I’ve borrowed this exercise from EMDR therapy, and it is one that I use regularly. It's not EMDR, but has elements of the EMDR resourcing protocol, and it may help you find safe, nurturing, protective places, experiences and people to create a sense of calm in your nervous system. It will hopefully give you a new skill and guide you towards finding a more positive emotional state, now and in future situations. Give it a try. First, find a comfortable position, either lying down or seated. Allow your body to feel fully supported and melt into this state of relaxation.
Next, think of a person, place or past experience that you associate with feeling happy, safe and well. This could be anything really — a cherished person, a childhood pet, a meal with a friend, a hike through the woods, a favorite vacation spot, playing with a puppy or any fond memory. It should be relatively conflict free. Don’t feel bad if this is hard for you. Some people haven’t had many positive experiences because of neglect or trauma. If this is you, it can be helpful to create an imaginary person or image that evokes a sense of calm in the mind and body. It might be a garden of your own making or you may create a person in your mind that embodies all the qualities you would need to help you feel protected and nurtured.Read More
Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.