Leslie Huddart L.Ac.

Is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) The Best Option for Empaths

Should you do EMDR or not?

Is it something that you should try?

One of the questions I get a lot from our community and from people who are interested and feel trauma is an issue coming up in their body is this question about EMDR. I have another blog post about the basic things to know about EMDR so if you’re totally unfamiliar and never heard about EMDR, you may want to go check that out first.

In this post, we’re going to answer the next questions:

  • Is it really for me?
  • Who does it tend to work well for?
  • Should I actually go towards that or am I ready for something different?”

EMDR and The Subtle Body

I’ve been doing natural health and a specialty in trauma—releasing complicated, weird, and tricky disorders that people have seen every acupuncturist, chiropractor, naturopath, psychotherapist, taken medication for and still have not healed. I’ve come to find that they get results with these deeper, subtle body methods because they’re usually missing that inner wiring-subtle body component.

I have used EMDR as a patient of therapy myself. I have studied it in my continuing education as a healthcare provider. I don’t use it in a practice, but I’m familiar with it in those ways.

EMDR is actually a type of subtle body approach in which you are using aspects of the mind while combining them with aspects of the body, whether that’s physically tapping on one side or the other side, or it’s having the eyes move in different patterns, or sometimes using sound.

Therapy is on to something in this way, but it falls a little bit short because it’s still coming from the mental traditions of therapy which don’t quite understand the inner subtle workings as well as the natural medicine and ancient techniques like Chinese medicine, Ayurveda from India, yogic science and these understandings of how do human beings work on the subtle level.

For a single "Big T Trauma"

In general, my recommendation is if you are…

  • someone who has had a singular event of big T trauma—an injury, an attack, a war accident, a wounding injury
  • if you’re not super into woo-woo stuff
  • if you don’t find that you’re particularly sensitive

…EMDR research-wise has been very effective to reduce and sometimes clear PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder over a period of 6-12 sessions.

If you were just cruising along in life, happy as a clam, and most things seem pretty good in your life but you had this terrible “big T trauma” event happen to you, EMDR might just be the thing for you. I recommend that you find a licensed therapist that provides this service.

On the other hand, if you identify as a highly sensitive person, you may or may not know this about yourself, but if…

  • you’re someone who tends to be affected by other people’s energy
  • you find that you don’t feel good in spaces where there’s a lot of sound energy
  • you’ve always tended to pick up on how other people feel without them saying how they were doing
  • you tend to just feel more emotional than other people
  • you might be a highly sensitive person.

Research has shown that 15 to 20 percent of the population are Highly Sensitive Persons.

  • If you are an HSP and may/may not have had a big T trauma
  • Maybe you have had some little T traumas:
  • Any time when we sort of feel separated from a sense of safety
  • That could be something you heard a family member say about you
  • A situation where the vibes, the emotions, or the slight dysfunction of your loving family also seemed to create a pattern of little T trauma.

If you feel like you have stuff trapped in your system, what you are likely to benefit more from is a more holistic, comprehensive, subtle body approach. EMDR might still be helpful and you might get some benefit of it but I’ve found over time that if you are a sensitive empathic person, what you really need is more complicated.

You need not just to clear out the memories and the trauma, which EMDR can help reduce and clear, but you also need to understand your empathic nature and learn how to use your empathic skills without the overwhelm.

That means healing and understanding in a new way how your body functions, what the language of your body is, and how to actually separate out other stuff and yours.

You also need to learn how to trace where things are trapped in your system at a deep level. That’s something that doesn’t necessarily happen in EMDR. It’s just not made to do that.

The body stores and encode things in different ways. The ability to trace it down to where the body has lodged it (which is always different than the conscious mind) and then actually know the ABC steps to actually releasing it from the physical body so you feel lighter in the moment.

You will notice that the triggers get dissolved. We call this “Dissolving the Velcro”. This is more of a comprehensive, subtle body approach. 

We do free training on how to release the trauma trapped in your body without more therapy so you can get a sense of how this more comprehensive picture works.

Because the truth is that trauma isn’t just some magical thing that happens, gets stuck and then you just pull it out and everything is magically gone. Occasionally, that can be true for single incidents of big T trauma but in my experience, that’s the minority.

Most of us are dealing with a combination of big T trauma and little T trauma. That reaches into all areas of our life, especially for sensitive people. It affects your relationship. It affects your self-confidence. It affects your ability to connect with your soul purpose and lead your life in a heart-led way versus getting stuck in your head and in your mind.

If these things are really interesting to you and you’re resonating with, you’re probably a sensitively-wired person. This holistic, deep subtle body work is probably for you where…

  • we are releasing generational trauma
  • learning how to attract ideal relationships where people who can really meet you in your soul-aligned life

So we’ve talked about when is a good EMDR moment and when might you actually need a deeper, subtle body approach.

Hopefully, that will be helpful for you in finding what you need for your best alignment.

You are a soul with your body and your healing is really important so keep going and find what you need and with what you resonate with and always judge by results.

Disclaimer: This program is not intended to be a substitute for professional mental health or counseling services.  No practitioner-patient relationship is established and the training content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and nothing here is intended to diagnose, cure or treat any disorders.

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