There are so few things that take a short time. In both my home and work worlds, the work is ongoing and the terrain tough a lot of the time.

At home, we've been traveling on the "potty train" for some time now. It's a bit of a rocky journey. J. is so clearly torn between being a more dependant, younger toddler (even a baby) and being a more self-sufficient little girl. She both relishes the independence she's discovering but fights it tooth and nail (at the top of her lungs, many times). She delights in the tasks she is now able to master, but also loves to hear stories of when she was a baby, especially those that involve her having mommy milk.

Mommy milk is the other journey. C. has lately begun to do as her big sister did before her--she's been requesting a snuggly snack pretty much every two hours (at best) all night long. I'm sleep deprived and often cranky. But, I'm stubborn about wanting C. to have breastmilk rather than formula and really attached to the idea of providing nourishment and comfort when my baby communicates that she wants and needs it. But, these nights are long ones! I know that this, too, will pass, as it did with J., and that I will remember the closeness with my girl long after the memories of this sleep deprivation have faded. I know that C., too, is working on the tension between closeness and discovery; I'm pretty sure that the seemingly constant desire to snuggle with Mommy will decrease in intensity when she's feeling a bit more secure in this moving around on her own in the world thing (her rolling is now a well-practiced art and I think crawling is right around the corner!).

So, too, are the tasks at work a part of a longer journey. The hurt that many of my clients have experienced was perpetrated over years; of course, healing and growth will take time. The week to week work in therapy can feel endless and without gains, at times. Like the challenges at home, the work in therapy does not always go smoothly and can be exhausting. The end result (or something like that) is worth it, so worth it, but the road is tough.

This is why I consider EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitation and Reprocessing) to be such a gift lately. I was trained in the treatment method several years ago, now, and have used it here and there in since then. But lately, I've been working it into my practice much more frequently--taking cases that it fits for as a primary treatment approach and working to move other clients into phases of work that fit the method.

I have always enjoyed EMDR for its simplicity and its bottom-line belief in the client as the expert in his/her own healing. But, these aspects are even more important to me now. I don't have to be "on" as much as I do in talk therapy. I can be a much more quiet witness. I'm active and thinking, but my recent low energy level is not a problem.

Even more important, especially in these days of fatigue on the long journeys of parenthood, is the miraculous nature of EMDR's successes. This stuff works. Recently, I had the honor of witnessing several clients find, after only a few sessions of processing, that they were able to visit memories without distress and pain. After only a few sessions! It is just amazing to have a tool that makes people feel better in a relatively short period of time. If only it worked for teething.


  1. I have never heard of EMDR. What is it and what is it used for?

    I am still nursing my son who is over 2 1/2. Sometimes I really want to wean him, but he really loves nursing! Most of the time he'll sleep through the night without nursing, but occasionally, maybe once a week, he'll nurse off and on all night. Those are not fun!

  2. EMDR is a therapy treatment method that uses some of the techniques of traditional talk therapy and some ideas from cognitive therapy, but it's hallmark is bilateral stimulation (meaning left, right, left, right, etc. brain involvement through watching fingers move back and forth, tapping on the knees, or a variety of other methods). I've put a link in the post when I first mentioned EMDR that should get you to the site of one of the main EMDR organizations where the approach is described. A quick web search will also probably pick up some info. It is sort of a strange-sounding technique, but I have grown to really love it and find wisdom in the process.

    As for nursing, I weaned my 2 and a half year old when she was 20 months, because I was pregnant with her sister and sick all the time and just couldn't loose any more calories! I thought it was going to be harder than it was--I think it was easier because I needed it to happen so much at that point and I wanted her sister-to-be to be healthy. She LOVED nursing, and we ended up cosleeping but night weaning ... my goodness! I don't remember when... maybe at 14 months or something. It was tough, but it was great to sleep. My 6 month old was a much easier sleeper for a lot of the first months, but now she's realized she can snack all night. I am not going to night wean until at least a year, but don't ask me to be coherent a lot of the time!!!

    Isn't it lovely how much they love to nurse, though? My older daughter still gets a sort-of intense yet dreamy look when she's talking about mommy milk.

  3. so cute! I know my son goes ga-ga when he talks about getting to nurse, and has this cute little giggle when he knows he's about to nurse!

  4. We call that the "milk chuckle"! :)