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#188766 - 10/25/07 06:40 PM First EMDR treatment today
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I had no idea what this was going in.

So we started out by my therapist asking me to think of a safe place. She gave me about a minute to think, and then she asked me where I was. I responded, "I'm in a dark closet. The door is locked."

"Wow," she responded. "That sounds pretty negative. Can you think of anyplace more relaxing?"

"How about my computer desk at him?"

"Well, that might work. Do you want another minute to think about it?"

Finally, I decided that I was going to be lying on my back in a boat in the middle of a lake. She asked me to think about the sights, the sounds, the feelings, and of course, the smells.

I was easily able to think about the sights, the sounds, and the feelings. The blue sky was up above. The wind was chilly, but the sun was warming. I concentrated on the sun warming me. It was a peaceful feeling. The boat was gently rocking with a slightly rhythmic sound of gentle waves padding against the side of the boat. I was actually starting to sink into the feeling when she had to ask me what I smelled.

"Well, it kind of stinks."

"What stinks?"

"Well, I'm on a lake, and it kind of smells like dead fish."

Okay, let's not do the smells then. We went back to the rest of the sensations. I was sinking back into it when she asked me to open my eyes and follow her hand. She started to wave it in front of my face, and that kind of freaked me out a little. I didn't want to be hypnotized, but she only did it ten times, then asked me to close my eyes again. Each time, she asked me to describe new sensations. She asked me to think of a name for my "safe place". I'm going to call it "The Lake".

She did the hand waving thing about a dozen times, and each time I got more and more relaxed. Finally, she threw in a wrinkle. She asked me to think of a slight disturbance, and in my mind, a speed boat flew past disturbing the rhythmic waves. I tensed up again.

Until that point in time, I had no idea how tense I am in my day to day life. Bam, I was right back to it, and it took an effort to relax again. We spent about a half hour working on trying to find the safe place, and she told me that I needed to do more work on it over the next week so we can move forward.

When I left the session, and I went to go sit in my car, I felt like a wet fettucini noodle. I was suddenly aware of tenseness in my body. It's not gone, but it has dissipated a bit. Especially my shoulders and neck, I've never been as relaxed as I am right now. I've also started to notice some minor aches that I've never noticed before. I suspect that is the lactic acid from muscles that have spent years being tense relaxing...finally.

I'm not sure how much this really helped except for right now, I'm more tired than I have been in a very long time.

Tired and relaxed. These are new feelings to me.

I feel good.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#188772 - 10/25/07 07:06 PM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: BJK]
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
Congrats glad it went well.


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#188773 - 10/25/07 07:24 PM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: theatrekid]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6602
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Interesting Bryan! I picked my small sail boat for my safeplace as well.

I recently needed to re-do the EMDR safeplace programing. I was having a hard time getting into the boat when the flashbacks were hitting me...and when I did get to the boat, everything was frozen in time.

With the re-programing, I can get to the boat and it is sailing.

_________________________
I'm "that guy."

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#188778 - 10/25/07 08:56 PM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: Still]
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
What are you guys talking about? It sounds very interesting.

_________________________
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

Oprah's resources for male survivors

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#188779 - 10/25/07 09:19 PM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: melliferal]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Bryan.

I look forward to hearing how this goes for you in the future, and perhaps hopefully, you will find yourself directing others towards the same type of therapy, (those that might need it anyway).

Rob? How many sessions have you had of this EMDR type therapy?

So, is the whole point of this treatment method to train your conscious mind into feeling "safe", hence, the physical reactions and placid sensations which follow, allow your mind to more fully explore and grasp and work through the underlying feelings? This is deep.


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#188796 - 10/26/07 01:46 AM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: BJK]
frost Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/07
Posts: 1377
Loc: Eh?
Hi Bryan,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I thought I'd add to this thread as I too had my first exposure to EMDR Therapy on Wednesday. My therapist didn't want to get into anything deep with it, she just wanted to give me an idea of what it was and how it works.

The way she explained it to me, is that the paddles and the tones stimulate the two sides of the brain back and forth back and forth, and what it does is it allows your brain to process a great deal of information... be it memories, feelings, the physical self, etc.

In the few minutes on this EMDR, my therapist asked me to focus on several things. I couldn't do it... I was totally numb (as usual in therapy). Finally she asked me to focus on my tension and give her a number on a scale of 1 to 10 of how tense I felt I was. I initially said "maybe a 6". Then she turned the machine one. Within a few seconds I knew that 6 was more like a 9.5. I couldn't believe how tense I could feel all of the muscles in my body. I actually couldn't find any muscles that weren't tense. I told her it was actually a 9. She then asked me to continue focusing on the tension and how those muscles are feeling. Again, within a few seconds I had an answer. "I'm Exhausted.".

Just like you had mentioned in your post Bryan, its a really tremendous realization to really feel and see how much tension we carry in day to day life. The "Wet Noodle" thing really does explain how I felt in the few minutes in my therapist's office after the EMDR. I just felt like jello. It's almost as though someone had told my muscles "Hey, Relax". Walking to my car afterwards felt like I'd had about 8 drinks.

I sat in my car for a few minutes and just chilled before driving. I just wanted to sleep. I just felt soooooooo tired. I finally turned on some Smashing Pumpkins and woke myself up a little for driving home.

I've been doing some reading on the process since this exposure and I think I will go for it again. Not sure if I'm quite ready with this therapist yet because I've only had 2 sessions with her so far... But so far so effective. 6 months at my previous therapist never got me anywhere. This is different... This seems better.

Anyways, Again, thanks for your post Bryan. I guess I had some stuff of my own to share here and I've been rather numb since my session so you opened the door for me to start using my voice again.

Cheers,
Brian

_________________________
Boom!

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#188798 - 10/26/07 02:11 AM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: frost]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Hey guys-
glad to see a little more info on this, i think last week i had mentioned this as something my T suggested as a possibility, but this was years ago; it sounds worthwhile, as my body expresses my inner state far more clearly than my words do. Everyone who's ever noticed my typical posture tells me how knotted up and hard my shoulders and neck always are. I often can crack my neck just by turning my head, rather than twisting with my hands, and trying to relax w/o very hot water or some other physical impetus is almost impossible; sheer mental effort to get my body to calm down usually won't work; it's like my lower brain doesn't buy what my conscious mind is trying to sell it- "Nope. Gotta be ready. Crap could hit the fan at any time."

I'm laughing a little as i read what i just typed, but it's true.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#188808 - 10/26/07 06:24 AM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: dgoods]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Thanks for all of the responses.

I can't believe how exhaused I was when I left the office. I took a 3 hour nap when I got home, and I woke up still exhausted. I woke up this morning still exhausted.

All the while, I've been kind of afraid that this new relaxtion that I've discovered might open the door for new flashbacks and bad emotions. Hell, I just want to push pause for awhile.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#188832 - 10/26/07 01:12 PM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: BJK]
River Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee
Bryan, that is awesome!

I fought my therapist for over a year about EMDR. He wanted me to do EMDR and I told him no because I did not feel there was not enough science to back it up... in other words, "hokey pokey." Finally, I agreed to do it on condition that a 2nd therapist was in the room (it was an expensive 2-3 hours!!). I was prepared for the process...could easily go to my safe place,etc. I was kind of like a big ripe tomato going into it. The process started and before the end I had an explosion of memories and was dry-heaving, holding a garbage can. It blew me out of the water (in a good way). Was definately not what I expected (I don't think it was what they expected either). I have not heard of anyone who has had that kind of experience on the first session. It helped pull together and make sense of a lot of stuff. I did quite a bit of EMDR after that and it has not been as "explosive" and more of a "process" and it has helped a lot.

_________________________
GD

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#188910 - 10/27/07 11:39 AM Re: First EMDR treatment today [Re: River]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
My therapist has urged me to practice finding my safe place on my own for the next two weeks before I meet with her again.

I've been kind of amazed at what I've discovered. First of all, every time I consciously try to find "the lake", I realize how naturally tense all of my muscles are. I am finding myself relaxing muscles I never knew I had. One would think that at some point, I would learn how to be naturally relaxed, but it seems like a process every time.

Furthermore, as I sat here on my break at work this morning, I was practicing this, and I found myself humming. This brought back some pretty good memories from my childhood. I was constantly singing as a child, and I even got in trouble in school for it a lot. As I found myself humming today without even realize it, it brought all of that back. When I used to sing in school, for instance, I would do it sometimes without even knowing it. I was doing it to calm myself down, and I was often dissociating when it happened.

Man, I used to get in trouble a lot in school, and I hardly ever knew why. Pieces of my life are starting to come back together.

And as I sat at my desk today, thinking I was alone, a co-worker had come in the door. He stood there silently until I was done, and then he made his presence known by complimenting me on how "beautiful" the song was (it was something I think I was making up).

I feel pretty good right now.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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