Exploring Trauma Brain, EMDR and Trauma

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Jeremy Fox  0:00  
I care so much because I’ve known people have have gone through trauma. People ask how I don’t burn out doing this? And the answer is, I’ve seen how EMDR works. And when you take the emotional vividness out of someone’s negative memories, and when you take the negativity out of the memory, then the prognosis is so great. And you see such recovery. And so that’s what what fuels me.

Amy Watson  0:28  
Hey, everyone, and welcome to the donor supported Wednesdays with Watson podcast. Our mission here is simple. You guys know it by now. It is to educate and help people navigate trauma, as well as other mental health issues. We are doing that and have done that almost for two years now by providing help and hope through the stories of myself through the stories of others, and light today, bringing professionals on who are so kind to come on and help us. Finally, we have a mission to raise money for pro bono counseling for those who cannot afford it. If you want to be part of that mission, click on the Contact Me button in the show notes. Also, I would love it. If you would rate and review or share the podcast while you’re in the app. We will never ever stop fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. You guys know this by now. So now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s walk into that healing zone. Today I’m excited to bring back to the microphone, licensed therapist and EMDR consultant Jeremy Fox. As a disclaimer, Jeremy is appearing on the podcast out of a desire to educate. He has been published in academic papers and enjoys imparting knowledge. His words here today are meant for entertainment purposes only and are not meant to be a substitute for therapy. Jeremy Fox, aka the trauma tamer also has a podcast you can listen to it on overtake. We’ll put that in the show notes. He is one of my favorite people in this space. I met him on the clubhouse app. He truly cares about people y’all see him and rooms all the time given up time to help people understand trauma and that is why he is here today. I want to pick Jeremy’s brain today as we’re in this series of of child abuse and trauma and the home. And I wanted to pick Jeremy’s brain about how trauma affects the developing brain of a child. More importantly, Jeremy will help us understand how early intervention can mitigate some of that damage. His treatment modalities EMDR, which you’ve heard me talk about is also my treatment modality that I’ve had much success with. And so you’re going to hear us talking about that a lot today. So here with me today is Jeremy Fox, aka the trauma teamer Welcome back to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. Jeremy.

Jeremy Fox  2:46  
Thank you so much, Amy. What’s going on? How are you doing?

Amy Watson  2:50  
I’m doing well, my friend. I sure appreciate you doing this on a Saturday we both are. We both have real jobs, as I call it. Uh, but I just you know, I’ve been excited about this. Because, you know, you’re just you just the real deal, Jeremy. And I wanted you to know that you just any anytime I see you, and I’m saying this to the listeners, too, if you’re on the clubhouse app, that app like anything else can be used for evil or it could be for good. But Jeremy is part of a group of professionals on clubhouse who get on there, and they will they hold space for people and provide educational resources like clubhouse, like this podcast is not therapy. But Jeremy gives up a lot of his time to help people understand trauma. And so I just wanted to publicly thank you for that, Jeremy.

Jeremy Fox  3:35  
Well, thank you, I appreciate that you are drawing attention to it to the importance of treating trauma with empirical methods. There’s just so much disinformation. So I’m really passionate. And I know you are too. And that’s where our mission really intersected. And we found each other is spreading the word that EMDR therapy works. And there is help there is hope.

Amy Watson  3:56  
Amen. Amen. Even if you’re not a Christian, and I tell people that all the time and my podcast tends to be well, not tends to be it is very faith focused. But I do want people out there to know that, hey, if you don’t share this, my faith, there is still a treatment modality out there that will help you. And so we are in the back half of our season where we are discussing trauma and adverse childhood experiences in the home. Our mission here today is not to scare people. And that’s funny because that was a quote that I took from when you when you were on the podcast before I’m not trying to scare people here. But you’re really good about giving us the real of what happens to the developing brain of of children when trauma is present. And then you’ll also bring hope as you as you just mentioned, so I just want to jump right in. I want to start simple for understanding we have two sides of our brain. One is our emotional side or some people may hear the word limbic limbic, and the other is responsible for the linear thinking. So the things that make sense to us the things that make two plus two always equal four. Can you expound just a little bit about the two sides of For our brain and their functions for our listeners, because not everybody has a pre med degree like I do.

Jeremy Fox  5:06  
Sure I can, I can go a little bit into that I mean, the left and right divide is a helpful heuristic meaning just like a memory device, it’s something people can kind of keep in mind that we have a cognitive side and emotional. If you really want to kind of do an easy but deep dive, you can look at it as you’ve got things like your prefrontal cortex, which I know we’re going to talk about, you have your limbic system, your hippocampus and your amygdala. And so a really helpful way that I learned we’re getting into, like the triune brain model here, which again, there’s some simplification there, the further out you go, in terms of like, the closer you get to the skull, the more things are on the surface of the brain. And that model, the more advanced the function. So if you get like the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for you’re really cognitive control, attention, impulse inhibition, prospective memory, cognitive flexibility, all those kinds of things, you know, it’s pre frontal cortex, kind of in the name there. And inside, inside here, you have your limbic system, so the amygdala, which, when active, causes you to focus on survival. And so, and left and right hemisphere stuff, there’s there’s little overlap and both, but generally, what we’re talking about is this idea that we can put things in time with left brain and say, Okay, this is linear versus right brain, which the the time less quality of memories, creativity, linkages, that are very kind of spaghetti. But generally, yeah, we’re talking about hemispheric differences. Maybe we’re talking about frontal lobe versus limbic system, kind of things as well, when we talk about logic versus emotion.

Amy Watson  6:52  
Yeah, and that was very, very, I love the way you brought that down to the level. And so yes, both sides of the brain, each responsible for different things, the emotion obviously in the right, and that is where, what I call the trauma loop. And this is where EMDR comes in. And we’ll talk about more about that a little bit more. But you mentioned the, the prefrontal cortex. And again, as a fancy word, it just means it’s responsible for a whole lot of the things that you do. And you just told us that, why does the the PFC go offline when we experience trauma or when that amygdala is activated? Why Why does the PFC go offline?

Jeremy Fox  7:25  
So great question. And so I’ll give the boring part first, right? So research shows that high levels of catecholamine chemical release during stress impairs your top down cognitive functions of the PFC. My gosh, what does that mean? It means that when you’re stressed your prefrontal cortex goes on goes offline, right? When we say that we mean that there are some chemicals released. And then what’s interesting is the emotional and habitual responses of the amygdala. Okay, and the basal ganglia are strengthened by that chemical release. So now let’s put it in the fun blunt terms. Okay, when you are threatened in some way that puts your life at risk, you’re going to need to get out, you don’t have time to sit and reason with that. Now, normally, with something like a bear or a shark or car accident, something coming towards you quickly, you need to veer out of the way in your car. That’s helpful. You don’t sit and reason with a car accident, that would be absurd. But what happens is, if someone experiences something horrifying, and it’s imprinted in that flashbulb memory way, and they’re so immobilized, and helpless, combined together, in that way that we know that Peter Levine and Bessel Vander Kolk, would would describe trauma, then this, this feeling this sensation of whatever happened, the feelings and emotions, even the belief I’m not safe, can then cause that memory to activate the amygdala to to activate and your prefrontal cortex to not be functioning at times when it needs to. So when you’re nervous about a work staff meeting, when something happens, where you don’t need to have your prefrontal cortex cease working, that’s really the damaging element of trauma is the event itself happened and you survived it, your PFC is very is is implicated in a lot of higher order things like your motivation, your ability to maintain and sustain attention, you can’t do that your quality of life is severely diminished. And so that’s the real crime of trauma is continually diminishing your ability to function in the present in a way, that’s your authentic self.

Amy Watson  9:39  
And that’s why you and I are doing what we’re doing. Right. Because, you know, it’s so true. I mean, this affects us. And but it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. So no, not at all. And it’s not the end of the story because of people like you EMDR consultants across the country, that that are saying, Guys, it doesn’t have to be this way. And so we You know, we’re gonna use a fancy term called neuroplasticity. And it’s important when we when we talk about the confines of your modality and the treatment modality that’s worked for me and we are going to get back to the developing brain. But tell us a little bit about neuroplasticity. Because you know, you’ll hear anybody that’s, you know, out there trying to be their own psychologists or therapists, or whatever they’ll hear, they’ll hear the words that you’re probably going to say to, you know, neurons that wire together, fire together and all the things. But so we talked about that right side of the brain and the left side of the brain. Now we’re going to introduce this word, neuroplasticity. It belongs in that conversation. Could you explain to my listeners, again, who don’t have a pre med degree what neuroplasticity is?

Jeremy Fox  10:38  
Yeah, I mean, it simply put, if you want the definition, it’s in will talk about the ability of the brain, okay to form and reorganize, so reassemble synaptic connections. And so the synapses are little gaps between neurons that communicate via electrochemical means. Okay? And especially, neuroplasticity refers to response to learning, or experience, okay, or following injury. So the ability to reorganize your, your cognitive frameworks, your neural networks is what neuroplasticity refers to. So essentially, anything that’s a sustained learning pattern, so you’ve learned something new, and you do something new. Yeah. And so you can really judge how effective a therapy is, by the way, based on if you learn a different response to something that would normally have caused you to react with avoidance or an anxiety attack. And that gets into the window of tolerance, by the way from Dan Siegel. Because if you’ve learned something new,

Amy Watson  11:43  
then you expand that window of tolerance, right? Yes,

Jeremy Fox  11:46  
absolutely. These terms all go together, essentially. And by the way, you have more prefrontal cortical control. So they all go together in this toward the same end, we are

Amy Watson  11:56  
geeking out right now. This is why I love Jeremy Fox at the Thomas, the trauma trainer, because I on the podcast, and some people are listening to this episode may not have listened to other episodes, we’ve talked about the window of tolerance and why one person can experience one trauma, or basically two people can beat my friend and I were in a car accident right after Thanksgiving. And we’re both fine, and there was no trauma, but I could have walked away from that car accident traumatized and she would have been fine. And that is as a result of many, many psychologists will will will say trauma is anything that pushes your brain outside of this window of tolerance. Can you explain to us in your words, what a window of tolerance is because we can both when were pushed outside of that window of tolerance be hypo and hyper and our behaviors? Yeah, absolutely.

Jeremy Fox  12:41  
I use that term a lot. And again, it’s from Dan Siegel, who’s written amazing books like mind sight, he, he writes quite a bit about parenting, by the way, and how to do so in a trauma informed way. So his book, The developing mind is like a go to, for many people wanting to understand and that’s where this term came from wanting to understand the brain. So I kind of like to use a and maybe you can attach a graphic to the to the podcast or here or something like that. But one of the ideas it is that you, you have this window, okay? That is your optimal zone of functioning. And so by the way, your brain would be online with your prefrontal cortex, you would feel in some way capable of whatever’s going on. It’s your optimal stress level you stress which is EU stress, right, rather than dis stress, which is what you normally hear about. So your optimal level of functioning is this sort of calm focus, not a depressed lack of focus, which would be district which would be hypo arousal, by the way. And so, when you’re dealing with with trauma survivors, what often happens is that window is truncated, it’s it’s smaller, right? So it takes it takes less stimulation, to reach hyper arousal, which is your sympathetic nervous system fight or flight response. So racing thoughts, anxiety, impulsivity, rage, even feeling out of control, obsessions and compulsions, these kinds of things I have people imagine at the top end because that’s hyper arousal, it’s a lot of arousal, okay? And then the lower end the hypo arousal, that’s the freeze response. Now, anyone who listens to Amy and myself regularly will know that the freeze response is often Okay, a result of childhood trauma. Why is that because when someone experiences something threatening as a child, they’ll usually respond by freezing because they know they can’t fight or flee. There’s that childhood helplessness. And so then we carry that again, neuroplasticity, we learned that and we carry that with us unless we learn that we can fight, flee, socially engage, and that’s where if you’ve learned that through EMDR, or other trauma informed therapies like somatic experiencing, then there’s the neuros Plus See if you’ve just learned that you don’t have to freeze. But the freeze response is what it sounds like you you zone out there’s memory loss.

Amy Watson  15:08  
Dissociation. Right? Yeah. And isolation

Jeremy Fox  15:12  
ISIL? Yeah, absolutely. So I love that Peter Levine calls the freeze response, a result of locked up tension that has to be released before you can re enter the zone. Because that gets into really geeky stuff of a paper I wrote about the Zeigarnik Effect and how actualizing, your interrupted impulse that you wish you had been able to express during trauma, if that’s fleeing this fighting whatever helps to actually put the trauma behind you. In other words, consolidate memory and be done with it. And EMDR helps with that

Amy Watson  15:38  
boy does it ever and you and I could geek out forever about that. And we’re going to continue to do work together both here and everywhere else. But I as my listeners now, I am an E m Dr. Patient, where I’ll try to say that fast 40 times and had basically brain scans that were improved from from trauma having done physical damage to parts of my brain. So speaking of that, one of the one of the very cool things about today that we’re doing this, I sent you a message I was like Jeremy, I just had the most amazing life altering EMDR experience. And and maybe one day, I’ll get behind this microphone and tell listeners about what actually happened. But I started doing some inner child work, mainly because I’m researching for the series. And, and I have, I have really avoided my inner child stuff. And so we started doing some inner child work. And I had a breakthrough. Like I can’t even explain it to you. I came home and I told my friend Chrissy that I feel free for the first time from from some from some childhood, particularly sexual abuse after having done the IE after having done an EMDR session. So I was a child, Jeremy, we know that the brain continues to develop, you know, it depends on who you ask. But most people say we’re completely developed at 25. But tell me and I think this is really important. And you’ve done a great job of understanding the focus of this podcast for parents who have children who have experienced trauma, or people like myself who have experienced trauma as a child to help us understand that we aren’t broken that that trauma actually does something to the developing brain. So one of the things that Jeremy, I wanted to ask you about the developing brain and neglect. All right, yes. Okay, because that’s my story. And that is the story of, of some listeners. And we can and really, we’re going to focus here on neglect, because I feel like that’s really important for this series that we’re working on. Like what is that? What is what is abandonment due to a developing brain? And so can you speak to that because abandonment, and I’ve experienced it is, it it has been the hardest thing for me to heal from? And so let’s Can you talk to us a little bit about what neglect does to the child. And and then we’re gonna we’re gonna back that up with how we can help people.

Jeremy Fox  17:55  
Sure, neglect, I mean, neglect is is something that causes the neurogenesis of the brain, it causes a lot less development, and causes some impoverished emotional functioning. There’s smaller amounts of gray and white matter in kids with childhood trauma in the prefrontal cortex compared with those who didn’t report I have. And we’re talking talking about ACEs. Now, we’re talking about adverse childhood experiences, which involve like active trauma, instability in the home, viewing your your mother being abused people doing drugs, and different things like that. The hippocampus is smaller, and people who report early exposure to trauma, and that’s associated with learning that structure. So that can cause deficits in being able to learn and so this is just sad stuff out, rattle off some more, I mean, the amygdala, which is the brains emotional reaction center, that’s, that correlates with survival instincts, inquiry has increased reactivity, okay, with higher reported exposure to trauma, during infancy and early childhood. And again, if you want to kind of discuss what that looks like, that involves some aces content there. There’s varying degrees of cognitive impairment and emotional dysregulation. That happens with kids depending on the degree of trauma because all trauma is not the same. And that includes that can cause things like attention focus issues, by the way that can mimic ADHD or exacerbate ADHD, learning disabilities, low self esteem, that’s a given and parent social skills and sleep disturbance caused by chronic arousal by feeling unsafe caused by a poverty, of experience of positive experience of indoors engagement with a caring adult figure. And it’s such a spectrum. That’s why people are proposing that CPTSD be on a Official code it is in the ICD, I believe the International Code of disease but not in the DSM, the diagnostic and stats manual. So, and that’s I mean, there’s there’s single episode PTSD, which you had brought up earlier as sort of the, the experience with Sandy Hook, Columbine, that would be a terrorizing events that could bring back flashbacks and cause a child to feel unsafe around loud noises around conned confined spaces. But if that child up to that point, let’s say they’re 11 or 12, or even in high school had a supportive environment, then it’s not likely to change their entire identity, if they have a healthy because you look at it as an immune system, you look at someone’s emotional well being and their their social network, their supportive family, they have a strong mental immune system. So if a traumatic event happens, that traumatic event will probably be confined to something that reminds them of that situation. So again, hallways, loud noises, they may go into that memory, but they may not have an entire paradigm change. If I’m a worthless person, I’m fundamentally unsafe in the world, it might not infiltrate that neural network, because they already know I matter. My grandma loved me, my parents loved me like they have a narrative in place. So if you have EMDR, right away for that event, that’s like triage care, where you’re pulling out a splinter, because you’re stopping that memory from becoming something that their brain can’t metabolize. They’re not rehearsing it over and over and over again, you’re stopping it from going into that state dependent form. And it’s going into a more, you know, semantic form of this happened, this was a thing that occurred. And I’m not experiencing it as an intrusive, timeless event. It was terrible, but it’s over. Whereas someone with neglect and trauma, and that way, they’re all identity is I don’t deserve someone talking to me. So you have to do a lot more rebuilding. But it all can be done, by the way.

Amy Watson  21:57  
Thank you. I think that that’s a beautiful segue. And I’m a great example of that, right. And so And Jeremy and I, we geek out on this stuff, because we love it. And it worked. So what Jeremy’s just beautifully outlined for us as again, the what trauma does to the developing brain, we don’t have all of our resources at our fingertips of seven as we do 26. And so he’s done two things here, he’s talked about something that’s very near and dear to my heart, is neglect. A lot of my listeners have adopted children from other countries, and they’ve they’ve experienced all kinds of trauma, they’ve been abandoned, neglected, abused, all of the things that that aren’t supposed to happen in our homes. And the place that we’re talking about in this part of the series is the home. And so I’ve read articles about babies not being picked up and loved and how you can have lower IQs and, and all the things right. And I often wonder, you know, I don’t know what it was like. And in my infancy, I know what it was like when I had my first memory and it was neglect. And so you’ve done a beautiful job of saying, Hey, if you’re out there, and you’ve been neglected, and you feel all of these things, or not feel all these things, this is your life, this is your reality, there is hope. And then conversely, we talked about a little bit trauma, when we experience in a different trauma like like Jeremy said, a single event trauma like Columbine or Sandy Hook, or you actually could name anything at this point, whereby even Sandy Hook was in elementary school, Columbine was a high school, if we can get there, and we can get to it quickly. As that’s a beautiful description. It’s like pulling a splinter out. And those memories never have the opportunity to take form. And then therefore we can reverse the effects of the smaller amygdala, the truncated window of tolerance. Hey, Jeremy just told us beautifully what trauma does on the brain of a developing child, it truncates that window of tolerance, it it makes the amygdala smaller it makes I love what he how you refer to the mental immune system. Basically, you don’t have one. So there’s so many of you out there, particularly if you are dealing with childhood trauma, that is neglect or walking around with these behaviors that you don’t understand. And there’s so much shame. And there’s behaviors. I know that because I lived that life, I didn’t understand why I needed so much attention and having been neglected. And I talked about the babies who were never hugged and things of that nature. And so I will always wonder, Jeremy about that. And, and we and again, these things neglected, especially due costs and scary things like lower IQs and lower ability to deal and definitely like we just talked about the truncated window of tolerance, meaning the slightest thing can set people off who have had childhood trauma, particularly that of neglect. And but there’s hope because you know that you’re on the Wednesdays with Watson podcast, and I’m not going to leave you without hope. And so as I mentioned, and then Jeremy and I as mentioned a couple times now, he has an EMDR consultant, and I am going to let him explain to you what EMDR is. is and why it works and why just like he said, it doesn’t have to be the story if you are neglected, or you know somebody was neglected, or you have some sort of childhood trauma, whether it be a single event like something as atrocious as Columbine and Sandy Hook, or neglect or anything in between there is hoping EMDR is one of those modalities. So Jeremy, can you explain to us what EMD e m d r is and why it works?

Jeremy Fox  25:29  
Yeah, absolutely. So it stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. So that’s a mouthful, but it was a therapy discovered by Francine Shapiro in 1987, when she was walking around in a park, and she noticed her eyes rapidly moving between some trees while thinking of a negative memory, or a memory with some negative emotions attached. And she noticed a decline in the vividness of the emotion. So she began studying the eye movement component in her graduate program, studying to be a psychologist, and she titled The new method EMD, or eye movement desensitization. And then she eventually added the R on in 1991, because she noticed that the recognition of she noticed the cognitive reprocessing effect, she recognized that that often what would happen is that memory would link to others, people might think of an earlier instance, for example, where they felt powerless. So maybe it initially started with something like a car accident, and they felt powerless. And maybe they remember that there. They didn’t have any say in their home. And they felt frightened constantly in their home life. But she studied the eye movement effects. And more research has been done in recent years from 87 Onward. So that’s decades of research here. And what’s really important to keep in mind is that this is an interrupted exposure therapy. Okay, friends, same shift cause call that interrupted exposure, and a book that she wrote about EMDR protocol. So this is not prolonged exposure. For listeners, I don’t want them to think they’re going to have to sit and think and think and really experience the trauma. The beautiful thing about EMDR is the eye movement is offered, which provides a present focus, and it helps to connect memories, we know that eye movements are implicated in memory retrieval, right, fancy terminology for we often move our eyes when we’re trying to remember things. So it keeps you in the present. And it helps you to keep the memory train moving along, which is a big metaphor used in EMDR is where it’s a train moving through, we want that we want the client to notice the scenery outside while they’re moving their eyes outside the train. But we don’t get stuck in it, we keep it moving to the memory, we’re on the train together with the client. And they’re the guide and we’re there with them. And we’re experiencing this person, okay, don’t get stuck on the things outside of the window. So we believe that EMDR the eye movement tax is the working memory and it causes people to experience the memory less vividly because they’re distracted. One of the very interesting geeky things to keep in mind about EMDR is that there’s evidence that delta waves so slow waves in the brain activate during bilateral stimulation, which again that you know, the eye movement, we call it that it’s bilateral side to side, delta waves activate the brain, which is very light, much like the surf during slow wave sleep. So delta waves are active during slow wave sleep, which is a time of transfer of memories from hippocampus to the neocortex. So transforming the memory for episodic to semantic. So, again, a mouthful, so let’s boil it down. EMDR therapy takes traumatic memories and helps the client to sensitize to them by thinking of elements and then purge and desensitized with the eye movement and navigating the memory in a way that puts it in a past form. It binds that memory to the past instead of it coming up as present focused which we know people with PTSD and even subclinical trauma without PTSD, experience traumatic memories as present focused in the present, they feel like it’s happening now. EMDR stops that from happening. And again, there are many different hypotheses, we can go down that rabbit hole on if anybody wants further info. I wrote an article summarizing the science behind it. But we always prep people to a really want listeners to know you’re not thrown into your memories. You’re taught eject buttons, you’re taught how to imagine putting them into a container, how to imagine a calm place, using your eyes as well. What the goal of EMDR is reprocessing is dialing up the negative memories in session, navigating them taking the emotions out. You’re never going to approve of the memory. You’re not going to say I enjoyed this happening but you’re going to be able to say I don’t feel it in here anymore.

Amy Watson  29:59  
You Yeah, Jeremy. Yeah, and Jeremy’s pointing he’s in so am I now we’re on Zoom holding he’s pointing to I don’t feel it in the center of my chest. And I think that that I know, I know that I’ve experienced that myself. And so there is hope guys. And this This does tie into that neuroplasticity because you’re literally that train is going from, from the trapped Olympic system where the memory is stuck. And on a loop is what I call it. I call it a trauma loop. And that, yeah, that that train is moving through one of the things Jeremy that my counselor does, and I’m gonna go ahead and I wasn’t sure when I was going to do this. But one of the things that we do after we visited this memory and again, it is not fun, but there there is hope. And if you’re in a safe place like in Jeremy’s office, or if you’re in Florida, so we got Florida and Georgia covered for two EMDR therapists. I know I’m not sure where Nettie is, but we can provide resources for other states for you guys. But so when I did my last EMDR session, we visited the childhood trauma, but at the very end, my counselor likes to leave me with a truth and he likes to weave in those truths. And so we were talking about some childhood neglect and sexual abuse trauma that happened when I was seven years old. And he was riding on on a board and I got I have it in front of me. And we put a picture of seven year old Amy up on this board. And he asked me, we he helped me understand who I was at seven because my perception by my intrusive memories and all of those things. Now, we’re none of these words. And so I’m holding the paddles, we do the paddles, the bilateral stimulation, you can do the I’ve movement, we I hold the paddles, and he had me say we had written these things on the board. He had me write these things. And I speak this into the people that are listening to this podcast. If you have experienced childhood trauma, and you feel unworthy, if you’ve experienced sexual abuse and you feel unclean, especially in the Christian environment in the Christian world, we can go a whole nother podcast on that, with the sexual purity culture and childhood sexual abuse. It does a lot to our brains. And so in that EMDR session, this is what we were able to weave after we after we reprocessed after we got on that train and we plowed through from my emotional side to my to my to my left and linear and logical side. These this was the truth that he weaved into me as I’m holding the MDR paddles and he made me read them out loud. And listeners This is for you to I am hole worthy, innocent, pure, untouched, untainted, clean, free, carefree enough worthy. And so I’m holding the paddles and he makes me read those and now I believe that because I don’t want those memories. And I’ve got some very specific things that do pop up from PTSD a particular smell from Jeremy I don’t know much how much of my story you know, but I was babysat and abused by a well known car serial killer, whose name is Henry Lee Lucas. And there’s a certain smell that happens in our all of our homes at one point or another and it’s simply dirty dishes in the sink. And when that smell comes, that memory pops up and I feel like I’m seven years old again and that room being abused. And then all of the negative stuff that goes with it. I am dirty, I’m unclean. I deserved it. Why don’t I tell somebody because I am treating my seven year olds Amy like I am 58 as I am now. And so I bring that to the forefront because Jeremy is doing such good work in this EMDR. And so I’m just giving you my example. That happened on Thursday. Man I left there Jeremy and I was like I am free of that now. And when those and those and those intrusive memories might pop up again when I smelled dirty dishes, but I will be able to say I am clean. I was innocent. I was a child I am untainted. I am untouched. I am new. I am worthy. I am loved. And that is because of EMDR you do so much of this for free, frankly. Why do you care as we close out the podcast? Why? Why do you do what you do Jeremy because I I can’t overemphasize how much I appreciate the work you’re doing on on the clubhouse app and guys, all of his contact information is going to be there. He is paired up with some amazing professionals on there getting clubhouse does not equal therapy, but they they dispel mental health myths and all the things. Why do you care so much.

Jeremy Fox  34:31  
I care so much because I’ve known people who have have gone through trauma. I’ve seen an amazing mentor at my first clinical job who encouraged me to get trained in EMDR. And I worked with people who had gone through so much multiple episodes of abuse, trauma neglect, and I began using EMDR saw it it was effective and I’ve seen that it that trauma underlies addiction anxiety Eat personality disorders, what we know is those traumas often responsible, or at least fueling it. And so, to me, it’s, I’m biased. It’s one of if not the most important mental health aspect. People ask how I don’t burn out doing this? And the answer is, I’ve seen how EMDR works. And when you take the emotional vividness out of someone’s negative memories, and when you take the negativity out of the memory, then there, the prognosis is so great. And you see such recovery. And so that’s what what fuels me, but I mean, people in my own life, I’ve seen them recover. Yeah, and it’s inspiring.

Amy Watson  35:42  
And frankly, that’s why I’m continuing to do what I do. I mean, I got, you know, I get messages from listeners who have listened to podcast, and particularly ones like this, where folks like you have come on and, and brought it down to the basic level, because what we’ve done here today through both academic and then I shared and I wasn’t sure when I was going to share if ever I was going to share that EMDR session. But I can tell you guys, you know, if you’ve been following my story at all, if this was the first time you’ve listened to one of my podcasts, just head back anywhere, there’s there’s several episodes, especially the first season where I talk about my trauma, because I do have si PTSD, even though it’s not in the very outdated DSM book that is around for mental health disorders. And so I am a survivor of neglect. I am a survivor of a lots of childhood trauma, my brain was affected. But here I am. And that is why I do what I do, too. And that is why we got on this podcast behind these microphones on a Saturday. So that we said that Jeremy could provide hope and help for those of you out there who either have experienced all of these things or who are parenting children who are experiencing or have experienced, particularly I’m thinking adoption, trauma and some of the things neglect is huge. It really is. And that’s something we could have a whole other podcast episode on. But the whole point here, Jeremy today was to provide hope for people and to help them understand the brain and help them understand that the developing brain, while trauma could really scar it, that boy, if we get in there early, it’s so malleable, we can make it it could be like it never happened if we get there early. And that guys is why I do this podcast. That is why we raise money for people who can afford counseling, including children and or adult survivors of neglect, abuse and all the things. So Jeremy, thank you for being here today. Any parting words for our listeners, and after that I will tell everybody where they can find you.

Jeremy Fox  37:39  
My parting words would be no matter what trauma you’ve been through and how bad it seems and how how low you feel about yourself, please realize that it can change that that’s your mind and your your cognitive framework. We talked about neuroplasticity today, and where it comes in is the ability to grow. So please recognize that EMDR therapy from someone who is certified, someone who’s approved consultant I’m using the two highest certifications there can very likely help you on your journey to developing better self esteem and functioning. And addictions OCD. We haven’t even talked about the fact that EMDR works for a multitude of conditions, just trial. So please don’t give out give up hope that would be the one thing I’m part with is there is hope. Believe me. I was a skeptic, initially of different therapy modalities. I’ve been I’ve seen what happened as a practitioner. And so please recognize like I this is not Kool Aid. We’re not. Yeah,

Amy Watson  38:39  
yeah. And like you said, it’s been around since the 90s. Francine Shapiro, I’m going to put all of that in the show notes, including the article that Jeremy references that he wrote, Jeremy is in the state of Georgia, I’m going to put how you can find him. Basically, I’m going to put his link tree in the contact information so that you could get to him on Twitter clubhouse all the places. Like I said, he too has his own podcast that is on the overcast platform that will be in there. So if you’re in the state of Georgia, Jeremy has a possibility for a trusted EMDR therapists because of the pandemic, most therapists figured out how to still do the MDR remotely. And so if you’re in the state of Georgia, you will be able to reach out to Jeremy and then we’ll also be able to provide I don’t know where Nettie is Jeremy, where is Mandy?

Jeremy Fox  39:23  
She’s in Virginia. So and you can find her and maybe Tiwari. She’s awesome. So one thing you can think about here is that if you’re whatever state you’re in, you can put in your browser bar EMDR IA dot o RG emdria.org. And you can enter in their what your zip code you can enter your zip code in your city in your state. You can search for an EMDR therapist, that’s the easiest option for you to do that. People have found me on psychology today by the word trauma because I have that my profile But for EMDR, specifically, you can go to Andrew and you can sort by experience level basic trained, certified consultant. And everybody needs to start somewhere and has to.

Amy Watson  40:10  
Yeah, we’ll also provide that link in the show notes. Obviously, if you’re in Florida, my I’m not sure that my doctor has taken new patients, but reach out to me and I can help you if you’re in Florida. Well, Jeremy, thank you for being here today. I hope that you have a great rest of your day Saturday. And here is a great time for me to say that I’m not sure that you’re a Georgia Bulldog fan, but congratulations to the entire state of the national champion, University of Georgia. football champions. Thank you Go Dogs Go Dogs. I grew up in Jacksonville. And so we picked Florida or Georgia when we were kids and I picked the silver britches and said, There you go. All right. Well, thanks, Jeremy for being here today. I so appreciate it.

Jeremy Fox  40:48  
Thank you. It was great to be here. Okay. Bye

Amy Watson  40:50  
bye. Well, guys, I hope that you enjoyed that episode with my friend and EMDR therapist Jeremy Fox, I realized that it was more scientific in nature than perhaps we are used to on the Wednesdays with Watson podcasts. But I love how Jeremy also provided hope through the scientific facts of what trauma does to our brains as children, guys, we are never, it’s never ever too late to heal. And so as we step out of that healing zone, and as Phil Baker’s SONG PLAYS us all the podcasts, we will be back here in two weeks as we continue this series, trauma spaces, places and aces as we continue to dive into trauma and the home specifically to childhood trauma. So I hope to see you back here in two weeks. Again, we’d love to connect with you hit that contact me button I would love for you to follow on Instagram, particularly in the month of April as we will be doing some fun stuff on that platform. So I will say it like I always do. Because I mean you are seeing you’re known you’re heard you’re loved and you’ve worked out you see you guys in two weeks. You teach me to kiss you. I want to use my mind

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Tags: TraumaEMDRPTSDAbuseHopeJesusChristianityRRTTIHTherapyCounselingPsalm139

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