More celebrities are going public with their EMDR therapy journeys.
Their stories are making a difference. It takes courage to speak out about difficulties with mental health in a culture that promotes power and prestige while stigmatizing vulnerability as a weakness. Our culture takes this even a step further. It bombards us with images, storylines, systemic barriers, and narratives promoting the type of identities that “should” hold positions of power and privilege. We learn which skin color, sexual or love preference, gender role, religious affiliation, learning ability, financial status, and body type are acceptable. If we don’t fit those, we may experience discrimination, internalize shame, and feel less than. There may be an added burden of stigma with each identity we “should” live up to.
When it comes to it, we are all human, and all humans experience pain and difficulty. We all experience difficult emotions. As EMDRIA Member Wendy Byrd, LPC, LMFT, states in the USA Today article below: “Anyone with a painful memory can consider EMDR.” When those of us with everyday lives see people who’ve gained power and prestige open up about their difficulties, this normalizes and underscores the reality that We Are All Human. It allows us to support one another because we all have common ground. So thanks, celebs!! And for the rest of us: what happened to you IS big enough, it DOES matter, and you CAN receive help.
Here are a few of the big names who have opened up.
A recent InStyle magazine article, “Why Celebrities Are Turning to EMDR Therapy for Their Mental Health,” draws attention to celebrities experiencing PTSD and getting EMDR therapy for treatment. And bonus, it links readers to our EMDRIA’s Find an EMDR Therapist directory (Pssssst: EMDRIA members, make sure your member profiles are on point). EMDR therapy rests in the limelight in this Palm Beach Post article as well – multiple celebrities credit EMDR with saving their mental health.
Prince Harry is filmed in an EMDR session in a docuseries on Apple TV+ called “The Me You Can’t See”. He and Oprah Winfrey discuss mental health in the docuseries. In this USA Today article, he states: “One of the biggest lessons that I’ve ever learned in life is you’ve sometimes got to go back and to deal with really uncomfortable situations and be able to process it to be able to heal.”
Actress and producer Sandra Bullock spoke in a Red Table Talk about how EMDR therapy helped her to heal from PTSD that developed after a gunman invaded her home. This SELF article said, “Her concern for her son ultimately made her seek help. “So I discovered something called EMDR, which was the most healing,” she said. But that didn’t mean it was easy to start: “I was so scared to do it.”
Actor Russell Brand and actress Jameela Jamil discuss their personal experience with EMDR therapy in this interview “Can EMDR remove fear & shame?!”. She states, “[EMDR] takes your trauma from you like a thief in the night. Things that I used to find terrifying are boring to me.” In this HuffPost article, Jameela Jamil states about EMDR therapy, “If you should be lucky enough to access any mental healthcare, I would urge you to spend your money on that before anything else that isn’t a necessity for your life,” she said, adding that therapy “saved my life”.
People reports that actress Evan Rachel Wood shared a tear-stained photo on her Instagram in 2019 with the caption “I just started #EMDR. It’s a kind of trauma therapy, and I must say, it is absolutely fantastic. Crying has never felt so good.” Actress Brie Larson supported her comment, and comedian Whitney Cummings responded in comments that “EMDR saved my life.”
Actress and daughter of late Michael Jackson, Paris Jackson, discusses going to EMDR therapy with Willow Smith on an episode of Red Table Talk. Paris when to EMDR therapy for PTSD, which “developed after years of relentless paparazzi,” as this Yahoo!News article states. In this Today article, she’s quoted saying: “I love EMDR. It’s very intense… but it is a very effective kind of therapy.”
Actress AnnaLynne McCord went into EMDR therapy “with the goal of integrating her mind and body,” as USWeekly reports. EMDR helped her come to terms with the childhood abuse she had gone through.
Dorit Kemsley, star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, underwent a home invasion and was held at gunpoint. People reports that she chose EMDR therapy as her trauma therapy of choice.
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