No pain, no gain?
True, up to a point. But modern mental health techniques can help us deal the bumps in the road of life.
How do we know which new therapies are effective and which are not? A good check is to see if the therapy is “evidence-based,” which means there are scientific studies that support its effectiveness. One example that I like to work with is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which the American Psychiatric Association considers an effective treatment for trauma.
This treatment can help ease painful memories by providing a moving object—usually the therapist’s hand– for the eye to track while the therapist and patient use deconditioning therapy.
The treatment works well with victims of post-traumatic stress and has been used to help military veterans deal with combat memories.
Another emerging treatment is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or tapping. Consider it like acupuncture without the needles, along with a bit of meditation and self-hynosis. The goal is to allieve unresolved emotional conflicts that we hold in our body.
Why the name “tapping”? Because that’s what happens. Acupuncture uses needles while acupressure uses the fingers to press key healing points. With emotional freedom technique, needles and pressure are replaced by tapping specific pressure points. Patients can do the procedure on themselves, which makes it less invasive than acupressure or acupuncture.
EFT is evidence-based, which means it has a body of scientific studies that support its effectiveness. EFT calms the stress that underlies many of our other problems, whether they’re physical or psychological.
Once that stress disappears, the problem tends to diminish in severity. New research indicates that tapping works very well for people who are terrified of going to the dentist.
In my practice, I find newer techniques like the ones described here work for many clients, often in conjunction with other established protocols, such as psychotherapy and cognitive talk therapy to address life issues.
If you decide to embark on your own therapy journey, find a skilled therapist with a ‘tool box’ of techniques for the complexities of your unique needs and desires. As has been said, “If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.”