Can't feel any emotion on images during EMDR

PTSDisaster

Confident
So even when you're emotionally shut off when doing emdr, do you all still keep trying emdr? Or what happened when you and your therapists found out that you can't actually reach the trauma?
 

furiouscurve

New Here
For me, we often pivot from the EMDR session to doing some parts work. It's typically easier for me to access, and if that isn't possible then we will focus on talk therapy. My therapist is excellent at pivoting quickly, and also guiding me back to where I need/want to be.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
yep -- totally normal
If we get too close to things my brain switches off. Just....done.
Can't get it back no matter how hard I try. Usually it means I'm overwhelmed and a nasty bout of dissociation is kicking in.
So we either switch to something else or just chat about "safe" subjects until my brain clears up or the appt time is over.

EMDR takes as long as it takes - you can't rush thru it. That was a huge issue for me because I'm goal oriented and figured this would be the same way. Have memory, do emdr, memory no longer a problem, done in my timeline, all is good

Ya. Nope
EMDR will just laugh at you for making plans! 😁
@Freida While I'm not doing emdr...I totally get the brain "switching off" when enough is enough, or enough is too much......and what comes out of my mouth is either....."done for today" or "time to go" to the therapist....I stand up.....and leave. I'm doing a little better....I should find some other word to indicate done...other than "time to go."
 

Renly

MyPTSD Pro
So even when you're emotionally shut off when doing emdr, do you all still keep trying emdr? Or what happened when you and your therapists found out that you can't actually reach the trauma?

My emotional shut-off is on somewhat of a continuum. Mostly, we have to stop (or more likely we can’t even get anything started) because I’m operating at the very “off” side. A couple times I was able to garner enough feelings to finish the process, but it included my T working hard to help guide me deeper into the details of the memory to help my brain access more emotion - I don’t think I could have pulled myself into the emotion on my own without T’s guidance. If we can’t do EMDR we normally just talk.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
So even when you're emotionally shut off when doing emdr, do you all still keep trying emdr? Or what happened when you and your therapists found out that you can't actually reach the trauma?
If the event happened a while ago I think what happens over time is all the memories around the trauma event fade and disappear. We can numb ourselves and hide parts of that trauma away with "internal propaganda". We want to feel nothing from that memory.

As some memories return I am remembering my struggle with nightmares in my teens. Things were ritualized and I really think that my blanking out dreams started there. It's like a little kid thinking if I don't remember it, it never really happened, so if I don't remember my nightmares they don't really happen.

The best analogy I can make for EMDR is it's like taking apart a beaver dam. You have to start with whats on top and take it apart piece by piece. Meaning whatever is bothering you, whatever is on top of your thoughts, that's what you need to deal with. For me that ended with surprises every which way, what I thought was the obvious problem was what put me in the situation but had no part in my trauma - and had very little emotion attached because I had been able to process those memories.

Sometimes, the trauma isn't where you always thought it was, sometimes as you pull the pile apart there are hidden surprises.
 
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