40-year-old Brandi* came to House of Ruth’s Domestic Violence Support Center (DVSC) through a referral from local police for help in the immediate aftermath of a violent intimate partner relationship.
Because Brandi was experiencing extreme levels of stress when she first came to counseling, her counselor started by working with her to try and help Brandi feel safer, including in her own body. After a few months of counseling and when Brandi’s symptoms had settled, she began to try to make sense of her past relationship. To assist in her process, her DVSC counselor began employing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), an evidence-based therapy used to help survivors of trauma.
After a few EMDR sessions, Brandi reported that her memory of the “worst incident” in her relationship was not only more tolerable to think about, but her negative beliefs about herself had been largely replaced by more positive beliefs involving personal empowerment, resiliency, and creativity.
“Since I’ve come here,” Brandi told her counselor, “I feel much safer, and I’ve let go of a lot of my anger, which was holding me back. I’m happy to see me make progress.”
*Name has been changed.