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#190374 - 11/07/07 07:11 PM Second EMDR session
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
The beginnings of my second EMDR session today were quite similar to my last one. We spent about twenty minutes trying to find my safe place. My therapist waved her hand in front of my eyes back and forth, forcing me to follow with my eyes. She did that ten times, asked me to close my eyes, and feel and see the sights and sounds of this place. It took a lot of effort to find the safe place today, but I finally got there.

She asked me to describe what I was feeling. I felt the rocking of the boat, the chilly wind. I felt the warm sun, and I heard the waves against the sides of the boat. I felt those muscles I never felt before relaxing. It felt good.

Then she waved her hands in front of my face the second to the last time, and I felt something in my brain change. She called it a channel, and I'm not sure if I have any better words than that. I found my safe place. I was there, and I felt one with myself in a way I had never felt before.

She then asked me to imagine a slight annoyance, like last time, like a phone ringing. I tensed up completely, but I chanted the words "find the lake" in my head. Instantly, the tenseness subsided. The annoyance of the ringing phone was severely dulled to the point where it barely registered. I concentrated on that as she did her last hand wave.

As I closed my eyes one final time, letting it all sink in, she started asking me how it felt. She then asked me if I remembered what the annoyance would feel like if I wasn't in my safe place. I described it as best as I could, but I felt detached from that. But then, she asked me what those feelings reminded me of.

I couldn't go on.

"I have to stop" I said through tears that seemed to come from nowhere. "I can't find my safe place anymore."

She let me sit weeping quietly to myself for about five minutes. I was scared. I was more scared than I have ever been in my life. I was more scared than my last flashback, where I reverted back to my 2 or 3 year old self. The worst part of it was, I did not know what I was scared of.

Finally, she had me close my eyes, and she started talking about the safe place again. She had me find the lake, my boat. I don't think I ever completely made it back there, but I was able to stop crying before I left.

Ever since then, I've been experiencing slight jerking sensations in my muscles. These muscles that aren't used to being relaxed are rebelling against being tensed up for so long. To add to that, I am very, very tired. I'm in a state of lethargy that has been unrivaled by anything at any point in my life.

I feel a profound sadness right now. It's quite heavy, but it is not quite a sadness that is based on depression. I'm just sad that I had to feel that way, and I want to do nothing more than sleep.

That's what I'm going to go do 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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#190381 - 11/07/07 07:58 PM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: BJK]
frost Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Thank you for sharing this. My second EMDR experience will be on Friday and I really don't know what to expect.

Sleep well my friend; I know how exhausted you must feel.
~Brian

_________________________
Boom!

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#190385 - 11/07/07 09:19 PM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: frost]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
sounds like this could be useful for me to at least try at some point, that whole "channel" thing sounds like such a relief...
It's hard to feel sad yet safe at the same time, i'm trying to teach myself to realize this at a more than superficial level-
thanks for posting.

_________________________
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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#190431 - 11/08/07 07:28 AM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: dgoods]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
As I wake up this morning after a 12 hour "nap", I am questioning what this minor annoyance reminded me of. Why was my reaction so strong?

I work in a dispatch center with telephones ringing constantly, and when I get home, the phone ringing is probably a bit more than a minor annoyance. I don't think the phone ringing has anything to do with anything that might have happened to me as a child. Rather, the feeling I get when the phone rings is a feeling that I had when I was a child when other chaotic events were happening in my life.

Now that 12 hours have passed, I've kind of lost the whole feeling. However, my therapist told me that we're going to explore this more fully next week, but we have to work on finding the safe place more before we proceed any further.

The important thing, though, is that when I said "stop", she stopped.

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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#190438 - 11/08/07 09:26 AM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: BJK]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Bryan,

Thank you for sharing your experience. And thank you for writing so eloquently and clearly about your experience. I know it was hard, my EMDR sessions have been just as painful and disorienting, but the experience has really been a help to me in the course of my therapy. The last session I did was months ago now, but I still feel the benefit of it today. (In that session I literally poured out this black, tarry goo from inside of me and buried it on an isald far far away).

It sounds like you have a very good therapist and a very good relationship with her. I'm very happy for you and I hope that you continue to make progress. One question (and if you've discussed in the past, please forgive me... I've been awy for a while). How often do you do an EMDR session?

Oh, and Brian (Frost), best of luck to you on your EMDR. I'm sure you'll make it through just fine.

Chris

_________________________
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

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#190443 - 11/08/07 10:01 AM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: tartugas]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
This was my second EMDR session, my first was two weeks ago. We took a week off last week mostly because there weren't really any big issues to overcome at the time. This is my normal therapist doing these sessions, and the procedure the last two sessions have been spending about 20 minutes talking about issues in my life and then the rest of the session working on the EMDR. I'm going back again next week, and I suspect that we'll be doing it weekly until she feels I don't need it anymore.

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.

Top
#190449 - 11/08/07 11:09 AM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: BJK]
ForeverFighting Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: New Mexico, USA
That is so interesting. Thank you for sharing your experience. My therapist keeps talking about EMDR, and she says she needs to know more from our sessions before she begins. I don't know anything about EMDR except that it involves lights, so your writing here is a huge help.

Thanks you. It sounds like a good experience, though difficult.

_________________________
ForeverFighting

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17

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#190457 - 11/08/07 12:53 PM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: ForeverFighting]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Bryan,

I would suggest you talk about the schedule with your therapist. I have only used EMDR very sproadically throughout the course of my therapy, as it can be a very powerful and intense experience. Obviously this is a matter for you and your T to discuss (and I would urge you to discuss it openly if you haven't already), but I have heard that EMDR is not as effective when done on a weekly basis. There is only so much value to re-experiencing the feelings of trauma over and over again, after all.

Remember, this is you body, your brain, your heart and your soul. You therapist can make recommendations, but it is your choice to follow through on any course of action. A passive participant in the healing process will never make progress.

Chris

_________________________
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

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#190463 - 11/08/07 01:40 PM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: tartugas]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Chris,

My therapist has actually told me that we aren't even into the actual EMDR treatment yet. She says we're still working on finding my safe place so that we CAN do the actual EMDR stuff. I had a strong reaction, but it was definitely not reliving any abuse. It was feeling an emotion I've never felt before, and my T says it is something we are going to be exploring more fully in the future.

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.

Top
#190520 - 11/08/07 09:15 PM Re: Second EMDR session [Re: BJK]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5777
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
In my work with EMDR, I use chopsticks to tap the upright palms of the client while he has his eyes closed (if that is ok) and therefore, there is no physical contact. That helps with safety issues. Some people use the lights (though I found that to be an unnecessary expense and maybe distracting).


The resting and processing time between sessions is important so I usually don't do EMDR sessions in a row, but rather talk about the insights and what the thoughts and images might mean. Also, it is pretty exhausting and in all the sessions I've done, we haven't had to go to the safe place. It's good to have and that figures in to how you can self-soothe, an important issue for a lot of survivors who might have had difficulties in settling themselves down.

Again, the way you do the technique, whether eye movement, tapping, lights, or sounds, is really about the alternate brain hemisphere stimulation. I don't know how it works but it sure seems to do the job.

Ken


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