Getting "better" at EMDR asa a patient


Is it possible to get better at EMDR over time? I don't understand why but it seems that if, like my last session we start working on stuff fairly early in my appointment I start getting "hangover" sooner. This last session it was actually starting halfway through therapy and I don't know how much I got out of the last half of my appointment.

There was one other thing that went with this. My T gave me an exercise around Christmas to reset my working memory. I don't use it much as it induces a feeling like an electric shock 220v not 110v, (110/60hz tickles, 220 hurts ). I got that same feeling in my last therapy session on the first thing we worked on.

It wasn't a banner day up to the point I got to therapy either. I was having time distortion issues, working memory problems, to the point I got to therapy 40 minutes early and didn't realize it until I went to plug the parking meter.

So, can you get "better" at EMDR over time?
Is it better focus?
Or is it that my guard is down more in therapy as we go along?
Or was it just that I hit the "perfect conditions" for that session?


I don’t know if you get better, but perhaps certain areas are easier to work on than others?

Sometimes I have had what seems like magical twinkling in my body with a really successful session, and other times we’ve had to stop midway because I couldn’t tolerate it, or we’ve had to go over the same thing for several weeks.

I don’t think it’s a one size fits all solution. But. The longer I’ve had emdr (over two years now), the better I’ve got at managing my anxiety beforehand if I know we’re looking at something tricky, and I am more aware of how to look after myself after a tough appointment.


i can't speak specifically of EMDR, but my own therapy cycle is that i start every program with skepticism and the program gets easier with bit of skepticism i lay to rest. i solidly believe that initial skepticism is a healthy part of the process. it's good to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out. addressing all those bits of skepticism, openly and honestly, is a vital part of the process. just believing. . .

on a broader stroke, is there anything in life that doesn't get easier/better with practice and well-tested awareness?


EMDR has always been a series of starts and stops for me. I should be pretty stabilized and getting "good at it" but I think my daily mood, events before the session, the counselor's level of adherence to what a standard session "is", and probably the mood of the counselor and how I interpret their mood that day have huge impacts on the "good at it".
It works, but it is temperamental. In my world I would call it an intermittent mechanical problem, the hardest to track down and find fixes for. Drive you nuts.
Sure, you can set yourself up for getting results easier over time, but like a bug on a windshield, it doesn't take much to get from clean and clear to contaminated and not as good as before.


The thing that surprised me the most is that I was already a little loaded with reprocessing tasks and this one was like nothing before. But it was nothing directly to do with trauma. It's something we worked on from trauma one already and I thought it would help with trauma two but I guess there is more that is hidden than is seen about that trauma still.

Added to that is that we both (T and I) recognize that both events went on far longer than I ever thought they did. Some of what we were working on has to do with where memory "shatters" after the start of the trauma. That means there are no conscious memories or timeline - just a few fragments to deal with.

What was weird is it was so far from what has happened to this point I struggle to understand why. That and it always scares me what is going to pop up in memories before my next session.