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Childhood neglect

Carol, in her mid-forties, is a chartered accountant. Four years ago she had had to stop practising her profession because of excessive mood swings over which she had no control. She is divorced and has had two other unsatisfactory relationships. Carol remembers that as far back as she can remember her mother suffered from mental illness and was frequently hospitalised. Carol was placed in children’s homes as her father was unreliable and unable to look after her properly.

Carol is on medication, under the care of her GP and a psychiatrist, both of whom she finds very supportive. It was the psychiatrist’s view that she might benefit from EMDR. When I first met Carol, she told me how she had been making great efforts to appear able to cope with life in front of her adult children and her grandchildren. Nevertheless, she had found herself spending as much time as possible on her own. She had gradually gained too much weight and found life difficult to endure. She had always felt worthless, unlovable, insecure, ugly, isolated and rejected. Her concentration was poor so that reading a book through to the end was beyond her.

After three sessions of therapy which included EMDR, she reported that she is no longer waking up thinking about the past and her child hood. She has joined a reading group and is now able to enjoy reading books. She is actively thinking about going to Italy on her own, something she would never have been able to do before. She is trying to improve her eating habits and is beginning to think about how to restart her career.

We anticipate therapy will continue for some sessions as she would now like to work on other issues, such as her very upsetting divorce and how she feels about herself.