Pauline had no prior experience of Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT) herself, someone she knew had experienced IEMT for their phobias. She had suffered from a number of phobias that had developed over time and also, Anxiety, depression and OCD and was on the waiting list for CBT. She was concerned that she had not had a day off sick from work for 14 years, but she was feeling she may have to if this continued.
Pauline had obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviours for as long as she could remember. It affected all areas of her life. She was struggling to go out in the sunshine, she couldn't eat anything that was unfamiliar and had an overwhelming health obsession. She had an aversion to smells and felt she had limited mobility and energy.
We began with the feelings of guilt, regret, shame and remorse and her own identity. Parts of her identity were much older feeling out of control, running out of time to be happy and completely responsible and another part was much younger, "I can't do it, I won't make the right choices" once updated the client felt more positive, still got time and playful and element of youth.
Pauline attended the follow-up session two weeks later. She seemed relaxed and mentioned changes that had occurred within the two weeks. She had had an aversion to smells including her cleaning products and during this time had been using them. She also mentioned that previously any buffet food or someone bringing in homemade food she not eating it and would have rather put it in the bin. In between sessions, someone brought a cake into work and she found she was eating it and actually enjoyed it.
In the follow up panic, worry, anxiety were explored. The client exclaimed, 'What a waste!' she elaborated on those words, she said she had limited her time and energy on those areas of her life, that had been so consumed by the phobia's and she was not doing the things she had wanted to do.
"I’m now approx 2 - 3 months on from having treatment and some important changes have taken place since. For those looking from the outside in they would see that I have the same job, friends, home and relationship as before - which is all accurate; so what’s really changed? Well it’s a tough one to describe; I want to say mindset but I’m not sure if it is.
When I think of mindset I think of having conscious thoughts about stuff that I have to work hard at to try and think differently about. Many of my conscious negative thoughts have just vanished completely, so I’m no longer weighed down by having to deal with or think about things differently simply because they are not there.
I’ve not lost my memory of events that I use to find distressing, it’s just that the memory is no longer overwhelming or emotional, it’s just an event or thing that happened in my life which has gone.
Previously my daily life was consumed but these thoughts and it was exhausting. I could never just relax or focus on simple tasks because the noise in my own head was so loud and distracting. My anxiety is significantly lower, my mood is in general higher and I’m no longer afraid of waking up to the noise in my mind that often consumed my day".