First Real EMDR Session

29 Feb

So far all my therapy sessions have been the preparation for the actual processing of the memories. We have worked a lot on my timeline and the reason behind this became more apparent today.

This is a brief intro on what EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) is all about. Please bear in mind this is my explanation of it from my experience so far, not an official one. Whilst thinking of the specific memory, I was told to think about how it made me feel/think and rate it on scales. And then whilst thinking of that memory, follow my therapists fingers horizontally. After about 10 seconds of that, she would stop and ask if any other thoughts or feeling came up. I never actually made it to the processing part and so can’t comment on that part.

Going back to my timeline, my therapist explained that there was no point starting with recent traumas when I had earlier issues as this could potentially block the process. And also wanted to start on something not that bad to get in to the swing of how it all works.

One of my earliest memories was from about aged 6 when my mum and dad had divorced (he was violent and had numerous affairs). Me, my mum and my brother were in our new home when he came banging on the door. My mum immediately moved us in to the back room which had a lock on it (don’t know why there was a lock!!) and called the police. In the meantime my dad had kicked the front door in and was having a good go at the inside one that we were behind. Then the next thing I remember was the police being there and telling my brother and I to go to the park around the corner. As we set off I remember seeing my dad being put in to a police car. So ask you can see it’s not a great memory but I wouldn’t say it was life changing!

And then we began the EMDR, I told her I felt scared in the memory and we worked on that. After one round of finger following I didn’t feel any different. So we did it again, concentrating on the feeling of scared. And then it all unravelled. I had the thought what did I do wrong, I felt hatred and also the thought of why doesn’t he love me? By this time I was in tears and asked to stop.

The problem is, my relationship with my dad is pretty much non-existent but over the years has caused me a lot of issues (based on the how can someone who is supposed to love me unconditionally, hate me so much!). However, I had decided at Christmas that I wanted him out of my life and why was I so bothered what he thought of me. And so to bring up all these emotions about him at a time when I am really struggling with all other stuff has really messed my head up!!

Everyone has told me to expect to feel worse before better with therapy and I thought this would be true when I spoke about (or using whatever therapy) it all. However, I didn’t expect it so soon and over a minor memory when I was 6. If we use that as a start point, I have a lot of traumas in my life and I don’t think I want to go in to them all like this.



Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “First Real EMDR Session

  1. Marie

    February 29, 2012 at 1:47 am

    well done for doing it! I can imagine that it is a very intense experience whatever the memory is so you have done brilliant even trying. I really hope it works for you. Iv always found EMDR so interesting so make sure you let us all know how you get on with it 🙂 I’m giving your own advice back….don’t be so hard on yourself lol. What you have done so far is a huge achievement! xxx

  2. Anonymous

    February 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    That sounds very much my like my experience of EMDR! You said that the episode you described with your father wasn’t life altering! Of course it was! Thats a very traumatic situation for a young child with a lot of unknowns and fear. These things shape how future events are perceived and dealt with.

    The processing can have a domino effect. Processing the very early ones could possibly have a knock on effect of how later traumas are perceived. So it may not be necessary to go through every single traumatic life event so try not to worry about that!

    During my years of therapy certain themes became apparent and I found that so fascinating. I would have, sometimes quite intense, debates with my therapist on some point or other that I disagreed with and by the end of the session things would almost always come back to the same feelings of me feeling unlovable and my need to control things because I felt so out of control. Something that you mentioned above and made me smile as I saw myself reflected!

    You asked yesterday about how I dealt with the emotions after the session. To be honest, sometimes I didn’t cope very well at all! (Not what you want to hear, I’m sure!) But I did get through it! I was able to email my therapist and wrote, much like you do in your tweets and blog, to him. He didn’t always reply back but sometimes he did. It was a great outlet for me and he ad insight that he might not otherwise have been privy to. I found writing easier and I could write to him in the middle of the night if I needed! I didn’t feel like I was ‘bothering’ him if I emailed but I felt a sense o relief knowing that he would eventually read them. It was good for discussions in our next sessions too.

    So, writing was very helpful and I also used to try and distract myself by throwing myself into cleaning the house or some DIY project. One of the best things I found for me was visiting someone straight after the session. I know that might sound like a nightmare but I only discovered it when I had to go see someone on that particular day who was struggling with something themselves. I almost called and cancelled because I was not in a great place when I left but I didn’t. Just talking with them and listening to them for a bit took the emphasis off me and shifted my brain enough to get me in a calmer place. I couldn’t manage that all the time though! A lot o times I came home and cried and screamed and got angry then sad and felt sorry for myself then angry again hen sad… On it would go, even for days! So there were better times than others… 🙂 I lived to tell the tale! Sometimes crying and screaming and deep reflecting is what’s needed. None of it is wrong. Try to keep some connection with the outside world. It sounds like you are doing just that.

    Wow. Looong reply! Sorry!

    Thank you again for your tweets and blogs.

  3. NurseDustyV

    March 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I think you are so brave to do this sort of therapy; but I also think it sounds quite effective, although massively painful for you. I hope you stick at it. Big hugs
    Nurse Dusty V XXXX


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