Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated

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D.

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Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« on: July 23, 2021, 02:53:40 PM »
I just want to mention that I am finally ready to fully (80% at least  :) ) heal from the damage caused from that childhood, youth, and adulthood of mistreatment.  I am excited and a little nervous that I finally feel ready to do a new type of therapy, EMDR.  I am hoping that it will help me heal even better from the child/youth/adult wounds of abuse in order that my present be less affected, and I can truly live my best life.  I am tired of getting so stressed by people at work or out in the world.  I manage, don't have strong anxious responses like I used to, but I want to get all the way "better" if that makes any sense.  My T thinks that this will help me get there and is a good match I believe.

I've journaled, had a PTSD supportive group, pray, self-care, healthy marriage, etc.

And now I feel like I am on the edge of a next stage.  And am so excited!  :)

The talk therapy and perspectives took me far, but I've never looked at the biggest wounds head on with help.  Before I felt an inner terror and vulnerability about really looking at and fully healing from those past wounds.  Like I might not be able to come up functional for work.  I don't feel that way any more. 

For anyone who has experience with EMDR I would appreciate any insights or input.

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Amadahy

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2021, 12:20:54 AM »
EMDR was immensely helpful for me.  It is subtle, yet powerful, and the effects are immediate and last beyond the session.  My therapist moved away and I've been so hopeful that I can find another EMDR practitioner.  Best wishes. 
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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D.

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2021, 11:23:23 AM »
Thatís encouraging to hear.  Thank you.  I hope you find a new practitioner too  :)

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Aware

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2021, 03:35:26 PM »
EMDR has balanced out the emotional and logical side of my brain so that the emotions do not hijack me.

A pulsating device was placed in each hand during the sessions. I verbally acknowledged the emotions I was feeling in each of these sessions. Many healing tears were shed. EMDR helped by balancing out the logical and emotional side of my brain. I believe that by voicing/acknowledging the long suppressed, IVALIDATED emotions, I now have a better perspective/grip on reality and not hijacked by my emotions (mainly anxiety).

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D.

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2021, 04:10:02 PM »
Aware,

That's exactly one of the outcomes I look forward to experiencing.  When I am around certain types of aggressive people and their words (necessary w/my job at times) I find my brain almost shutting down.  I hear them, but I cannot seem to think or form a good response.  It is so frustrating.  I didn't used to be like that so much, but the FOO and then a painful divorce from uPDexH just tipped the balance.

I have figured out what work I can do now (pays less  :-\ ), relationships, and activities that keep me from reaching the extreme and I think I function pretty well.  But I am so tired of the pain that certain behaviors from people causes to me.  Mostly the Narc raging type behaviors.  I suspect this will help me over that hump.

Currently I am a bit nervous about the getting worse, before better, part.  One time in my life I could not work due to my anxiety for a few months, and in the long run I had to change my career as a result.  I think I have enough supports for this to work now, but I am rather nervous none the less.

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hhaw

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2021, 11:22:26 PM »
No lights or pulsing rods with my trauma informed T sessions.

T would move her hand back and forth, rather quickly and I did my best to follow with my eyes.

Sometimes the work we were doing made following her movements very difficult. 

The way she explained it was like this:
The eye movement helped integrate the whole brain so I could bring all it's logical, creative problem solving abilities to trauma events bouncing around my brain, trapped, bc the trauma shut down access to frontal lobe access during that time.  The brain actually re experiences the trauma memory as happening in the present....the brain believes it's in danger again.  It shuts down access to frontal lobe again and again if we don't find a way to re experience the event with the ability to feel safe and grounded in the present, ime.

My biochemistry was hijacked and I spent a lot of time trapped in fight or flight, survival, reptilian brain mode.  Trying to think my way out made it worse.

What that felt like was......having my nose glued to a pebble without ability to stand up and SEE the entire field, other rocks, trees, sky and grass.

The pebble was whatever my problem was that day OR whatever ongoing worry/fear I'd been living with, had trained my brain to focus on for survival and found myself stuck in a pattern of worry worry worrying.

A good trauma T will teach you how to calm your brain down....in session AND with homework......so your brain can do what it was made to do and does every second of every day, efficiently.  It can't process  the trauma, file it in historic files and continue processing normally bc of the fear/flight/fight/freeze/ fawn response caused by trauma.....the biochemical hijack.

Calming your brain gives it the chance to process.  It takes a millisecond....the brain needs a tiny chance and it will take it.  It's like sneaking up under the brain with wire cutters and clipping that fight or flight response, ime.

Not hard.  Nothing difficult about it. The brain wants to process the stuck stuff so we support and give it the chance.

EMDR helps your brain integrate and bring all it's problem solving abilities to resolve what got stuck during trauma....has remained stuck. 

Sometimes the act if looking R and L, while driving,  shifts something I was struggling with......or wasn't struggling with and I feeeeel that shift. Amazing!

Very powerful tools....learning to soothe yourself and brain.

Do the homework.  Embrace curiosity and lean into the dark without fear.

What's behind it will set you free, ime.

Good luck,
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
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"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
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HeadAboveWater

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2021, 04:11:48 PM »
I had a largely positive experience with EMDR, and I recommend it when I can.

I did find that the sessions could be oddly tiring. There is also some re-processing of memories that your mind may do post-session, especially during sleep. It helped me to make space for this in my life. For example, if I had a big deadline at work or a massive holiday do coming up, that was not the best time for me to give my mind the space it needed to heal. I allowed myself to let me off the hook for doing the hard emotional labor when I could not avoid other types of labor in my life. I also tried to follow EMDR with something pleasant, like a sweet treat from a coffee shop, a manicure, a scenic walk, etc. That helped to create a positive reinforcement loop for myself, even when the "work" of EMDR felt hard. Fairly shortly, the EMDR itself became self reinforcing because I started to make progress where I had otherwise been stalled with talk therapy and CBT techniques.

My only bit of advice is to be vocal if you feel anything about EMDR is not working for you. There are so many adjustments your therapist can help you make. It can vary from working on a different memory to exploring different ways of stimulating the two sides of your body as you process the memory. I think I pressured myself into being "good" and trying to make my therapist's first instinct work for me. Overall, she was great at leading me through the process but needed my input about what I was thinking and feeling.

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D.

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2021, 09:33:17 PM »
Hhaw and headabovewater,

I am ever so grateful for your insights.  I have been working to get my "resources" and self care ready.  My H will drive me to the first session, there's a cafe to visit right after the session, I have asked some key people and they agreed to be supportive as needed.  My work isn't too stressful right now.

And I will make sure to voice my "worries" w/my T.  She is very good at responding.  I always feel better when I am fully open w/her. Fortunately, I have a skillful and available T and insurance. I've already started to dream about the feelings I experience, and I am becoming more aware of my triggers.  I'm sure I have repressed memories because last summer presence with my updF was VERY triggering...panic attack, couldn't work for a day, etc.  I want these memories to take their rightful place in history and I suspect EMDR will help with that for me.

I also really like the reminder about eye movement.  I do love a lot of activities like walking or driving.

A friend asked me why now?  How did I hear of EMDR?

Honestly between therapy, this board, OOTS, and noticing healthy people around me I have observed that many of them did EMDR for a period of time.  There is a peace and calm with the past that I admire.  I know every person is different and how it works will be unique for me.  But that was what ultimately pushed me this direction.

I feel ready and all of these ideas have helped a lot. 


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hhaw

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Re: Ready for EMDR! Insights Appreciated
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2021, 12:21:16 AM »
D:

I hope your T is patient, super informed and doing her own work so her ego is left out of the therapeutic relationship.

It's not ok for her to push you when you're feeling resistant.

It's not ok for her to get frustrated with you or what she feels should be your progress.

She should always back off and find a new way to present information so you make necessary connections.....or let you sit with resistance for a bit.  Whatever's coming up.....it belongs.  It's not wrong.  It's pointing to something behind....if you can continue calming yourself.... biochemistry....brain, ime.

This is all about small steps, lessons and experiences forming to create and expand spaciousness around the things shutting you down and driving you into fight or flight mode, ime.

Creating spaciousness gets your nose off those pebbles so you can SEE them through eyes unclouded by fear.

You're safe and you have support.  Revisiting the trauma, while calm and grounded in the present, gives your brain the chance to process your trauma and put it behind you, ime.

Your life is about to change.

Remember to drop judgment.
Be so very kind to yourself....even if you feel you aren't perfectly moving through this process.

Embrace curiosity and lean into the dark places. 

All will be well.

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt