Tag Archives: eye

EMDR

July 28, 2014 by

Jane tried to kill herself three times. In rapid succession. She came to Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS) after being hospitalized following her third try. First, she received therapy to stabilize her mental health. Then she entered long-term therapy to address the root causes of her suicide attempts.  She was successful at achieving sobriety and ending suicidal thoughts.

But she continued to live as a victim, anxious and depressed—and not really knowing why. Although she had a college degree, she worked a dead-end part-time job.  She had no money, so she continued to live with an emotionally draining family and date an abusive person.

Jane (not her real name) began working with one of the LFS therapists who provides specialized trauma therapy called “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing,” or EMDR. EMDR is most widely known for treating post-traumatic stress (PTSD), but LFS therapists recently completed a pilot project that found it also was highly effective in working with other kinds of trauma. With EMDR, Jane’s therapist helped her identify a sexual assault from her childhood. Within two months (eight EMDR sessions), she showed dramatic improvement in the level of distress from this memory.
Within two weeks of completing EMDR therapy, Jane had found a new, full-time job, moved into her own place, and broke up with her abusive boyfriend.

Jane credits the image she first saw during EMDR: her adult self, protecting her “child self” from harm.  Jane says she never realized how powerless she once felt. Now she realizes that she is not responsible for other people’s actions.

When someone experiences trauma—a car accident, a sexual assault, witnessing violence—whatever it might be, the brain tends to freeze that moment in the person’s mind so it never gets resolved or processed. Any event that triggers this memory brings back the entire trauma—the sights, smells, sounds—every time. Such memories have a negative effect that interferes with the way the person sees the world and reacts to other people.

EMDR essentially works to unfreeze this memory, allowing the brain to process it the same way as it does non-traumatic memories. The specific eye movements and light configurations used in EMDR allows the person to break the connection between the memory emotional impact of the trauma, which then allows them to release the emotional pain associated with it. Eventually, they can remember the experience and process it intellectually without reliving it every time, or allowing those emotions to guide their current behaviors.

For Jane, EMDR was truly a life-changing therapy. A very positive one.

Experts say one in four adults and one in five teens experience mental illness within a given year. If you know someone who might benefit from this type of trauma therapy, please contact your local LFS office.

Choose the Right Shadow for Your Eyes

January 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It’s common to get stuck wearing the same eyeshadow color for months, if not years. Sure, it’s intimidating to venture into a realm of new colors when you’re not even sure if those new colors will work well with your complexion or your eye color—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to find a new color that really makes your peepers pop. Whether you have brown or blue, green or hazel, there is a perfect set of complementary colors for your eyes that you should definitely try.

Brown Eyes. Most women with brown eyes complain about having brown eyes, but what they don’t realize is that they have a really versatile eye color. For best emphasis of the beautiful, deep brown, try greens, pinks, and grays. A soft green can bring out the dimensions of brown eyes while coral pinks can draw brown eyes away from their “muddy” state. Grays are often ignored because they’re thought to be bland, but the silver tones in grays can actually help intensify the chocolate and amber qualities in brown eyes.

Blue Eyes. One of the most common mistakes women with blue eyes make is that they wear blue eyeshadow, which actually draws attention away from the beauty of their eye color. The best colors are actually earth tones, like browns, taupes, and grays, because they are more neutral and make blue eyes seem more vibrant by comparison. For more fun-filled splashes of color, blue eyes will also look lively with a deep magenta or fuchsia.

Green Eyes. Green eyes are often mistaken for hazel because many women don’t know how to play up their unique eye color. Unlike hazel, green eyes require more dramatic colors to emphasize their hidden qualities. Eyeshadows with sunset undertones, like amber or copper, bring out the yellow subtleties in green eyes, as green and orange are complementary colors on the color wheel. Even more dramatic enhancements can be made with a plum or purple eyeshadow, which really makes green seem brighter.

Hazel Eyes. Since hazel is a blend of all of the other eye colors, hazel can get away with several different shadows, depending on which color is going to be the main accent. To emphasize more of the brown, go for greens, pinks, and grays; to emphasize more of the blue, go for earth tones, like browns and grays; to emphasize more of the green, go for coppers and purples. The other option, of course, is to showcase all of these colors at once with a combination of browns and forest green shadows.