Mary Jo McHaney, LMHC
Recently, I gave a sweet family a tour of a local lake near our home. The grownups and children were equally thrilled to feed the ducks breadcrumbs — making sure to share with the turtles who showed up to feast as well. Turtles can never be left out of the party. We talked about all the animals who live by the lake. I showed them the differences between egrets and ibises. I told them that limpkins and their chicks wouldn’t eat the breadcrumbs because they only eat snails. We talked about the ways gallinules warn of predators nearby. The dad looked at me impressed and said “Wow, you really know your birds!”. I laughed and said “Well, it is all about noticing. So, you notice your kids, right? You notice when one is feeling out of sorts or when one is feeling proud. You notice when one is hungry or when one needs a hug. My kids are grown, so now I notice the wildlife!.” We laughed then continued on our journey around the lake.
Later I thought about the idea of noticing. I thought about how we, as EMDR therapists, are called to notice…. We notice the subtle shifts in our client’s affect, their facial expressions, the flutter of their eyes. It is so important to observe these shifts in processing and to help navigate the journey of healing. And it is equally important that we invite our clients to notice as well. We invite them to be as curious as any ornithologist or caring parent, when we ask them to notice their own new insights, epiphanies, shifts in affect or somatic experiencing. We are inviting them to notice, in real time, their understanding… to notice shifts in their own emotional states or ego states, to notice change. Noticing is how they learn that it is different now…that it is better now.
Yep, it is all about noticing…. Go With That!
Mary Jo McHaney is a therapist, EMDRIA- Approved Consultant, EMDR Basic Training Facilitator, and Trainer in Training. She is also an EMDR R-TEP/G-TEP Trainer and Facilitator. Mary Jo is a Qualified Supervisor for the State of Florida, a Certified Addictions Professional, and a Certified Adoptions Competency Therapist. She also sits on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair for Federation of Families of Central Florida, a not-for-profit that empowers, educates and advocates for families with children who have mental health challenges. Connect is fortunate to have her on the team, where we are constantly noticing the warm, wise energy she brings to every training and consultation. Learn more about Mary Jo and the rest of our team here.