Trauma, Core Beliefs, & EMDR
By Greg Douglas, LMHC
Psychotherapy clients often say “I really want to get to the core of the problem” or “I need to figure out what the core issue is.” This is very insightful, because core beliefs often result from traumatic experiences such as childhood neglect, abandonment or abuse. These beliefs have a greater influence on our lives than we realize. Core beliefs develop early in life – half of them develop before the tender age of 5. Core beliefs can be positive or negative and have a huge impact on how we see ourselves, others, and the world we live in. EMDR is a proven counseling method for changing negative core beliefs.
Examples of trauma based core beliefs that are addressed in EMDR:
o I am unlovable – not good enough
o Relationships aren’t safe
o I’m a disappointment
o People can’t be trusted
o I’ll be abandoned
o People will hurt me or use me
o I have no control over my life
o Life is too hard, scary, and full of disappointment
A positive, realistic, and accurate system of core beliefs can have a huge impact on the decisions we make on a daily basis. EMDR therapy is an effective way to change negative, trauma-based core beliefs. This type of therapy helps people to challenge their negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive and adaptive beliefs.
At the heart of EMDR therapy is the reality that we can change negative beliefs about past traumatic experiences. We can reprocess these memories and replace the negative core beliefs with a more positive and productive system of beliefs. During EMDR therapy clients have one foot in the past (to examine past core beliefs) and one foot in the present (to change negative core beliefs and promote healing).
In a typical EMDR session clients identify trauma based memories that have created negative core beliefs. These memories are modified in a more realistic manner leading to a lessened level of distress. Counseling sessions help people to build a positive future template for life success and improved relationships. Typically, after processing negative and traumatic memories people begin to feel more self-assured, empowered, and show an ability to move forward and make the life changes they have always wanted to make.
If your negative core beliefs are holding you back from living the kind of life you desire please call us today and learn more about how EMDR for trauma recovery can put you back on track.