Yesterday saw me continuing with therapy and emdr. I think to understand where my emotions went, I need to explain the process a bit more.
In the past we had spent a long time doing my timeline (essentially looking at significant events in life) and from this me and my therapist extracted bits that she thought I needed to process.
So beginning with the earliest traumatic memory, she asks me to remember it and how distressed it makes me feel in the now. This is given a mark out of 10 (10 being extremely distressed). Next she asks me what the memory makes me feel. As an example I said ‘I am worthless’ – that is then given a mark from 0-7 on how much I feel that to be true (7 being very true). Lastly, she asks how I would like to feel in that memory. Mine was ‘I am ok and worthwhile’ and again this is rated from 0-7 on how much I believe that to be true.
Once those 3 marks have been given, my therapist asks me to imagine that memory again and how worthless I feel and then she begins the finger movement. I literally follow her fingers back and forth a number of times with my eyes. She then asks what feelings that has brought up and she does the finger movement again. We keep going until I don’t really know what I’m feeling (this happens a lot more than I thought!) and then she asks me to revisit the memory and do the 3 ratings again.
So yesterday I started with I’m worthless and believed it was a 7. The emotions that were brought up were:
It was my fault
Should never have been born
I should be dead
I want to kill myself
I’ve never felt suicidal in an actual session before and it really shocked me and made me see where the suicidal thoughts were originating from. The problem with emdr is the feelings that come up aren’t really discussed. They are attempted to be processed and then use mindfulness and safe place techniques to manage the emotion and so it can leave me feeling a bit lost in my own thoughts.
At the end, we revisited the original memory and for me non of the ratings had changed. I’m not sure if that means its not working or I’m expecting too much from one session. The feelings/emotions that were brought up were very powerful ones and as they were coming up I was crying more and more. So when the session was over I was exhausted and I can’t seem to shake them off – even 24 hours later!