About a month ago, I took the initiative to change therapists. I'm still unsure of this transition, as sometimes I do miss my old therapist and feel like she already knew so much about me. It becomes quite unbearable at times to know that I have to go over all that shit AGAIN with someone else. But I said I would give this a fair shot, and that if it didn't work out that I'd go back to where I started. So far, I think I've had 3-4 sessions...
But while in treatment with this new lady, she spoke slightly about a technique she uses call EMDR.
EMDR is short for "eye movement desensitization and reprocessing". The basic premise ( from what I grasp, so far ) is that when you're deep in thought about things, your eyes move in a certain "pattern". Through this pattern, you can retrain your brain to process things different. It was harder for her to explain in words, but I looked up more information and uncovered this:
"No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way."
There is also documentation on how the process works and the steps to achieve the desensitization, which you can read here. The concept is intriguing and I told her that I'm on board to try this method out.
She told me at our last appointment that we will not discuss the traumatic experiences aloud but simply have me think about them. She feels like reopening past issues can cause retraumatization, so she refrains from doing so. I must give consent for her to physically touch me due to the fact that with EMDR you must use sensation on each side of the body to trigger both sides of the brain. My therapist tends to use the tops of a patient's knees to achieve this.
I'm eager to see how this technique works. It's used a lot for patients that suffer from PTSD, and although I wouldn't consider having PTSD, I sort-of have something like it. There are a few events in my life that I still harbor pain from and that caused me to the be the person I am today ( good or bad?...I don't know )
I hope that EMDR will allow me to view hard times in a less devastating manner and, in a way, help to desensitize me as a whole. I am a very emotional person by nature; to the point that I feel everything SO strongly it's disruptive to my life. Whether it be a hurtful name I was called, someone's attitude towards me, a suffering animal on the side of the road, or that my coffee spilled on the way to work...things like this can ruin my whole day and cause me to ruminate the situation all day. It's not healthy.
...and I really want to be better at coping with life as a whole.
So here's to hoping EMDR is as successful as I'm hoping it will be!!!