HomeGetting Past Your Past

Available Now!!! Getting Past Your Past

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A totally accessible user's guide from the creator of a scientifically proven form of psychotherapy that has successfully treated millions of people worldwide.

Whether we've experienced small setbacks or major traumas, we are all influenced by memories and experiences we may not remember or don't fully understand. Getting Past Your Past offers practical procedures that demystify the human condition and empower readers looking to achieve real change.

Shapiro, the creator of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), explains how our personalities develop and why we become trapped into feeling, believing and acting in ways that don't serve us. Through detailed examples and exercises readers will learn to understand themselves, and why the people in their lives act the way they do. Most importantly, readers will also learn techniques to improve their relationships, break through emotional barriers, overcome limitations and excel in ways taught to Olympic athletes, successful executives and performers.

An easy conversational style, humor and fascinating real life stories make it simple to understand the brain science, why we get stuck in various ways and what to do about it. Don't let yourself be run by unconscious and automatic reactions. Read the reviews below from award winners, researchers, academics and best selling authors to learn how to take control of your life.


Real People, real life stories, and real emotional healing of past hurts and traumas!  In this book, Dr. Shapiro offers a collection of self-help techniques facilitating emotional healing based on EMDR therapy, used by thousands of clinicians and proven successful. Her true stories depict how stressful, painful or traumatic experiences influence our lives and block our potential – and how they can be changed and even resolved. An eye-opener to the layperson!

Ruth Colvin
Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Co-Founder of ProLiteracy


Francine Shapiro has given a life-transforming gift to the world by her rigorous development of a science-validated approach to soothing the suffering of our small and large life traumas.  Our experiences are remembered in networks of interconnected neural patterns that can later create maladaptive ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that may form prisons of the mind, forcing us to live in automatic ways we may believe we cannot change. Yet how we focus the mind can actually change the very structure of the brain itself. The key is to know how to use our awareness to create this important healing.   Through case examples and clearly articulated instructions within “Getting Past Your Past” our skillful guide takes us through the powerful and practical steps, derived from the treatment of literally millions of people, that can transform trauma into triumph. Explore this book with someone you love...beginning with yourself!

Daniel J. Siegel, MD
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
Author of The Developing Mind and Mindsight


Dr. Shapiro is a pioneer in the field of helping people overcome trauma and negative past experiences.  Getting Past Your Past is a powerful book that will help people understand their own behavior and more importantly give them a set of tools to immediately help them be happier and more effective. I highly recommend it.

Daniel G. Amen, MD
Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life


Francine Shapiro's discovery of EMDR is one of the most important breakthroughs in the history of psychotherapy. Having used it as part of my practice for the past 15 years, I, and many of my patients, still marvel at the depth and speed with which it can help heal and change the minds and brains, and even bodily symptoms of people who have been locked in, and suffering from trauma, often for decades. Getting Past Your Past is a wonderful place to begin to understand how such mental healing can occur, filled with case histories of people that are so transformed that these accounts may seem exaggerated. They are not. This book has all the sobriety of a master clinician who has worked in the field of trauma for decades, and is clear, serious, helpful, as it shares with the reader a method of healing trauma that has already helped millions.

Norman Doidge, MD
Author of The Brain That Changes Itself


Dr. Francine Shapiro presents a panoply of practical and powerful methods for processing unresolved memories and thus overcoming the anxieties that hold us back. A treasure trove of research-supported and EMDR-inspired techniques for achieving self-change and moving forward in life. Read it, try it, and reap the rewards!

John C. Norcross, PhD, ABPP
Distinguished University Fellow, University of Scranton
Editor, /Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session


I am forever indebted to Francine Shapiro and EMDR therapy, which helped me to heal from a terrifying panic disorder. People in pain will now be able to read this groundbreaking book and understand how disturbing memories can be reprocessed. Our lives can become joyful instead of fearful. We can live in the present instead of the past.

Priscilla Warner
Author of Learning to Breathe and co-Author of The Faith Club


It appears that Dr. Francine Shapiro has discovered a profound linkage between the mind and body so that each might be healed.  These stories of the rebalancing and revivifying of our dynamic nature reminds us that there are successful approaches to healing that are presently offering remarkable cures.

Stephen and Ondrea Levine
Authors of Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying


In Getting Past Your Past, Dr. Francine Shapiro, the developer of EMDR and one of the leading clinical innovators in psychotherapy, translates her groundbreaking method into practical suggestions for those who have been stuck in past events from which they have been unable to free themselves. Eminently readable, Dr. Shapiro has written a volume that is a wonderful resource for those in psychotherapy, as well as those seeking to help themselves. This is a valuable companion for anyone who seeks an understanding of how the past can be carried in our memory networks influencing how we perceive the world, as well as offering practical strategies for growth. 

Jeffrey J. Magnavita, PhD, ABPP
Past President of the Division of Psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association
Founder of the Unified Psychotherapy Project


I am grateful to Francine Shapiro for having written Getting Past Your Past, a lucid and practical book for transforming people's lives and helping them to savor living in the moment. EMDR is a powerfully effective treatment for overcoming the traumatic imprints of the past.

Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Medical Director Trauma Center, Justice Resource Institute
Director, National Complex Trauma Treatment Network
Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine


Getting Past Your Past provides readers with powerful new insights to understand how traumas and disturbances of all kinds disrupt human potential, and how they can deal with their own distress.  Through well-chosen case studies the reader shares the profound experiences of a wide range of individuals and learns the EMDR treatment strategies that have enabled clients to strip "visceral" feelings from memories as a turning point on their path to self-regulation and personal safety.

Stephen W. Porges, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Brain-Body Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, and self-regulation.  


In Getting Past Your Past, Francine Shapiro takes her innovative therapy, EMDR, to people everywhere, making the insights and strategies of EMDR treatment available to a broad audience. The transformation of EMDR treatment strategies into self-help techniques is yet another step in Shapiro's journey to make healing from trauma available to all. This book will be a valuable resource for therapists and clients alike, as well as for the many individuals who struggle with the effects of painful life experiences but who do not seek formal treatment.

Laura S. Brown, PhD, ABPP
Past-President, APA Division of Trauma Psychology
Director, Fremont Community Therapy Project


Are you painfully enslaved by emotional roadblocks and/or poor relationship choices? Unprocessed memories could be the problem...and EMDR could be the answer. EMDR is a powerful, scientifically validated process that has helped millions of people reclaim their freedom. In Getting Past Your Past, Francine Shapiro makes her practical methods
available to the public for the first time.  This is self-help at its finest.

Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD
Director, The Milton Erickson Foundation
Director, Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference


 This self-help book is a cause for tremendous optimism. With EMDR the world finally has a therapy against the damaging effects of trauma, one that is scientifically proven to be effective and quick, low-cost, and widely applicable in a range of settings and cultural milieus. The future of the human potential—and the world-- looks so much brighter for Francine Shapiro’s discovery of EMDR.

Rolf C. Carriere, former UN development professional and UNICEF Representative in five Asian countries


Dr. Francine Shapiro is the originator and developer of EMDR therapy. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, Director of the EMDR Institute, and founder of the non-profit EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs, which provides pro bono training and treatment to underserved populations worldwide. She is a recipient of the International Sigmund Freud Award for Psychotherapy of the City of Vienna, the American Psychological Association Trauma Psychology Division Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology, and the Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology Award, from the California Psychological Association. As a result of her development of EMDR, thousands of clinicians have treated millions of people during the past 20 years. She is an invited speaker at psychology conferences and universities worldwide, and has authored numerous articles, chapters, and books about EMDR therapy, including the primary text Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures.