EMDR, DISNEY’S ‘FROZEN’ & ME

In Disney’s ‘Frozen’, the Ice Queen, Elsa, has to keep her feelings, her talents, her true self, hidden. She is afraid that if she doesn’t, she will cause harm to everyone around her, and lose… what? Her sanity? I’m not sure. I don’t think she even knows what exactly she is scared of, but she feels responsible for the well-being of everyone else.

“Don’t feel! Don’t feel! Don’t feel!” Elsa says to herself as she paces back and forth in her snow palace after she finally runs away. The ice castle she creates on a lonely mountain top is designed to keep everyone out. And it does. The people are afraid, it’s true. They’re afraid of what Elsa keeps locked inside. Of course, Elsa blames herself. Wicked Prince Hans even tells Elsa she has killed her own sister (she hasn’t). But Elsa eventually realises how much she loves her sister and, in this act of loving, all the ice and snow begin to melt. The thaw has begun. Winter turns to spring.

Hmm. It really isn’t too much of a stretch to see the story of Frozen as a metaphor for the EMDR process, especially if you were threatened ‘not to tell’ and believed you would be responsible for the sky falling down if you did. It really isn’t too much of a stretch to see Frozen as a metaphor for yourself when you were once told on a daily basis how awful you were and how you were responsible for every single terrible thing. It isn’t too much of a stretch when you once thought that you were not permitted to have feelings, when you used to literally bite your tongue to stop yourself.

It isn’t too much of a stretch, either, to think that it was love that finally made the difference – love that triggered the thaw.