Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 366600

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EMDR number 3

Posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 16:55:58

Yesterday was my third treatment. I allowed my EMDR T to converse to my regular T (they are across the hal form each other), and so since my most pressing problem lately has been anxiety and panic, that's what we addressed. I am impressed that they are working in concert on this.

The treatment involved my memories of past events that trouble me, nag me, haunt me - I can't get past them. I thought that talking about them would help to resolve, but instead it just gets me more upset since I have no opportunity for closure of any kind.

So she had me visualize cords connecting my body to these past events. They were strong , like umbilical cords (I guess, not ever having had a baby!); and they dragged me around, weighing me down. She had me picture a pair of golden scissors that severed each cord in turn, then bathed the wound in me with soothing water. I cried throughout, in grief, in pain, and in relief. As each cord was cut, it floated up and away (reminded me of the video for 99 Red Balloons - now you all know I'm old!!) trailing the withering cords behind them. I thanked each cord for the experience they had given me, and sent them on their way.

Then I visualized my present. I had to grow cords to Now in order to ground myself with them. What do I treasure now; what is important to me? I had no cords at all until I made them. They are still stringy and not strong cords, but I will have to practice this connection in my meditations.

So - without addressing the individual events that have haunted me opressively for 10+ years, I have been able to release them en masse; thanked them for the experience and wisdom they imparted (no hard feelings expressed), and am trying to connect myself to my present experiences.

Once again, it was very heady and powerful. The therapist made the suggestions of the cords and scissors, but I did all the work. Everyone has noticed a considerable improvement in me: my concentration, my interaction with others, my direct contact, too (eye to eye).

It was very subtle and also very powerful. I am extremely grateful that I was in a position to be ready to do this. Hauntings are bad enough, but when you drag them around with you every single day, you get depressed, anxious, panicked. Today I had glimmers of panic but milder. This will take time for me to strengthen and understand.

Thanks for listenening (or rather, reading).
pc

 

Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy

Posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 17:04:42

In reply to EMDR number 3, posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 16:55:58

Thanks for sharing.

Your descriptions of your EMDR sessions are very moving. I would love to have had that experience. It sounds as if it's a very good match between therapy mode and patient. :)

 

Re: EMDR number 3

Posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 17:26:25

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy, posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 17:04:42

I was trying to figure out why it is working for me and yet I know you had an awful experience with it. Did you feel in control and that you could "steer" it? I was surprised that we aren't dealing with specific memories as such but rather, how an entire period of my life made me feel. (Like I was a loser)

This therapist is interested in getting me more connected to my life NOW and less to my life THEN.

 

Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy

Posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 17:30:33

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3, posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 17:26:25

It wasn't awful. It just really didn't do anything for me. It wasn't the right treatment for me, I guess.

It was biofeedback that was awful. And that was because of a bad bad personality conflict between me and biofeedback guy. What a jerk he was. :(

 

Re: EMDR number 3

Posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 17:40:11

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy, posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 17:30:33

Yuckkoh!! I have a very deep seated belief that if you can't relate to your "health care provider", whomever or whatever pratice that may be; that you will not succeed. I hate to think that this treatment was unsuccessful with you (I did see the "nevernevernevernevernevernevernevernever" post from you) ; and I feel badly since I am shining away here and you are such a CAPABLE individual. i think a new approach might help?

 

Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy

Posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 19:03:22

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3, posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 17:40:11

Actually, I think I'm in a second (or maybe fiftieth or so) honeymoon stage with my current therapist. I can suddenly *see* all the benefits therapy has brought, and I'm sort of flabbergasted at how so many of them crept up on me without my noticing them. My thread above springs from that thought. And I really love how well my therapist understands me.

At the moment, the particular benefit that is amazing me the most is that I really feel like I understand *why* I do what I do. I was sooo obsessed with that for so long. My old posts reflect it, it's in my psychology testing report as the reason for getting the testing done. Yet now I think I really have a good grasp on the "why". I think I can see that I really do act with a certain internal consistency.

So at the moment, I am totally satisfied with my plain old therapist. I have no doubt though, that as with any relationship, this crest will break and I'll be interested in group therapy or marathon groups or something to shake up my therapy. Because therapy is a very slow progression with me, no big moments, and unless I happen (like now) to step aside and look at the gains from a distance, I don't always see them.

But I adore reading about the really big moment sessions, and always hope that against all odds I'll have one now and again. :)

 

Re: EMDR number 3

Posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 20:51:49

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy, posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 19:03:22

Dinah, I treasure your posts and I'm sorry if I came across like you were missing this great prize or something. Everything in its time, everyone in their time. I think I was a bit high on the whole experience. Please excuse me! You are a true inspiration for me.

 

Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy

Posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 22:32:55

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3, posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 20:51:49

Oh no!!! Please be high on the experience! That's a wonderful thing to be!

You didn't make me feel bad at all!! I was just sharing that I'm feeling a bit high on my therapy right now too. :)

 

Re: EMDR number 3 followup

Posted by partlycloudy on July 16, 2004, at 15:19:43

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy, posted by Dinah on July 15, 2004, at 22:32:55

Hmm. A wild rollercoaster ride today. Flipping back and forth between peachy keen and wanting a Fuzzy Navel. Crying at thin air, then full of confidence and looking at the world straight in the eye.

I called the EMDR therapist because it scared me. She likens it to having had open heart surgery, and experiencing pain afterwards. The pain hurts, but it's a sign of healing. Of course I was sniffling back snot trying to talk, but her words made sense to me.

Feeling better at the moment. Just a smidgen of panic. She told me to take a warm bubble bath (even the pros tell us to to this!) and be very very kind to myself tonight.

I am definitely wrung out.

 

Re: EMDR number 3 followup

Posted by gardenergirl on July 16, 2004, at 15:40:44

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 followup, posted by partlycloudy on July 16, 2004, at 15:19:43

Hey PC,
I'm so glad that EMDR is working so well for you. I have to admit, that in my coursework, EMDR did not get very good marks from the faculty. It's nice to hear a personal, successful so far account.

And I'm sorry that today is like a rollercoaster. I hope you can weather this and get through. Just keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times. And take that bubble bath. MMmmmmmmm. May need to do that myself. If only the tub were clean...sigh.

I really like that visualization of cutting those bonds, thanking them and lettning them go, healing, and forming new ties. Just today in therapy, my T talked about how internalizing my mother (very critical voice inside) keeps a tie to my mom and the familiar, no matter how painful it is. For some reason, that tie to the familiar crappy thing is better than feeling untethered or unattached to her.

I may try meditating on that image myself and try to find something in my mother I can attach to instead of the critical. At the moment, I have no idea what that might be, and I don't want to cut the ties without a back up. But I'll give it a shot.

Take care,
gg

 

Re: EMDR number 3

Posted by TexasChic on July 16, 2004, at 15:49:19

In reply to EMDR number 3, posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 16:55:58

Wow! That sounds like an incredible experience (except for the anxiety afterwards, I do hope that's better now). How do you find a doc that does this? Is it a pdoc? What exactly do you do in the sessions? I know it has something to do with eye movement, but I don't really understand it (sorry I'm asking so many questions). I'll be watching for the post of your next session. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

 

Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy

Posted by antigua on July 16, 2004, at 17:01:04

In reply to EMDR number 3, posted by partlycloudy on July 15, 2004, at 16:55:58

Hello partlycloudy. I hope you're feeling better now. Try to hold on to the good parts.

I am so struck by the different techniques our EMDR therapists (yours and mine) use. I was fascinated by what yours taught you this week, especially since you weren't working w/a specific memory but a specific issue instead. You found a way to visualize the issue and were able to change your view toward it without having to deal w/a memory. Do I have that right?

My EMDR is much more situation focused. I know that the memories that come up aren't always exact memories, and they often "represent" an issue I'm working on, but I always start w/a fragment of a memory. I start one place and end up in a totally different area. This week I was able to connect completely w/my little girl feelings (that feeling that still haunts me every moment of my current life). I know how and when I experienced it; I even understand how the feelings were formed. It's hard to explain, but I totally understand the feelings now. Does that mean I can get over them now? I don't know how that connection is made.

I also learned more about the angry girl inside me. She is critical of the wounded girl and taunts and degrades her for having behaved like such a baby when the angry girl was able to escape the abuse by floating away. She may be angry, but I know the origin of her criticism: she is my father's voice, and she speaks the words he would tell me if I let my fear out. He was very critical and condescending in real life and I never realized I internalized his voice.

So that's what I learned this week. So different from you, but just as valuable to me.

Sorry to go on. I'm just really inspired by the different uses of the therapy.

Keep up the good work!
antiga

 

Re: EMDR number 3 antigua

Posted by partlycloudy on July 16, 2004, at 17:47:12

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy, posted by antigua on July 16, 2004, at 17:01:04

I fully expected this last session to be focused on disturbing memories (and that's what I had the nervous nellies about beforehand). I had seen my regular T the previous week and we concentrated on my anxieties and panic attacks. I specifically told each T to feel free to consult with each other on the progress of my treatment. So, when I came in for the EMDR, she presented what she'd talked to my other T about and I agreed that it was the right thing to work on.

The way we worked it was this: she had me visualize the "me" who had experienced those disturbing events in the past. They happened over several years, so it was easy to make a picture of the cornered, frightened, insecure woman I'd become. She had me visualize these cords that attached myself to these disturbing memories, as many cords as memories I had. It looked like a bunch of balloons like the pervo's used to sell in parks or that Steven King has in his books.

Then she asked me to bring up an image of these golden scissors. It was at that point we did the eyes back and forth, and she talked to me while I was following her fingers. She had me cut each cord individually and let it leave, then imagined bathing the area where it attached to my middle with water.

I had been terrified of confronting these memories indivudally; instead we confronted how I felt about them. That is how I was able to move through them. I felt a lovely sense of peace, and she guided me through meditation at the end to thank the old cords for what they taught me, and started creating new cords to the life I live now. That seemed to be what targeted the anxiety - actually cutting myself off from the past, and reminding myself that living in the present is all we really can do.

On the Social board I posted to SandyWeb about her traumatic past ("This is Me") with what I learned from that session.

Someone I work with has dealt with grief for way too long - she asked me for names and phone numbers so she could be evaluated for this treatment too. It has made such a *marked* difference in the "me" the public sees.

 

Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy

Posted by antigua on July 17, 2004, at 13:38:55

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 antigua, posted by partlycloudy on July 16, 2004, at 17:47:12

I'm glad it's working so well. I don't know if I could say that I process memories from these sessions, or maybe that's what it's really called! I get an exact understanding of what the feelings "feel" like and I learn how they came about--actually, why I had those feelings. As I said, I can't change them yet, but understanding them is really important to me. I tend to overanalyze myself, or maybe intellectualize too much so that I can hide from my feelings. It's progress, though, and working in tandem w/my T has moved me forward so much faster. I was so stuck and frustrated that I begged her to let me try it. It has worked well, although I know it certainly doesn't work for everyone.

Another thing--my EMDR therapist uses a light machine instead of her fingers. I'm always uncomfortable because I feel like she is watching me watch the lights...
antigua

 

Lights versus fingers antigua

Posted by partlycloudy on July 17, 2004, at 13:57:10

In reply to Re: EMDR number 3 partlycloudy, posted by antigua on July 17, 2004, at 13:38:55

My T sits very close to me, knees almost touch each other, but not. She'll end the "watch the birdie" period by holding up her hand like a stop sign. Then she grabs the air with her hand and pulls down. She she picks up her pen and I just start talking.

I have to say that a big part of why I was sold on this T was because she had been taught by Francine Shapiro and received EMDR treatmeat from her.

And I love that she uses such a blend of modalities. Yogic breathing, chakras, colour of environment, feng shui in her office. I liked the acceptance of other cultures.

 

Re: Lights versus fingers partlycloudy

Posted by antigua on July 17, 2004, at 14:09:47

In reply to Lights versus fingers antigua, posted by partlycloudy on July 17, 2004, at 13:57:10

Francine Shapiro is one busy woman--or just rich!! She trained mine as well. Mine is an RN and a MSW. She's very direct and no nonsense. She does concentrate on the body a lot, especially with breathing and she encourages yoga. I don't know, I like her fine. I have no intention of getting too close to her because I don't need that complication in my life.

Another thing. Did I remember that you have an idea of how many sessions you will have? See, mine is just like weekly therapy. I figure we'll run out of things but I think that's probably based on when it stops working for me.

As I said, I find these differences really interesting. Thanks for sharing your experiences and I hope you don't mind. You can tell me to be quiet at any time!
antigua

 

Re: Lights versus fingers antigua

Posted by partlycloudy on July 17, 2004, at 14:33:31

In reply to Re: Lights versus fingers partlycloudy, posted by antigua on July 17, 2004, at 14:09:47

Like anyone could ever shut me up!! The EMDR T has suggested I'll be "done" in 4 ssessions or so.

I just feel like a glimpse of the old me before I crumpled. This is worth it, no matter how we get there; no matter how long it takes.

It's a bit weird that she is my T's T.

 

The little me

Posted by antigua on July 17, 2004, at 23:55:44

In reply to Re: Lights versus fingers antigua, posted by partlycloudy on July 17, 2004, at 14:33:31

I'm learning who I was when I was just an innocent little girl, the one who had dreams and hopes before they were defiled and ruined. I want to build a woman out of who that little girl could have become with the added strength of the woman who survived the trauma. That's my dream.
antigua

 

Re: The little me antigua

Posted by partlycloudy on July 18, 2004, at 6:10:58

In reply to The little me, posted by antigua on July 17, 2004, at 23:55:44

Just remember that that little girl is already inside you! She's ready to join that strong woman. It takes a lot of work,


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