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Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy
by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D.
Reviewed by Carleen Newsome
Many times people come to therapy because they feel “stuck”. They notice that they have automatic responses to life situations that they do not understand and have a difficult time changing or regulating. For example, a young woman may find herself repeatedly feeling a sense of fear and abandonment each time her husband is late for dinner or does not immediately return her phone calls, or a businessman may frequently react in anger when he is questioned about something at work. These automatic responses are often connected to earlier memories that have not been fully processed and stored within the brain. These past memories are triggered over and over again in our present daily interactions. In this way our past is not simply a memory but is relived in the present making us feel helpless and confused by our responses.
In Getting Past Your Past, Francine Shapiro describes in layman terms the brain chemistry behind unprocessed memories. She is the creator of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), which is a highly regarded treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Most people associate PTSD with war veterans who re-experience combat situations when they are triggered in their daily lives by a sound, smell, image or emotion. However, according to Dr. Shapiro, people who have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse, people who have been bullied in school or those who discover their spouse is having an affair can also develop PTSD.
Getting Past Your Past is an excellent book for clients who are working with their therapists on past memories. The knowledge is empowering and clearly outlines the process. Dr. Shapiro also offers several useful self-help techniques that complement EMDR therapy.
The purchase of this recommended book using the link above will contribute to the funding of The Summit Society and benefits our ministry of care for those in need.