61: What’s Wrong with Mindset Work [Rebranding Trauma Therapy Series]

emdr trauma therapy Sep 04, 2023


Doing mindset work isn’t always the answer. We’re inundated with messages from coaches and therapists on Instagram telling us that if we just worked on our mindset, we could get past so many of our limiting beliefs and roadblocks.

And while maybe mindset works for some, for many therapy clients it’s actually harmful.

When therapy clients don’t yet have the ability to protect themselves from negative cognitions around the mindset work, they can experience trauma. They can feel like a failure. And in cases like this, mindset work is now creating more harm.

We all have positive intentions with mindset work. But when we try and it doesn’t work, we start to believe it’s not even worth trying.

Instead, therapists and their clients need to have a good understanding of the client’s negative and positive beliefs so that we can create customized resources for that person, building on the positive beliefs that do exist.

This week, I’m sharing more about what this looks like in the therapy room and on social media and why we need to spend more time looking at individual adaptations, rather than blanket mindset work as a solution.

When something traumatic happens to us, it can be healing to have a therapist listen to and/or validate our horrible experience, especially if no one else has before. However, rehashing the details of that traumatic event can be retraumatizing. Brain-based therapies like EMDR teach us that we don't have to talk about the trauma or the details if we don't want to because the real healing doesn't focus on the traumatic event itself.

The Zero Disturbance podcast is for educational purposes and is not a replacement for a therapeutic relationship or individualized mental health or medical care.

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With a Masters in Education from Vanderbilt, Kambria has been creating trainings and teaching adult learners for over 20 years. As the Director of Education and Quality Improvement at Stanford Medical School, she created ease in complex systems, thereby giving medical trainees successful learning experiences. Now, as a dedicated mom, therapist, and EMDR Consultant, Kambria knows what it means to do things efficiently, effectively, and in a learner-centered way. When she isn't podcasting or creating online courses, you can find Kambria playing with her twins on a beach in California.

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