Archives for 2011

EMDR and The Metaphor of Transformation

What the butterfly knows is transformation and the metaphor they provide is one that survivors can use to see their own transforming recovery.

The beginning of the year is a liminal time and like the butterfly in a cocoon, you are out of one life experience but not yet in another.  You are betwixt and between not knowing what the new year will bring. This is a time of possibilities and can be, your time of transformation!

If you can identify with any experience described in The Institute’s newsletters or magazine, then you have been called to the adventure of recovery.  This year EMDR can help you release the burden of pain so you can embark on your own recovery.

Survivors are curious ‘what’ EMDR  ‘does,’ what is incorporated in a normal EMDR session, and why it claims to be able to help with trauma, intrusive thoughts, and other aftermath effects of Pathological Love Relationships. Let’s see what is involved in EMDR…

EMDR helps you through a process called Desensitization. The call to recovery is usually signaled by the appearance of enormous emotion and can be a mixture of sadness, hope and fascination or it can be grief, fear or anger about betrayal. Most certainly the Pathological Love Relationships has left its mark upon your emotions.  How these painful feelings and symptoms get processed is through what is called Desensitization.  The technique used in Desensitization is called BLS or Bi-Lateral Stimulation.

The process in Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) is that a therapist uses one or more of the following techniques. They have you

  • Follow a light with your eyes
  • Follow the therapist’s finger movements with your eyes
  • Feel the therapist tapping rhythms on your hands
  • Or by listening to auditory tones that the therapist plays on a headset

During these sessions, you are encouraged to let whatever imagery, feelings, sensations or memories rise to the surface without trying to repress them.

When these images, feelings, sensations or memories come up in session, you are asked to focus on three things:

  • The image of the incident
  • The negative belief that goes with it
  • And where you feel these emotions or sensations in your body

Focusing on those three elements coupled with which ever BLS technique that is being used, intensifies the level of response and stimulates the natural tendency of the brain’s information processing system to move toward mental health. In other words, it helps the mind ‘digest’ unprocessed information that was causing emotional (or physical) symptoms. EMDR removes the pain of the trauma that has been blocking your ability to move forward in life (or in Pathological Love Relationships, move forward with releasing the pathological).

At the end of each BLS set, the therapist asks, “What do you get now?”  You are encouraged to report any feelings, images or thoughts you are aware of at that point.  The therapist encourages you to continue to report whatever comes to you without discarding anything as ‘unimportant’.

Each target memory that is focused on is like the head of an octopus.  The tentacles are memory channels containing other related experiences.  Sets of BLS are applied to each new awareness or related experience until each channel is cleared out.

If there are new sensations, awarenesses or insights accessed, the therapist will usually say “Go with that” and will go through another BLS set.  In this way the clinician encourages further processing of the material until the S.U.D. (Subjective Unit of Disturbance) level is “0” or “1” (on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the highest level of disturbance). This is continued until there are no new awarenesses.

At the end of each BLS set, the therapist says, “Let it go and take a deep breath.”  It is important that you are aware that whatever memories, thoughts or sensations come up during EMDR they are old stuff, it is not happening in the present moment. You are safe in the present

Information processing in EMDR is like getting on a train and watching the scenery of thoughts, images or emotions pass by the train window of your awareness.  Each stop of the train is a new plateau of information where dysfunctional material can link up with appropriate, useful and self-enhancing information.  Your view isn’t completely functional until the train reaches the “last stop” of fully adaptive information and there are no new awarenesses.

Unburdened and desensitized from the pain of the past, you can emerge from the cocoon with new beliefs and new awareness, empowered to take flight! You will have experienced the transforming power of EMDR!

So, this new year, what will it be ?  The pain of the past or the beginning of a new life?  The choice is yours. Contact The Institute for more information about our EMDR Retreat in 2011. Space is limited so reserve your healing time now.

For more information on EMDR

  • Go to, click on “Find an EMDR Clinician,” put in your city and state.
  • Read the list and make an appointment with an EMDR trained psychotherapist today or make plans to attend the EMDR Retreat in 2011.


Change is redemptive. It’s transformational and it’s healing. No wonder not any of those things happen to pathologicals–they don’t change so they don’t redeem, or transform or heal. But for those negatively effected by the pathological, change is your only hope. Without the transformation of change you are hopelessly stuck on what feels like the karmic treadmill of relational bad choices that just gets worse with each selection.

But change is not only OUR hope, it’s God’s hope too. Why? Because God is the God of Ecology–He recycles everything we live through to make something out of the ‘dung’ of our nasty experiences. He’s invested in what happens to us, in us, and through us. As the original ‘Ecologist’ He always has an eye towards what can be recycled in us for better use because that which is used is not wasted. So our experiences with the pathological that are used to help ourselves first and OTHERS second is not a wasted experience of pain and suffering–it has been transformed into a healing gift for us and others.

This is Psycho-Ecology at it’s best…the good use of our bad psychological experiences. The recycling of our pain and bad choices into insight and help for others.

It recycles:

  • Naivety into prevention
  • Experience into intervention
  • It takes your story and makes it into a book, a support group, a website, or a speech
  • It takes your intrusive thoughts and turns it into a meditation on tape
  • It takes your tears and turns it into a poem
  • It takes lethargy and manifests exercise
  • It takes pain and creates a prayer
  • It creates hope out of hopelessness

Psycho-Ecology is the path of recovery which is why I am discussing this at the beginning of the year when our hopes are always high for what the newness of the new year will bring. The fact is, that which is NOT transformed is stuck. Stuck inside of you, stuck in your life, stuck in your path–stuck in your heart. TRANSFORM IT! That which isn’t redeemed is toxic. Pain that is not redeemed into the gift of hope and life for others is just pain, crammed in your body converting your health into something sick and bad. REDEEM IT! That which isn’t healed by passing it forward is an emotional cancer cell metastisizing in your heart—eating your hope, your future, and your potential healthy relationships. Pass healing forward. HEAL IT!

You have the largest most magnificent Force behind your healing–The God of Economy who will take one bad thing and have it help and bless THOUSANDS. Did you read that–THOUSANDS! He wants your healing so it can be broken, blessed, transformed, and released to others. He multiplies in His economy–so your ONE bad pathological can help many many more women than just you. His plan includes economically using your experience by releasing it to multitudes and includes recycling it from bad to good. That which we don’t use gets wasted. That which is wasted is not transformed and that which isn’t transformed WE ARE VICTIMIZED BY.

I can always tell those women who are going to be recycled and used in Psycho-Ecology in other’s lives. They are searchers–examining every thing they have been through for the opportunity to heal it and use it. They are not lethargically ‘waiting’ for healing to come to them while hyper-focusing on and memorizing every horrid thing the pathological did this week…their eyes are on herself, today, what needs to heal in her, where she will transform this train-wreck of a life into something worth living. These are the women who willing read the books, do coaching, come to a retreat…find every resource and use it to beat out the feeling of victimization that wants to swallow their lives. (Or these women find alternative community resources to help them heal right where they live. When money is a challenge, they use their community resources to help bring healing. They use what they got right where they’re at!) These women are silent powerhouses of potential that when healed are going to ROCK the women’s issues field! I grin to myself and can’t WAIT to see what they allow God to recycle in them.

I’m already seeing it…those that WILL go on to redeem their experiences in their lives and others, those that JUMP on anything that can move their healing forward as they eagerly wait to “pass it forward.” These women are the face of Psycho-Ecology. Their horrible pain is being recycled into something positive. They are the FACES of HOPE in Public Psychopathy Education. They are or will be single-handedly responsible for saving women’s lives. The lives they save through recycling their pain will only be known by The Great Recycler in the end because we never know who we have saved. We only believe we HAVE saved some.

Every single week I get emails from people thanking The Institute for saving their physical, emotional, financial, sexual and/or spiritual lives. The book, the website, the newsletter–something touched them and got them out of the relationship. It’s the most satisfying life mission there is: SAVING A LIFE!

The question is: will you be the next face of Psycho-Ecology? Will your pain teach other women? Will it speak to them? Will it speak to a community through a presentation? Will your pain teach others how to help these women? Will it go into schools, churches, women’s organizations, prisons, jails, and hearts?

Or will it stagnate inside of you producing the most insidious bitterness and paranoia? Change and growth for us is always a choice–a choice that allows the transformation of recycling so nothing is wasted.

The Institute’s mission is Public Psychopathy Education which means every single one of us does SOMETHING for the cause. Each week people contact me asking how to: start a group, come to a retreat, get phone coaching, how to get a workshop in their community, how to be a speaker in their community. The Institute is here to help you heal first so you can help others heal. There is no short cut (here let me tell others how to heal when I haven’t done it myself!). Nope.

There is only one letter differentiation between Nope and Hope. To not only heal but be recycled. Please let us know how we can help you in the new year meet the healing goals you have set for yourself.

(**Information on your recovery is in the award winning Women Who Love Psychopaths, also taught during retreats in the months of Feb and August, in 1:1 sessions during January, March, May and September or in phone sessions.)