Thank you for joining me and welcome to this month's edition of my Hope for Healing newsletter! I feel blessed to have you here with me. I welcome and appreciate feedback. Feel free to reach out via my website contact page or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org comments or questions.
The Books That Helped Me Transition from Trauma to Triumph:
A Book Review Series - “Getting Past Your Past”
Book three in this blog series – Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy by Francine Shapiro, PhD.This book was recommended to me by my therapist in the midst of our four year, ninety-eight session,EMDR healing journey. For those unaware what EMDR is and how it helps, I will give you my trauma-warrior perspective, a view from the inside. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. During most sessions, I would watch a light bar flash from left to right and back again or hold vibrating paddles in my hands, alternating left, right, left, right. This would result in my eyes naturally falling into a rhythmic back and forth as I was encouraged to revisit traumatic events from my youth.
What would arise during these sessions ranged from body memories, such as a feeling that someone was squeezing my left shoulder in a fierce grip, to flashbacks of images, such as seeing my mother’s face from beneath water as she held me down, to sensations of a spirit presence in the therapist’s office (I believe it was my deceased father trying to help me). Naturally, I would at times experience panic attack symptoms, and would almost always cry. Sometimes slow tears cascading down my cheeks. Other times full-on ugly crying, requiring a pause in the action.
I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful conversation with Dr. Erica Holmes on her role as Director of the Psychological Trauma Studies Specialization at Antioch University Los Angeles, covering the topics of:
* her role as a trainer of soon-to-be therapists on the global impact of trauma
* her role as a licensed psychologist
* philosophies on the impact of psychological trauma
* her book "Dating with Purpose: A Single Woman’s Guide to Escaping No Man’s Land"
* the myth that “time heals all wounds”
* post-traumatic growth
* and more!
“Erica Holmes, PsyD is Core Faculty and the Director of the Psychological Trauma Studies Specialization in the Master’s in Psychology program at Antioch University Los Angeles, Executive Director of Champion Counseling Center at Faithful Central Bible Church and the founder of HOMMs Consulting. Dr. Holmes has provided psychotherapy and counseling, training and consultation, education and research services to individuals and organizations for over 20 years.
Dr. Holmes is a frequent invited speaker at local, national and international conferences and media events. Her areas of inquiry and more than 150 presentations focus on psychological trauma, relationships and coupling, insight and empowerment, psychotherapy with African American clients and the integration of Christianity and Psychology.
Her recently released book, Dating with Purpose (DWP): A Single Woman’s Guide to Escaping No Man’s Land has been met with great enthusiasm and positive review. DWP guides women of all ages through a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-empowerment on the path to finding the love they desire. The first workbook of its kind, Dating with Purpose includes a series of easy-to-follow reflective exercises designed to bring awareness to the patterns and behaviors that set up roadblocks to happiness in intimate relationships. It is now available on Amazon.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a minor in Behavioral Science from California State University Dominguez Hills, as well as, a Master’s degree and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Further, Dr. Holmes holds post graduate certifications in the Psychology of Trauma from Antioch University and Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. She is an American Psychological Association Minority Fellow and past board member for the Los Angeles chapter of the Association of Black Psychologist.”
This piece was originally written and published by The Healing Place Podcast guest, Kathleen Hanagan, of www.kathleenhanagan.comThank you, Kathleen, for sharing your insights with my Hope for Healing audience!
BOUNDARIES AND LIMITLESSNESS
“Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.”
What are boundaries?
What are boundaries in a world in which we are all One?
What does it mean for us to have boundaries, and at the same time embrace our limitlessness as spiritual beings who have been taught that anything is possible and “it’s all good”?
What do we do with the inherent urge to break boundaries that arises in the course of our lives? Anyone who has gone through a divorce faces that challenge!
Boundaries are rules of conduct determining how you act and react in relation to others.
Please remember: Healing is possible and you are so very worthy of that gift!
Coming next month: Another contribution from one of my brilliant and beautiful podcast guests
I want to share one coping strategy a month. These are strategies I use (or have used) in my own life as I travel the healing journey. I hope they bring you tranquility, as well!
* While experimenting with any new exercise or healing technique, please stay aware of YOUR personal needs. If your body, mind, or soul is struggling, then honor the message being offered and stop (or, at least, pause to evaluate). Just honor you and your needs.
Ensuring we rest our bodies when needed (regular sleeping patterns, allowing recovery after a workout, listening to our body when it is tired or stressed), is another key component of the healing journey. I battled in the past with sleep apnea due to carrying heavier weight which was a result of using sugar for self-soothing and an unhealthy coping mechanism for my C-PTSD symptoms. The result . . . I was always tired!
I now use my FitBit Versa to track my sleep patterns and can report I usually hit my 7-8 hours target. Reducing my stress, implementing healthy coping skills, and creating new bedtime routines such as enjoying a hot cup of herbal tea as I read or unwind, has helped create restful sleep patterns.
For more helpful hints, check out these information-packed articles on anxiety and sleep: