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The Self-Healing Brain

I love learning. New information, new experiences -- when I'm learning, I feel expansive, and excited. I recently trained in a therapeutic method called EMDR (Eve Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and I must say very honestly: I am fascinated. I am thrilled.

One of the very basic tenets of EMDR is that the brain has full capacity to heal itself. Full capacity. To heal itself. Every one of us has undergone adverse life experiences. At times, these experiences have been overwhelming -- either developmentally, or circumstantially. Perhaps we were too young to adaptively process the experience, or the circumstances were objectively traumatic. Whatever the case, if the memory is not processed adaptively, it gets "stuck." It is not integrated. The mind continues to grow, develop, process, plan, learn, explore... but the "stuck" experiences will remain trigger-able. They might make us cringe, or get in the way of reacting calmly to a boss, friend, bus driver. They might even plague us.

What is absolutely thrilling, fascinating, and perhaps unbelievable (until you've experienced it), is that these memories can still be fully processed and integrated adaptively into the rest of your being. They need not trigger. You need not cringe. And the most incredible part of this is: your brain can do it all by itself.

One of my trainers, an EMDR therapist of multiple decades, said something that astounded me, and that I look forward to witnessing myself. A colleague of mine had commented that, "We'll always have some memories that bother us, at least a little, at least somtimes, don't you think?" And my trainter said calmly, matter-of-factly, and without a blink, "Nope. Doesn't have to be that way."

That, I believe, is revolutionary.

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