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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Healing from the Inside Out: Why Understanding Your Problems Isn't Enough

Traditionally, psychotherapy has focused on helping clients understand and develop insight into their problems.  While insight is an important first step, for many emotional problems, insight isn't enough to bring about change.

For many years, this bias in psychotherapy--that developing insight is the key to change, has been very frustrating to clients because it hasn't led to change for them, especially when the problem involves trauma.  This is because the insight is only on an intellectual level and the client doesn't feel it on an emotional level.

This can leave clients feeling that, beyond their original problem that brought them into therapy,  there must be something very wrong with them that they can't, somehow, use this insight to bring about the change that they want.  In some cases, it can be almost as traumatizing as the original problem.  Very often, at that point, the therapy reaches an impasse because the therapist has used everything he or she knows to try to help the client.

Healing From the Inside Out: Somatic Experiencing & EMDR
Somatic Experiencing and EMDR
My experience has been that Somatic Experiencing (SE) and EMDR, often in combination with psychodynamic psychotherapy, can be much more effective than just talk therapy alone.  With SE and EMDR, clients usually have a more integrated experience where their understanding is not just an intellectual insight, but they can feel it on an emotional and visceral level.  Also, prior to doing the actual processing in SE or EMDR, the therapist helps the client to develop internal resources to cope with the upcoming processing and to develop the ability to contain the experience on an emotional level.

I have many psychotherapy clients, who have had a lot of prior experience with therapy and who can explain their problems with clear intellectual insight, but who haven't been able to use those insights to make the changes they want in their lives.  Using either EMDR or SE, whichever works best for the client, they've been able to heal and make changes because the healing is coming from the inside out, from the bottom up, rather than just being a top-down, intellectual experience.

There's nothing magical or immediate about EMDR or SE.  There are also no guarantees.  Both of SE and EMDR involve a willingness to do the therapeutic work.  Aside from using EMDR and SE, I also encourage my clients, where necessary, to take practical action steps in their lives to bring about change.

Whether you're someone who has had a lot of prior experience in therapy or someone who is new to therapy, you owe it to yourself to consider SE or EMDR to help you resolve your problems.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experience therapist.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

To find out more about SE:  Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute

To find out more EMDR: EMDR Institute







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