When I first came to Dr. Gannon, I was teaching Legal Writing as an Adjunct Professor, and I was trying to obtain a full-time position despite my demons. I’ve always been an intelligent, hard-working, and educated person, but I had Type II Trauma from an emotionally and sexually abusive child hood. I had a negative tape in my head, my mother’s voice whispering that I was not good enough, that other people were out to get me, that at my core I did not matter and was not worthy of being loved. Thus, in meetings with authority figures, in confrontational situations, in interviews, and the like, I would often choke. My heart would pound, and I would get defensive. I felt just awful all the time.
And yet, here I was, trying to compete for one of twenty positions throughout the country in my field. The full-time positions as a law professor are hard enough to get. Tenure-track positions are even fewer and further between for legal writing. In this down economy, I was competing with thousands of lawyers. My competition included other adjunct and full-time professors, many of whom went to the best schools, had great careers as lawyers, had spoken at conferences, and had published articles.
To prepare me for this competition, Dr. Gannon used EMDR and Cardio Imagery & Rehearsal to build a positive landscape in my mind. Many of the people I know who have trauma issues are afraid of EMDR because they are afraid to visit past pain. Well, it’s true, during EMDR painful images arise. There were times when I saw my mother shouting and the Wicked Witch of the West circling around me. I even imagined being eaten or torn up by knives. Sometimes I would cry during our sessions. But these images only came up because they were already with me, lurking around in my subconscious, sabotaging me. I had to face them to expel them.
With EMDR and Cardio Imagery & Rehearsal, we were able to replace those nightmare images with healthy and confident ones. I pictured making eye contact, listening, spreading sparkling energy around the room, rolling in and out like waves.
As a result, I was confident as I led my classes and attended networking events, meetings, and interviews. I had eight interviews at a recruitment conference, and those resulted in five “call-backs.” These call-back interviews were three day long interviews full of dinners and panels. At each I also had to give a presentation before the entire faculty and answer questions. I received a number of questions that would have made me stumble at one point. For instance, I used to always get nervous when people asked why I moved because I moved for my ex-spouse’s job. After working with Dr. Gannon, I felt confident when I answered this question. I answered briefly with a smile and moved on. I even rolled with an unexpected virus that hit me during the interview process.
Before I even made it through all of the interviews, I received an offer for a tenure-track job at a school that I loved. They tripled my current salary. I am making six figures plus great benefits, and now I will be able to dedicate my summers to writing and scholarship without having to teach summer school.
In the end, I got something that I’ve dreamed of for years, and in the future, I will be able to use Dr. Gannon’s techniques to diffuse any number of anxiety provoking situations. My career is set now, and I feel that so much of the rest of my life seems stable now. I will always be grateful. I hope that others take advantage of these techniques to overcome their past and achieve their dreams as well.