How EMDR Therapy Helped Me Swim With Great White Sharks

24 Aug 2018

Tag: Fear , Phobia

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Before I went through a series of EMDR Therapy Sessions, I was absolutely terrified of flying on a plane. I had not set foot on one in more than 11 years, and just the thought of being onboard while being launched into the sky gave me chest pain.

There’s no way I would get on a plane for a short two-hour domestic flight, much less fly across the entire globe (a grueling 20+ hours) to New Zealand.

But that’s exactly what I did. And it was EMDR Eye Movement Therapy Sessions that helped me get past a series of fears and phobias that were in the way of me living a richer life.

The photo of the shark at the top of this blog post was taken by me 100% by accident. I had my camera in my hand and was watching out in front of me for the perfect shot.

*Little did I know that a curious male Great White would slam into the cage on my left.*

I somehow had the wherewithal to hold down the shoot button on my camera and point it at the shark. I got about six pictures. This was the only one that came out.

You can see that the shark is covered in scars from brawling with other Great Whites.  

Through doing EMDR Sessions, initially with a therapist and later my own, I learned that most of my fears were interconnected. The Fear of Flying was the same as the Fear of Heights and even the Phobia about sharks and water. Once I started using EMDR to work through one of them, I found I was moving through the others as well.

That day we saw 6 great whites. They were all males because the larger females migrate that time of year which was January Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

The water was absolutely freezing so we had to wear wet suits, gloves, and pull-over protective hoods. Even with all that gear, I came out of the water shaking uncontrollably.


EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a type of therapy used all over the world. It was initially discovered in the 1980s and was at first used on military vets suffering through PTSD.

This website, Virtual EMDR, offers at-home online EMDR Sessions. If you want to try it out, Virtual EMDR has a 100% free basic version. You can sign up at the bottom right of the page.

  1. -Symptoms of Trauma and PTSD
  2. -Reducing Grieving time after a Loss
  3. -Fears, Phobias and Anxiety
  4. -Depression, Anger, Unwanted Emotions
  5. -EMDR Addictions Program

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