Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy is the newest book by Francine Shapiro, PhD, the founder of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy technique. It is “about understanding the ‘Why’ in your life, and in those around you. More important, it’s also about understanding what you can do about it.”
The book is chock-full of stories of people who have been helped by EMDR, but both the author and I want to make something very clear: All of the cases presented in the book were of people who were assisted by trained EMDR clinicians. Although one may believe from the title that you can apply EMDR techniques at home, it is essential to realize that the processing of painful and/or disturbing memories can lead to a very distressing emotional state and should only be done with the assistance of a trained professional.
This is really my only concern with this otherwise helpful and interesting book – that people with severe past trauma may try some of the techniques and be caught in the middle of a difficult emotional experience without support. However, Shapiro does state frequently throughout her book that the reader with past trauma must be approach the exercises with care and perhaps not even try them without help.