First EMDR session… my brain feels numb and I had some wild thoughts in that session. Is this normal? UPDATED

Yes, very normal.

I always try come down on the side of what's going to be best for me. Sometimes that's resting. Sometimes that's going out and doing things. Sometimes I have no idea and I only figure out whether it was the right choice afterwards.

This is an opportunity to try to build a healthier life for and relationship with yourself. Be kind to yourself.


it is normal for me.
so is the relief i find in gently nudging myself past the petulance and getting on with my day. emphasis on "gentle." self-abuse doesn't seem to be any more helpful than abuse from others. i especially like turning my compost pile on these days. not only does it get me moving and connecting with nature, it often inspires potential uses for the BS which put me in therapy in the first place. my garden loves the BS.


Normal after every session, in my experience.

I usually blank the whole day for trauma therapy, and don’t work (or schedule anything, for that matter) the next. I MAY do things? But I don’t count on it.

It’s often referred to as a “therapy hangover”.


I've been doing EMDR for a little while now. Though I have weekly appointments with my T we do not do EMDR every week, though I think he'd like to. I'm incredibly good at avoiding it in any way despite knowing it will help me. I'm terrified of the thoughts and feelings it brings up so, like a child, I avoid however I can. Childish, know.
Anyway, for what it's worth, I'm always afraid that I'm doing it incorrectly though that may come from my constant fear that I can't do anything well enough. But as my mind jumps around to different things, I'm almost afraid to mention them when he asks me "what came up?" because they seem to have NOTHING to do with the situation I'm trying to focus on in the moment. Like you, random things come up and just don't know what to make of them so I assume that like everything else, I can't seem to accomplish this correctly either (insert eyeroll). My T has assured me that 1. what seem like random things WILL pop up. It's simply part of what the brain does during EMDR. and 2: What seems random usually isn't. It's connected......somehow, even if you can't see how yet. And then tells me that like dreams and REM sleep, not everything HAS to be literal. Some things could certainly be symbolic in a way because its touching not just events, but how you FEEL.
As for the numbness: I find I'm pretty darn numb after intense sessions. I feel incredibly "out of sorts" so to speak for the rest of the day. And for 24 hours after that I'm an absolute emotional mess. Feelings just spouting out everywhere. I sometimes wonder if the numbness is just a part of shock from feeling the things I've tried so hard NOT to feel for so long. And then for a day or so it's like someone opened a faucet that has been corroded for years and now there's just icky stuff pouring out of it.
I don't know if that helps you but I hope it does. I DO believe EMDR can help me. But its definitely a treatment that produces unexpected feelings in it's aftermath.


The first thing I learned about EMDR is, you never know what you get after sessions. Like others said, I don't plan to do anything because hangover can hit on the way out of the office or hours later or who knows.

What comes up after is in the "who the hell knows" category. Thoughts, memories, feelings, all kinds of stuff comes afterward. Be prepared and keep your T's phone number handy....


Yep, hangover, like walking zombie out to the truck, at first. Better later as i kind of knew my way back through the fog, what I call following the trail of breadcrumbs, a reference to Hansle and Gretle, who ironically lost that trail back through the woods when the birds in the woods ate them, right?
When you open up to exposing all of the little tendrils between memories you never know where things are going to go, that’s on the therapist. Getting back? I think that’s on us, but it gets easier. Just leave a trail of breadcrumbs.


for me?

EMDR is brutal.
Just. Brutal.
Think of it like your brain running a marathon.

If you do it long enough you will get into habits that will help, but it takes a while to figure it out. For now? It's all about self care. It's ok to just take a day off and let your brain rest - kind of like you would let your body rest after running a marathon

But - keep your T updated on how you are feeling afterwards - because she can tweak things to help it be less overwhelming.

And remember.... it's brutal but it's totally worth it!
The first time things click its just.... amazing. freeing. happy.
It's why I'm still doing it - because the pay off is worth the pain


But - keep your T updated on how you are feeling afterwards - because she can tweak things to help it be less overwhelming.
Yes yes yes yes.......

Reprocessing can be variable too and while you are fine one moment you are overloaded the next....tough to deal with at times....just learn to breath and do grounding as easily as breathing....