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  • Tara Ferguson, PhD

Client Stories: Sarah*

Sarah shares her story of uncertainty and doubt before beginning therapy that transformed into a journey of empowerment and self-love through EMDR.

With mixed emotions of doubt, fear, and hesitancy, I walked into Dr.Tara’s office for the first time in February 2016.  While filling out the new patient paperwork, I thought to myself, “You only need a couple sessions of talk therapy to get back on track.”

I found myself back in therapy with Dr.Tara after realizing I needed stronger coping techniques to deal with survival behaviors that were still negatively influencing my thought patterns and behaviors. Before coming to see Dr.Tara in 2016, I previously saw a different therapist in my home state of New Jersey from 2009 to 2013 before moving to Wilmington, NC. My therapist from New Jersey was incredible. I was hesitant to receive help from a different therapist, worried that they would not be able to meet my expectation. Quickly, Dr. Tara exceeded those expectations.

Early on in our sessions, Dr.Tara recommend we try Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. I was reluctant to try the technique. I thought to myself “Lady, there is nothing new I am going to learn about myself.” Reflecting back, I laugh thinking of this because, little did I know, EMDR was my path to recovery. Dr. Tara and I worked together consistently for a little over three years. Throughout my time in therapy, I was able to overcome my unresolved trauma and post-traumatic stress responses.

My symptoms of PTSD included: low self-worth, difficulty expressing emotions, nightmares, feeling emotionally detached from friends and family, anxiety, and negative beliefs about myself--to name a few. Before starting EMDR, my PTSD symptoms were getting worse each year, and it had gotten to a point where I could no longer co-exist with my unresolved trauma. I knew I needed more professional support.  

The emotions and memories that came up with EMDR throughout those three years were, at times, difficult to work though. But it continued to give me the perspective I needed to know that healing was possible. I learned early on in my sessions that EMDR therapy was providing me the perspective shift and healthy coping skills I needed to re-write my story of how I viewed myself and the world. I was surprised to find that after each EMDR session, I began to feel lighter.

Overtime, my symptoms of my unresolved trauma and PTSD were no longer all-consuming. I began to have more compassion for myself. I was clearly seeing a significant difference in how my mind, body, and spirit were (re)connecting. After each session, my willingness to work toward healing continued to grow stronger. 

I can say with complete confidence that EMDR therapy was one of the most profound and life-changing experiences of my life. It allowed me to come back to my most authentic self with empowerment, independence, and complete autonomy.

* Sarah has asked that we use her real name.

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