Let’s discuss: Mental Health, Anxiety & EMDR with Janelle Nelson, LMFT

Hey Friends, I know it’s been forever, has my sabbatical caused you some sort of anxiety. I’m so sorry forgive me but I have been busy starting a podcast, This Girl Life.

It has been a dream of mine for awhile now to start a lifestyle podcast with my best friend Kristen of the Everyday Grace. We wanted to connect with women, really all of you on another level. Plus we love talking way more than we love typing so a podcast was a perfect fit. You can catch up on latest TGL episodes on itunes, Soundcloud, Googleplay, Spotify…..you can find us pretty much everywhere.

We just release EPISODE 5 with Janelle Nelson, (LMFT) family, marriage life therapist who specializes in EMDR which is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a tool used to help combat PTS from trauma, anxiety, even helps people with phobias. So with that I asked Janelle Nelson, LMFT who specializes in EMDR to share about this amazing tool on the blog besides coming on the podcast.

I have talked a lot about my struggle with anxiety with the hope of showing people… we don’t have to “sweep” this topic under the rug. Check out past posts here and here. I have been using EMDR in my therapy session with Dr. Cassidy. and OMG EMDR is amazing. I have seen great improvement in my own life since starting my sessions, it really helps peel back all the layers of your anxiety.

I truly want to be a force in breaking the stigma that still surrounds the topic of mental health. One of the first steps in breaking that is to say and believe…

” there is no weakness in asking for help”

In our latest TGL Episode with Janelle Nelson, LMFT , I share how I got a point with my anxiety where I KNEW I needed to talk to someone. It was truly freeing and reduced my anxiety by just take that step and going to first session. I believe there is POWER in being heard and understood by someone else. SO GUYS- I hope this post and podcast episode can be a little piece in helping start a productive conversation about mental health, anxiety and therapy.

Whitney: Hey Janelle thanks for coming on Positively Posie and sharing about EMDR. First tell us little bit about you, your practice.

Janelle: Thanks for having me! I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist trained in specific type of therapy called EMDR. I have a private practice in Carlsbad, CA (North County San Diego). I’m also a mom, artist, nature lover and health/wellness geek 🙂

Whitney: Let’s start off with the basics: what is EMDR?

Janelle: EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is now the most proven form of trauma therapy that’s available. It works incredibly fast and can be used to treat a wide range of trauma – from incredibly severe to very mild.

Whitney: Can your quickly breakdown what an EMDR session looks like?

Janelle: First, I work with my clients to find the most effective memory to target (called a touchstone memory). After identifying this memory I will go through a list of questions with my client to help my client really get in touch with the memory. For example; I would ask them to identify what image represents the worst part of the incident. Also, what negative belief are they believing because of the incident, what feelings do they have around the incident, and have them rate the trauma. After all these questions (and more) are answered and the client is in touch with the incident then the actual processing can start.

The processing phase is where the client gets in touch with the memory and then with their eyes follows a lightbar tool I have in my office to allow the brain to ‘digest’ the trauma (go to my instagram @jncounseling to see an actual video of this). The bi-lateral movement from the eyes allows the brain to move and reprocess the memory using both hemispheres of the brain. I will pause and check in with the client throughout the process to see if there distress levels have shifted. When they get to the point where nothing about the incident bothers them (yes- this happens every time!) then we can move to the installation and body scan phases.

The installation and body scan phases is where they are able to pair the positive belief with the incident and they start to feel really good! At the end of the sessions my clients are usually tired, but incredibly light and relieved or they literally skip out of my office! Ha! I once had a teenage client ask me, “Do you feel like a magician? From like, Harry Potter or something?! That was crazy!”

Whitney: You’ve been using EMDR in your practice for over 7 years. Why is it such a powerful tool in the world of healthcare.

Janelle: Because it goes deep and works so so quickly! Trauma literally gets “stuck” in the brain and gets paired with a negative belief about ourselves. We might do a lot of talk therapy and in our minds know “I am good enough,” but in our hearts we don’t FEEL that way. EMDR helps make our head knowledge actual heart knowledge… and that’s what makes it so powerful.

Whitney: As an military spouse I knew about EMDR, but I only thought it was for Post traumatic stress trauma, who else could benefit from EMDR ?

Janelle: It can benefit literally anyone. I have never met a person who hasn’t experienced some form of trauma (shame or pain). I have worked with many of our Military who have PTSD and the results are incredible for them, but anyone can benefit. Some common things I see (unfortunately) is a lot of sexual abuse, bullying, and attachment trauma (ex: alcoholic/workaholic parent). Other things I have used it for are fear of flying, cancer or illness recovery, and death of a loved one. It has endless uses…

Whitney: I have used EMDR to tap into past childhood issues that are the stem of a lot of my adult anxiety. Are you seeing more patients like myself using EMDR to manage chronic anxiety.

Janelle: Most of my clients are just like you! Awesome, high functioning people who are wanting to self improve and work through whatever is blocking them in their present life.

Whitney: What are some myths you’ve heard when people talk about EMDR?

Janelle: That it’s some form of hypnosis- It’s definitely not! You are completely conscious the during the processing. Nothing scary I promise 🙂

Whitney: If a person is interested in trying a session where should they start? What should they look for when trying to find a practitioner like yourself.

J: Personal referrals are always the first best resource, but if you don’t have one I would do a search on Psychology Today.

Whitney: Where can our listens/ readers find you!

Website: jncounseling.com

Social: Instagram: @jncounseling / Facebook: Janelle Nelson Counseling

Emails: jntherapy@gmail.com

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