Sunday, February 27, 2011

EMDR - part two

I started this as a reply to a comment on my last post and decided I may as well convert it to a post.

At this point, I am not going to include many details at this point, although I may in the future. At this point, I am still processing the sessions. The actual process for me is not what I imagined. I thought it would be more of an extended time of "free association" where you start with a target and stay with that for awhile. With this therapist, each "target" is for a minute. After the minute, you relate your images, feelings, body feelings, etc. and from that she picks a target for the next minute. That goes on 10-12 times. For example, after one interval I said something like "I don't want to go to bed" and that was my next target. After that it might have been "my body is so tense" and that would be the next target. And so on. Periodically, you go back to the initial scene/target to judge the intensity.

I'm not sure I have completely relaxed into it. I have not been able to use the eye tracking bar because my eyes are so dry that I have to blink a lot. I am using sound instead - the earphones are loose so I hear extraneous noises.

It is interesting that the continued shift of targets does lessen the intensity of the initial target during the session. Although, in my case, the intensity has gotten greater with the other associations.

There is a "grounding" exercise at the end of each session. It's funny - I am not into "woo woo" and tend to be a huge cynic about visualizing things and calming exercises. I realize this has probably been part of my hard protective shell. The grounding exercises are relaxing. Yesterday's session was intense and near the end when she asked where I went, I replied "I need my white light".

It's been an interesting experience. I haven't had new memories except perhaps sensations of something happening. It's also been interesting experiencing a second therapist. The EMDR T is much more direct and challenges what I say (outside of the EMDR part). My regular T is more reserved and less directly challenging. I'm realizing there is a place for both techniques.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quick follow up to EMDR/Bill Zeller

So I have been off the internet for a few weeks and had missed the story and posts about Bill Zeller. How how sad. I read his note in its entirety yesterday, and was struck that some of the phrases are nearly identical to some I've spoken to my T. I am struck by how similar the effects of early childhood abuse are across the board. The responses are different though and I also wonder about that. I have never considered self injury - what makes us different in that respect? Perhaps because my memories are few and the visions are fleeting? So so sad. It does make me hope that someday I can be an advocate for kids speaking out earlier. Without the feelings locked inside for 23 or 40 years.

EMDR - had the first session. It was disappointing. I felt like a failure. I'm not sure I was able to relax into it. The therapist wasn't disappointed though - she found my response "interesting" - something she has seen a few times, but not often. My present day response to EMDR was apparently paralleling my past. We will have another go at it at the end of the week. And I see my T between. I've been resisting the urge to call her to confess my failure.

One last thing - sometimes it is amazing to me how the littlest of comments can set off a tidal wave of thoughts. I was out last night with a friend and two of her friends. One was talking about the movie Blue Valentine. She made the comment - "She had an abusive childhood and wasn't really able to have a real relationship. You know - she couldn't get close to someone." Wow... when you're least expecting it, out of the blue it comes.