Dr. Michelle Dexter
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|Posted on September 20, 2018 at 12:07 AM|
I embarrassed myself. Again. This time I told my Introduction to Psychology/Psychology 101 students that we only dream in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It turns out that we do occasionally dream in N-REM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. To make it worse, a colleague noticed my mistake! I beat myself up for a long time, and told myself in a very stern manner, “I’m the professor and I should know better!”
Not surprisingly, at this point in my life, I was deeply unhappy. I was depressed and anxious most of the time. I was quick to overreact to the slightest provocation. I spent a lot of time and energy being completely derailed by fear, shame, embarrassment, sadness, anger, guilt, and a whole host of other unpleasant emotions.
My career was not progressing the way that I had hoped and dreamed. I was stuck teaching in what I thought was a subpar college. I had no private practice clients to speak of. I was struggling financially. I was divorced and unhappily single, and no good prospects seemed to be manifesting.
I didn’t want to live my life this way any more, and I was searching for a meaningful solution.
I read a lot of books. Some helped, but not a lot.
I tried talk therapy. It was okay. I made a little progress. It felt slow and stilted, though. I often walked away from my sessions feeling more broken than I had at the beginning of the therapy hour.
I went to graduate school to get my doctorate in psychology. I got a whole lot of information there about why I felt that way that I did, but again, there were no appreciable solutions.
I enrolled in a life coaching training course. I learned a few tools that made me feel better. I thought that I was finally on the right path.
Little did I know, though, that it wasn’t the coaching training that was going to be the solution I was looking for, but a fellow coaching trainee.
I got paired with Kay in a coaching exercise dyad. When the coaching technique we were to practice didn’t work well for me, Kay told me that she wanted to try something else: Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. I’d never heard of it, and the name seemed cool, so I tried it. I felt stupid doing it, though, because I was just tapping on points of my body while I made statements like “I really hate how I feel right now,” and “I’m really upset about this.” The whole process seemed juvenile and like some dumb pop-psychology exercise that was magically supposed to make me feel better, like one of those bogus “just put your feelings in an imaginary balloon and watch it float away” type exercises. As resistant as I was, though, something notable happened. I felt better. A lot better. I felt at peace with the issue Kay and I treated.
Now I had to know why. I was obsessed with figuring out how tapping on a few places on my body could make such an appreciable difference. This led me to a whole new field of psychology-Energy Psychology.
Energy Psychology is the branch of psychology that co-treats the body, the biofield, the mind, and the spirit all at once. It combines ancient healing traditions, including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with cutting edge science, including quantum physics and quantum mechanics (If you’d like to learn more about this science, visit energypsych.org).
So why did tapping on my face and body make me feel better that day? It turns out the originator of EFT, Gary Craig, discovered that stimulating acupressure points while thinking of related distressing thoughts and/or feelings activates the parasympathetic response, or relaxation response, which is our natural state of de-stressing. In short, it allows the body to come back to homeostasis.
EFT was only the beginning for me. Since then I’ve trained in 42 energy psychology methods and hundreds of Energy Psychology techniques; most of them much more sophisticated than EFT, and therefore able to effect deep levels of relaxation, healing, and life transformation.
I’m happy to tell you that I finally found what I was looking for in Energy Psychology. I am no longer depressed. I am rarely anxious, and if I am there’s a reason. I don’t feel embarrassed about that gaff in Psychology 101 anymore. I tell myself “I’m human and I make mistakes,” and I’m at peace about the whole incident.
I landed my dream job as a professor teaching Integrative Psychology courses (which include Energy Psychology topics) at a respected graduate school. My private practice is thriving. I more than quadrupled my income. Perhaps most significantly, I married a good, kind, generous man two months ago and I am really happy. My life is far from perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better than it used to be, and I expect it will only keep getting better.
I’m excited about sharing what I've learned. If you are interested in chatting with me about how integrative energy psychology work can help you to let go of shame, anger, fear, and help you achieve the life you want, I'd be happy to have a free 15 minute consultation with you. Your best life is waiting!
Categories: Emotional Wellness