Hey everyone, Emily here. How are you and your family holding up? Know that whether our paths have crossed or not, I am keeping you and yours in my thoughts and well wishes.
As a nature lover, I relate a lot of how I think and feel to nature and the great outdoors - specifically water. “Water is the essence of life” (yes, I just quoted Zoolander) as it makes up the majority of our planet, and over half of our body composition. Water is peaceful, tranquil, and soothing, but at times, it can get dark, murky, and rough. It goes without saying that the ocean in my mind and the river of my emotions have both been impacted by the storm of COVID-19. Some days are more still and enjoyable, blissful even, like canoeing on a porcelain, crystal clear lake. Other days feel like tidal waves crashing into the shore, wreaking havoc, and washing away things we have taken so long to build. We work hard to create stability, maintain safety, and connection with others, and now, things have shifted to extremes that are still uncertain and unfamiliar. Needless to say, it's like we are navigating through uncharted waters.
Trying to navigate through the unknown naturally kicks on our survival instinct, which means we are genetically hardwired to fear uncertainty. Our brain detects danger when we cannot anticipate or predict an outcome. Now, combo the reality of living through extreme uncertainty with the threat of death, and, in water-terms, we've got ourselves one H U G E wave to ride. Living through a global pandemic may not be the first time our mind and nervous system have encountered this kind of activation (...or felt this magnitude of a wave). Traumatic events like the loss of a loved one or pet, experience(s) of abuse or neglect, surviving a car accident, bullying, and being the victim of systematic oppression or marginalization are just a few examples of things that trigger our nervous system in a similar manner as COVID-19. Have you felt this sort of a wave before? Is it somewhat familiar? The answer for most folks is yes.
If you've ridden a gnarly swell before, the COVID-storm may have stirred up some murky stuff that's been sitting quietly and dormant in your brain's ocean floor. When our nervous system is mobilized to flee, fight, fawn, or freeze, and the trauma-muck in our brain and body from past experiences has not been resolved, a resurgence of painful memories and emotions can flood our system. Know that if you are struggling to cope with the present circumstances, or if the current state of the world has evoked a multitude of troubling feelings, recollections, and thoughts to resurface, you are not alone and help is out there.
Imagine you are stuck out at sea, and Brainspotting is your lifeboat. Once you climb aboard, you are the captain, and your therapist is your loyal first mate who's ready to accompany you safely back home. Brainspotting therapy helps individuals navigate through pain and discomfort rather than swirling around in it or having it stirring on the surface. With traditional talk therapy, emotional processing takes place in the cerebral cortex, but research shows that trauma, painful emotions, and chronic stress are stored at much deeper levels within the brain and body.
Brainspotting enables profound processing through activating and locating brainspots, which allows deep access into your mind's limbic and autonomic systems. This facilitates processing at unconscious levels which leads to the recalibration of your central nervous system's alarm bell. This means that this approach to healing helps your system release trauma so that you stop reliving it. Brainspotting taps into the body's innate ability to heal itself from trauma by providing the time and space to fully feel where pain is stored in mind and body. This approach enables our mind to replace disturbing and distressing memories with feelings of peace and resolve by stimulating deep integration and healing within the brain. Brainspotting is a lifeboat; it's waiting for you to come aboard and commandeer life's rocky waters safely to shore.
If & when you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, on edge, sad, enraged, numb, or anything in between, know that it reinforces that you're human. We are here to help support you through your process.