At C & C Resources for Life Inc., providing counselling services for the Kamloops area has shown that trauma has a significant impact on every part of us, including our physical health.
My name is Jillian Sheppard, I'm a registered social worker who has just completed my Master of Social Work which included a counselling practicum at C&C Resources for Life over the summer. During my time there, I completed the EMDR training and used it with clients to assist with trauma, grief, anxiety, and depression. EMDR incorporates bilateral stimulation to connect our left and right brain to assist in “filing” traumatic experiences to help us make sense of them. To read a more in depth description about what EMDR is, please access our blog about how EMDR works.
I have been working in trauma for 4 years as a medical social worker, and have had personal traumatic experiences throughout my life, so I was eager to not only learn EMDR, but also to experience it as a client. I have accessed talk therapy and believe in the benefits of a great therapeutic relationship to guide me in my life as well as help me make sense of some events that have happened in my life. Like many of you, I have experienced anxiety and depression and believe that those experiences really help me to understand and empathize with my clients. One of my main sources of sorrow over my lifetime has been how I attach to others in my life.
Creating and maintaining a healthy attachment to our primary caregivers throughout the first six years of our life lays the foundation for good relationships and healthy attachments as we age. I had difficulty throughout my childhood attaching to others and as such did not have healthy relationships as an adult. I have had relationships that have not worked and have been divorced. I wanted to be able to feel healthy and fulfilled in a relationship, and I worked with a counsellor doing talk therapy for years before discovering EMDR for myself. As I participated in EMDR sessions, I quickly began to see a shift in my perspective that allowed me to understand some of my unhealthy relationship patterns. It assisted me to find space to pause before acting in an unhealthy way in relationships with others. EMDR felt like magic because it can help us work through things that can take years with other therapeutic modalities.
Coupled with traditional talk therapy, EMDR can assist in working through traumatic memories, help heal attachment injuries, and assist with anxiety and depression. EMDR is an evidence-based treatment- meaning it has been researched and yielded positive results- and is widely used to treat PTSD with veterans and first responders with great success.