Get over it (not).

These 3 little words can cause whole lotta heartache. Sometimes people say it when your experience has touched a painful place inside them. Sometimes people say it instead of saying "I can no longer bear your pain." Sometimes people say it when they feel helpless.

As a therapist, I'd love to be able to wave my magic wand and make the experience go away. Here's what I've noticed, though, from my time on the other side of the therapy room.

You can't get over it -- whatever "it" is. Here's why:

The experience is organized by your brain within the intricate network of memories. It has feelings, thoughts, body sensations, brain changes, and energetic shifts that come along with it, too. Sometimes, your brain can't organize or store it, because the experience was too overwhelming. When this happens, people report a sense of re-living the experience  over and over, along with other puzzling and sometimes scary symptoms (these are some of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

But healing is possible. I've been honored to guide many people through their healing journies. With therapies such as EMDR, healing can occur a warp speed.

And the only way I know to heal is travel right through it.

I've been thinking about "get over it," since I read Mark Epstein's article in the New York Times and Robin Shapiro's reply (2nd letter from the top).

What do you think? Has anyone ever told you to get over it? 

Love, Maureen