EMDR what happened?...or didn't.

cptsdmomof3

New Here
Today was my first EMDR "mini processing". My therapist had me tap in my "attachment figure" and "safe place." After doing so, she asked me to bring up the most recent distressing memory. I did, explained the negative feelings, and then the positive feelings I wanted in place. During BLS (finger movement) I held the memory in place, but it was very hard to stay focused on the memory, feelings and BLS. We did processing 2x and the only thing I noticed was a change in my "safe space" image. Just the sky was a dark gray instead of a bright blue that I originally tapped in. I do have c-PTSD, ADD and a dissociative disorder (NOT DID). What could the reasons be that I felt, saw or heard nothing?
 

Renly

MyPTSD Pro
I have been doing EMDR for about 9 months now. There are a lot of variables to when it works best for me vs when it doesn’t work. Give it some time. There’s some trial and error to it. The main reason it doesn’t work for me is if my emotions are turned off (I’m numb) or my emotions are too ON while processing and I become overwhelmed and then end up going numb because it’s too much. I have never done the eye movements, though. I tap my chest/knees or use the hand buzzers.

Be up front with your T about how it’s going and your concerns. There are a lot of tweaks that can be made. When it works, it works. You will know. It‘s so strange…the best way I can describe it is it’s like magic.
 
P

Paula

I have been doing EMDR for about 9 months now. There are a lot of variables to when it works best for me vs when it doesn’t work. Give it some time. There’s some trial and error to it. The main reason it doesn’t work for me is if my emotions are turned off (I’m numb) or my emotions are too ON while processing and I become overwhelmed and then end up going numb because it’s too much. I have never done the eye movements, though. I tap my chest/knees or use the hand buzzers.

Be up front with your T about how it’s going and your concerns. There are a lot of tweaks that can be made. When it works, it works. You will know. It‘s so strange…the best way I can describe it is it’s like magic.
My sessions always continue after leaving the office. Tell your therapist what is going on. If you verbally can ' t write it down and give him the paper when you see him next session. I text to mine so he knows what is going on. Some things cannot be verbally said to him because I have fear. I have been doing EMDR for 3.5yrs. You would think by that time he could read my mind. He can't and I expect him to. That's not his issue,its mine. Healing occurs only when we let it. Mine loves to trigger me to see where I need to go in order to get healed. Healing is like an onion. It comes in layers,and often not in even ones.

I had a couple sessions and it did not work for me. I dont know why, but was like I couldn't tune in.
EMDR does work if one is ready for it. It takes a lot of Inner work,its not an easy fix. Perhaps,you were not with a right therapist. Don't give up on healing. Start journaling your feelings everyday. Read books about healing modalities. Most of all be open. Ask for a spiritual sign on where to go and be open to the findings. When the student is ready,the teacher appears.
 

Sues

MyPTSD Pro
EMDR does not work for everyone. That being said, it also takes time to get used to it and see if it's going to work. I've been doing it for almost 2 years now. I started with the hand movements, but it was hard to follow and think about the memory. When we switched to the buzzers, it made it easier for me to concentrate on the memory we are working on.

As far as your safe space changing, you should definitely talk to your therapist about it the next time you meet. She is the expert in EMDR and can help guide you and support you through this process.
 

anthony

Founder
EMDR does work if one is ready for it.
I wouldn't say that about any therapy type in relation to blaming. You are literally blaming the OP because they said it hasn't worked for them.

I agree that client therapist relationship is a lot to do with therapy. If one type of therapy does not work for someone, try another. We are all unique. Yes, you have to want to be part of therapy, on that I also agree. But blaming is not the solution.

There are many therapy types for a person to try. One will fit best with that person eventually, and it could simply be talking with a friend about issues. Still therapy, just not slapping the label on it.
 

oakleaves

Confident
If you are unwittingly blocking (which can happen if you have dissociation) then EMDR might not be the right fit for now. Or maybe adaptations need to be made to work with that. I'd discuss with your T. Don't be disheartened though. Different approaches work for different people. A lot of people like emdr at the moment but people still recovered from trauma before emdr was around and cognitive processing and other things can be very helpful too. I hope you can find what works for you. (Also when I first did emdr I spent a lot of time quite blank too and now I feel I am able to engage with things and my mind moves through things quickly. Sometimes it takes time to get used to how you need to do emdr or time to go with your mind or maybe you need a different approach but one session is not enough to know).
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
sooo...I'm in year 3 of emdr and it was a slow, slow, slow!!! process. I didn't think it was going to work because I didn't seem to "accomplish" anything in the sessions.

That didn't mean it didn't work.
It meant I was really good at blocking crap I didn't want to see, and my brain had to learn to accept little bits of memories as we went. It's a big reason of why I'm still doing it all this time later.

So you may not see results at the beginning, and that's ok. Keep your t in the loop, let her know what is happening during the session and afterwards. Then she can tweak the sessions to give you small successes as you go, rather than trying to get to solutions right away.

When it works it is amazing - so don't give up!
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
I've been trying emdr recently for physical feelings and so far I've found that it hasn't done anything though I've tried it before with two abuse memories and i think it helped them not seem so bad but I don't think it made other things come up. I also tried it with a flashback which wasn't very clear I was held down on a bed and the duvet disappeared and I could see g and then just my bare arm and his hand on my wrist. I think emdr may have helped slightly with it not feeling so bad but it didn't make the flashback any clearer though I've had nightmares of being assaulted and raped since the flashback which might be connected.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
If one type of therapy does not work for someone, try another. We are all unique. Yes, you have to want to be part of therapy, on that I also agree.
This....

EMDR is like taking apart a beaver dam. You have to start with whats on top to unlock whats underneath. Sometimes it takes time to get to whats underneath. Sometimes what seems big is small, and sometimes what seems small is huge.

As has been said your buy in counts too. For me, I got bought in quickly because I realized all the crap I had dealt with for years that was part of my trauma and I was so tired of dealing with all of it I just wanted it fixed.

Give it a few more sessions and if its still seems its not doing much think about make a change.
 
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