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EMDR with added stimulation to busy the brain

Quassus

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So my T has been following studies on how adding extra stimulation while doing EMDR is beneficial for some people. So you may use the paddles and tap your feet or count...or tap your arms and say tick toc to the pattern. Or stand and do some sort of rhythmic movement. It's supposed to help you not disassociate because your brain us trying to multitasking as it were. I admit it was really hard. Trying to focus on the memory while saying something else and doing other movements. At times my T would throw in stuff to distract as well. Trying to focus on the memory while doing 2 other things was alot. I don't know if I like it because it felta little frustrating...but my level of distress did go down and we made a lot of progress..so maybe it helps. Idk. Just curious if others have had this type of extra activity added to their reprocessing?
 
My T has read the same studies but I’ve found it too hard to follow the memory. My mind is way too visual so it’s already multitasking. I have had more success focusing on turning down parts of the memory instead.

Sometimes when I’m really activated we run it backwards, that can help. If it’s a lot as a whole thing I’ve learned to skip parts of the memory until I ready to deal with them. We’ve also done fast forward but I’ve found that to be less helpful.
 
My T has read the same studies but I’ve found it too hard to follow the memory. My mind is way too visual so it’s already multitasking. I have had more success focusing on turning down parts of the memory instead.

Sometimes when I’m really activated we run it backwards, that can help. If it’s a lot as a whole thing I’ve learned to skip parts of the memory until I ready to deal with them. We’ve also done fast forward but I’ve found that to be less helpful.
The extra stuff makes it really hard to focus on the memory. I have multitasking issues normally. I didn't like the extra stuff if I'm honest..because it was so hard to focus. But she said that it's supposed to be. But then I feel frustrated lol. I'm thinking about how to spell a word and there is no way I can do that and focus on the memory and tap. I have another session tomorrow so we will see how it goes and maybe it will be a little easier now that I've done it this way and know what to expect...my biggest struggle is working on one memory amd wanting to jump to another as I am.

My T has read the same studies but I’ve found it too hard to follow the memory. My mind is way too visual so it’s already multitasking. I have had more success focusing on turning down parts of the memory instead.

Sometimes when I’m really activated we run it backwards, that can help. If it’s a lot as a whole thing I’ve learned to skip parts of the memory until I ready to deal with them. We’ve also done fast forward but I’ve found that to be less helpful.
Also skipping. I come to a place with this memory where I am able to get through it, and then I hit a point where it becomes alot and I struggle to even bring it up enough to work on it. So I just skip it. More because I can't seen to get myself to really get into that part of it. Do you have ways that help you to bring it up or get into it?
 
Do you have ways that help you to bring it up or get into it?
No, if I’m skipping it on autopilot, there’s usually a reason, like I’m just not ready to deal with it at the moment. Usually I’m getting enough from the rest that I just allow myself to skip…or at least now I do. Before I’d push then be frustrated.

id feel like a circus monkey if my T was asking what yours is. He was just suggesting the light with the paddles. How are you supposed to tap and skip and spell and do anything with a memory? He was only suggesting the light as a way to keep me grounded in the room because I’d have my eyes open. For me I do the paddles with my eyes closed because with my adhd I struggle to focus already, by closing my eyes it eliminates the squirrels.

you also mentioned not following memories but that is the protocol. You follow what comes up. Granted that can be a terrible flood of memories. However it can also be incredibly helpful.
 
No, if I’m skipping it on autopilot, there’s usually a reason, like I’m just not ready to deal with it at the moment. Usually I’m getting enough from the rest that I just allow myself to skip…or at least now I do. Before I’d push then be frustrated.

id feel like a circus monkey if my T was asking what yours is. He was just suggesting the light with the paddles. How are you supposed to tap and skip and spell and do anything with a memory? He was only suggesting the light as a way to keep me grounded in the room because I’d have my eyes open. For me I do the paddles with my eyes closed because with my adhd I struggle to focus already, by closing my eyes it eliminates the squirrels.

you also mentioned not following memories but that is the protocol. You follow what comes up. Granted that can be a terrible flood of memories. However it can also be incredibly helpful.
Thank you! Yes I started with paddles and the headphones because I have vertigo issues and have a hard time following the light bar. I actually liked the paddle and headphones. I think she added more because I was struggling before.

Following what comes up. I struggle with contol lol. My T said the same thing. Let whatever come up and go with it. I fund that hard 😆. I'm learning.

Thanks for sharing! It helps to know others experiences. I may need to just tell my T if I don't like these new things. I'm not good at speaking up. I'll see how today's session goes.
 
I think this "distraction" method can be very helpful. And yes, it may feel more annoying/ frustrating than "diving in" to the memory you're trying to process, but I'd try to stick with it for a while, or if you find it's too difficult right now, to try it again in a few weeks/ months. I think by not "flooding" your brain with the memory so much, different levels of your consciousness/ different regions of the brain can better get involved in processing the memory in a more subtle and complex way. So even if it feels weird, my recommendation would be to open minded about it and see if it might help in an unexpected way.
 
I think this "distraction" method can be very helpful. And yes, it may feel more annoying/ frustrating than "diving in" to the memory you're trying to process, but I'd try to stick with it for a while, or if you find it's too difficult right now, to try it again in a few weeks/ months. I think by not "flooding" your brain with the memory so much, different levels of your consciousness/ different regions of the brain can better get involved in processing the memory in a more subtle and complex way. So even if it feels weird, my recommendation would be to open minded about it and see if it might help in an unexpected way.
This is how T explained it too pretty much so I'm going with it for now. I m willing to go with it as I did feel " better" after. It feels crazy and weird but...so is all of this I guess. Thanks for your input! It helps!
 
I was just thinking too that if your T's suggestions for how to keep your brain busy (spelling words, etc) feel particularly frustrating, maybe you can think of some similar ways that are better suited to you - like humming a song tune? That would be a way of adapting it to suit you better, without saying "no" to it completely...?
 
I was just thinking too that if your T's suggestions for how to keep your brain busy (spelling words, etc) feel particularly frustrating, maybe you can think of some similar ways that are better suited to you - like humming a song tune? That would be a way of adapting it to suit you better, without saying "no" to it completely...?
Good thought!
 
We were taught in school that EMDR was ‘discovered’ after Madame Shapiro saw such marked improvement in her trauma clients she conducted therapy with whilst walking in the woods… compared to clients she saw in office settings… EMDR being the end result of attempting to distill WHY walking in the woods worked so well, with bilateral stimulation being the core component. But? Any complex organic process has a lot of moving parts.

In the early days of EMDR? It was actually quite dangerous.

That hasn’t been the case for a long time.

Even modernly, however, certain types of trauma & other issues? Are SUPPOSED to only be handled by therapists who’ve gone through several levels of advanced training.

Personally? I prefer a walk in the woods.

But? Emulating other aspects, aside from bilateral stimulation, is a very valid process. I reeeeeally wouldn’t want to be an undertrained therapist’s Guinea Pig attempting to find those working aspects (which is part of what made EMDR dangerous decades ago). But if they’ve been through ALL of the advanced training (not just EMDR I or II, but the specialized adv courses after the second level)? So these are all highly vetted additions? That would be a different matter.
 
We were taught in school that EMDR was ‘discovered’ after Madame Shapiro saw such marked improvement in her trauma clients she conducted therapy with whilst walking in the woods… compared to clients she saw in office settings… EMDR being the end result of attempting to distill WHY walking in the woods worked so well, with bilateral stimulation being the core component. But? Any complex organic process has a lot of moving parts.

In the early days of EMDR? It was actually quite dangerous.

That hasn’t been the case for a long time.

Even modernly, however, certain types of trauma & other issues? Are SUPPOSED to only be handled by therapists who’ve gone through several levels of advanced training.

Personally? I prefer a walk in the woods.

But? Emulating other aspects, aside from bilateral stimulation, is a very valid process. I reeeeeally wouldn’t want to be an undertrained therapist’s Guinea Pig attempting to find those working aspects (which is part of what made EMDR dangerous decades ago). But if they’ve been through ALL of the advanced training (not just EMDR I or II, but the specialized adv courses after the second level)? So these are all highly vetted additions? That would be a different matter.
I admit I did feel a little like a guinea pig, but I also don't know my what her training level is. I should ask her.

That said, in today's session I actually felt the movement and distraction were helpful. I got through a very hard memory for the first time. I'm not sure I'd have made it through that without the distraction to " lighten" the intensity. We aren't done with this one but i definitely felt improvement.
 
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