In my therapy session yesteday my therapist feels my next step in my recovery process is EMDR.
Any advise or help will be greatly appreciated.
I wanted to respond to this because EMDR helped me so very much.
There are apparently differences in technique between therapists, and EMDR seems to work better for some clients than others. Some say that it has to be a very recent trauma, but that is definitely not what I found.
When my T used it, I had to focus my mind on an issue in my present world; the more specific the better. It had to be an issue that triggered me, such as 'I saw a certain person and had a certain response.' Your T will help you decide on the issue to focus on. Then the T used a stick waving back and forth in front of me. Very simple. I was to focus on the spot on the top of the stick. I had to concentrate on the issue. I would say briefly to the T what was going on. Sometimes it was hard to talk so I gave baby-like answers. Then the following would happen:
1. My mind would start to move in a direction. It seemed to me as though I was entering a forest of trees, with long straight trees surrounding on both sides.
2. I would have to fight distractions in my mind. There were like other things beckoning me from around that I had to choose to ignore.
3. I would travel, travel, travel, through the forest and then reach a clearing
4. I would report feeling like a child.
5. I would remember me as a child being in a particular situation.
6. Then the strength of my response deepened. I was feeling what the child felt. The child was of course me in an abusive situation.
I reported very briefly to the T what I felt every few minutes. He would say OK go on.
7. When we reached the abuse and I had remembered myself in that situation, my T started to back me out.
8. It took a few minutes to back me out of it.
When I was all through I was on a "high". It sometimes took me several hours to come down. I then would try to do something interesting for a while to help my mind relax. Sometimes it was just looking around in an interesting store or something.
Another therapist here in town takes time to carefully help her clients in coming down. I did this pretty much on my own.
EMDR really was wonderful for me. It broke the "spell" of those triggers and emotional patterns. It was a little bit painful going through it but it was well worth it. I got so I was looking forward to EMDR sessions because I genuinely noticed a difference afterward. It usually took a couple days for me to feel better.
It felt like a passive procedure. That is, it seemed as all I had to do was follow that pathway. But it took mental effort and I had to choose to follow that pathway.
At first the EMDR sessions were a week apart. This was too much so I cut them back to every other week.
I wish I had kept notes on what happened in each session because they were so dramatic.