespan of the relationship. You know you’re dealing with a perpetual issue when you see it coming up again and again (duh!). This is because they are so strongly tied to the individuals’ personal makeup (intrinsic drives & motivations, innate tendencies & preferences, and deeply held values).

“I need more physical touch than you.”

“I’m a verbal processor and you’re an internal processor.”

“My environment affects me so strongly, but you seem unaffected by it.”

“I’m a planner and you’re spontaneous.”

“I’m a risk-taker and you are risk-avoidant.”

“I respond emotionally and you respond logically.”

“I want to deal with conflict right now and you need space.”

I could go on and on with examples. But you can see and feel the difference can’t you? Perpetual issues aren’t resolved by simple compromise. A clear win-win is not readily apparent. And this drives couples crazy! “What’s wrong with you? You should be more like me!” Of course, we forget that the things that drive us nuts now, are the very things that first attracted us to each other! What begins as, “He’s just so easy-going and never seems to get riled up,” becomes, “How can he be so calm? I just want to shake him!” “She’s so passionate and fun,” becomes, “She’s such an emotional mess!”

Listen. As hard as you try, perpetual issues are not actually solvable. And that’s okay. And if they are ever going to be solved, it will be the result of healthy engagement around the issue. Until then, your job is to turn toward each other in these perpetual issues. Reach for understanding. Have multiple conversations. Regularly advocate for the relationship dynamic you desire. Be the change you wish to see in your relationship.

A personal example:  Betsy and I have been married for 20 years. At the beginning, I desired much more physical affection than she. This has complex origins, but basically has its roots in our childhood family dynamics. This became a perpetual issue for us. I regularly reached out for physical touch more than Betsy. I regularly requested that Betsy reach out more. I understood that her lower felt need in this area was not a personal attack on me or lack of interest in or attraction to me, but simply a way of relating that was more familiar in her. She graciously worked to increase her contact initiation with me.

Over time, we have come much more center with each other. I will always reach out more often to make physical contact, but my need for it is less intense. And Betsy has really skyrocketed in her felt need for physical contact, and will reach out very often to make those brief points of contact. Amazing. But to get there, we had to dialogue, get curious and mine into each other, reach for understanding, step away from personalizing the issue, advocate for and communicate what we were wanting, and realize that it didn’t really matter who reached out more for contact – only that contact was made and responded to. And Betsy did an amazing job of responding to my reaching out for connection.

So, as Gottman suggests… turn toward each other in these perpetual issues. It will pay off.

For more information about relationships and relationship counseling, give us a call at 303-429-5099.