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EMDR – Session 2 | Digging Up The Past


eye_001Last week I had my first EMDR session, and this week was my second. That’s Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy.

Sorry, no juicy details to bring you all, but my therapist said I did really well.

Here’s what went down in therapy town-

Last week my homework was to remember what I could about the incident. My therapist wanted me to practice playing it like a video throughout the week and be able to talk to him about it when I came in.

Well I botched that up because I didn’t remember to do that at all. Guess I need the brand form of Adderall instead of the current generic I’m on.

Thilly Thquirlth.

So he gave me my headphones (which I had him crank the volume up on) and my magic vibrating pads – they’re shaped like flattened eggs…

Fleggs

Yeah, FLEGGS! Vibrating like little cheekons trying to get out.

So he had me make sure the noise emitters were matched up to the vibrating of the fleggs and that both the lefts went off at the same time, and the rights went off at the same time.

He also put a box of tissue by me.

All set.

We were locked and loaded;

Ready to go.

I gripped my fleggs like a Marine squad leader armed with his M-16A4 service rifle with M203 grenade launcher, and headed out into the deserts and wastelands of Therapystan.

My platoon sergeant had me replay the “video” in my head –

[standing in the basement with my dad and mom. Dad was holding my arm,telling me to drop my drawers]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[I felt the belt coming down across my naked hamstrings like a Roman flagellum]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[one…two…three…four…five…………………………….thirteen]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[Heard mom screaming, “He’s passing out, STOP IT!!! STOP IT”]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

Platoon sergeant: “Ok, stop there. What do you see right now at this moment with your inner eye.”

Squad leader: (and I so wanted to say “dead people”) “I see a basement door.”

Platoon sergeant: “Ok. Pick up there and go with it.”

And so it went that way for about five more volleys…

I started to remember details about the basement that I hadn’t recalled for 20+ years.

The tool bench,

the window,

the rubber mat I was standing on,

my dad’s tools…

But I’ll admit that I started to drift.

I started to imagine the cemetery across the road. Yeah, the one we used to go snow sledding in and hit the gravestones, knocking the wind out of us.

I started to remember my elementary bus stop down the street  – an old bakery and how I lit a pack of matches on fire at the table. What a show! (My mom reads my posts so she’s probably finding things out about my childhood she never knew. Haha, sorry momma.)

I started to wonder if I was giving the right answers. Started second guessing myself.

After about 30 minutes, the platoon sergeant wrapped things up and told me he wanted me to put my dad and the anger inside a container.

I so wanted to tell him “That’s gonna be a little hard, dude!” But I digress.

Then he told me to put that container inside another, stronger container. I’m guessing this was to make me feel safe and to give me some measure of comfort when I left.

A way to prevent any unforeseen casualties of war from any anti personnel or vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

He closed the session by telling me we would pick up from there next time and that I did really well.

Yay me.

How about you? Do you have any experiences with EMDR? I’d love to hear YOUR story. I’m looking forward to holding a dialogue with you in the Comments section. 

 

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EMDR – Session 1 | What Was My First Session Like?


Today was my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy) session. An introductory session, a teaser if you will. A little preview of the program.

I was pretty tired but decided to play along. I had done my homework and written down the most painful memory I had. Actually, I was feeling spunky with the Adderall so I wrote down 5.

It’s a nice number.

THQUIRELL!

Notes from my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Processing Therapy) Session.

Notes from my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Processing Therapy) Session.

What is EMDR?

EMDR therapy is recognized as an effective form of trauma treatment. The founder, Francine Shapiro, was walking in the park thinking through some of her own distressing memories. As she watched the ducks going back and forth she realized that the side-to-side lateral eye movements seemed to decrease the negative emotion associated with the negative memories. She assumed that eye movements had a desensitizing effect, and when she experimented with this she found that others also had the same response to eye movements.

SOURCE: http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr.html

My therapist told me that Francine wondered if there were any other times in which lateral eye movement seemed to benefit people and she had an epiphany – REM sleep!

The rest is history.

I Told Him My Homework

Since I have my homework pictured above, I won’t reiterate it. How did I guess we were going to start with items 4 and 5? I should’ve known. If you care to read about these items, I wrote about them in a little more depth in a post entitled, Forgiving My Dad’s Anger. It may turn out to be a series, I’m not sure yet.

I Made An Island

When we started, my therapist gave me a pair of headphones and two small ovular items that fit in the palm of each hand and had cords that plugged into a base unit along with the earphones. I asked what the heck this was all about and he explained that I would hear beeps in the headphones that alternated between each side, and at the same time the units in my hand would vibrate in sync with the beeps I was hearing. This was supposed to replace me following his moving hand with my eyes, sort of like the cops do when you get pulled over for a sobriety check.

So now that the instrument explanation was over, he had me shut my eyes and explained that I would be making an island. This was to be my safe place where no one could harm me and the entire island was surrounded by a forcefield. He had me tell him what I saw as well as what I smelled, heard, and felt.

I told him I saw white sand (unlike the nasty brown stuff indigenous to this area that sticks to your skin) and that it was fine like powder. I heard waves, seagulls, the wind blowing through huge palm trees, and somewhere waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the recesses of my mind, a screecher monkey howling deep in the forest, haha.

For the next 5-7 minutes, with the headphones on and the buzzers buzzing, I had to imagine myself sitting in a recliner just enjoying my island.

Being mindul.

This is a technique we did in one of our NAMI meetings and is good for PTSD and those who suffer with anxiety. My girlfriend uses this in her DBT training as well.

How the Session Ended

So all that took about 45 minutes. We ended the session with him telling me that this would be a good practice for me to try. It slows the breathing and heart rate down and would do wonders to help me relax. He told me that when things got heavy (we would be “dredging” up a lot of old trees that had fallen and were buried deep) or too much, I would use this as my safe place until I came back down.

How Do I Feel About EMDR So Far?

I won’t lie, I’m a skeptic.

Even though it’s scientifically documented to be successful many times over, I am of the thinking that it’s a farce at this point.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be open minded. But it’s going to take A LOT to get me on the other side of the fence.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post. I do appreciate it.

So what are your thoughts as readers? Have any of you undergone this type of therapy? Have you found it successful? Have you not? I’m looking forward to holding a dialogue with you in the Comments section. 

 

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Has Anyone Undergone Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy?


Image of eye

Next week I am starting EMDR with my therapist. My homework is to “think of the most painful time of my life”.

Has anyone participated in this form of therapy? I’m interested to hear thoughts. 

If your interested in learning more about EMDR you can visit the homepage by clicking this link. 

 

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