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Started EMDR therapy but haven't done EMDR yet

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Lots of us here have had those experiences of denial and numbness. I know exactly what you mean that you can only feel when you see one of your friends in trouble. And lots of us struggle with admitting how we feel to our therapists. You're not alone.

You can print out your post and give it to them in your session? I know it's really hard thing to do. It's worth it to keep trying to tell them. If you fear they wouldn't take you seriously, then you start with that.

For coping skills, some people have success imagining a safe place, or if no place is safe, then a place that is "safer". It seems like a simple thing, but it can be very helpful.

Another coping skill is C.A.R.E.S.S.:
C.A.: communicate alternatively. That means don't write or talk, but express how you feel by smashing clay, or drawing with marker and crayons, or something like that.
R.E.: release endorphins. Vigorous exercise of any kind, so that your natural endorphins will kick in.
S.S.: self-soothe. Curl up in a blanket, have something yummy to eat or drink, find your favorite pet or stuffed animal.

Best wishes.
I'm scared they'll tell my parents.... If my parents find out - I... It's not worth it for me

Thank you! C.A.R.E.S.S sounds like a good coping skill.
I'm scared they'll tell my parents.... If my parents find out - I... It's not worth it for me
Your therapist can tell you exactly what they are required to tell others (which is only a very few things), and what things they won't share. You can tell your therapist that there's something important that you would like to share, but are afraid of consequences if your parents find out.
What do you mean he checks in?
He asks if I’m cutting more, less or the same. He also offers ideas for alternatives, because at the moment I don’t have a desire to stop. But if my cutting gets worse he backs off EMDR. If it lessens he likes to explore the why because he has hope that I will stop and likes to remind me he cares. Sometimes Ts don’t check in because if it’s attention seeking behavior and you give attention you’re feeding the monster. However if you’re doing it because it helps you deal with feelings then checking in helps them determine if you are in or out of your window of tolerance.
What does that mean? Everybody says in EMDR you gotta connect to your feelings, how does that go?
You do have to connect with your feelings and I am, but you know how there is the 8 box of crayons or the 16, 24….144? My ability to name and sit with my feelings is the 8 box, I’ve got happy, sad, fear, anger etc, I also have I don’t know but I don’t like it. You’re a teen who hasn’t had 40 years of not feeling. Of not connecting with your feelings but squashing them. My suggestion is to stop squashing them and deal with them because it doesn’t get easier it gets harder. That habit gets further entrenched. I know that is easier said than done, but everyday you don’t is one day harder to do it. Of you’re referring to mini me I mean in EMDR I’m dealing with memories of me as a kid so she is mini to me and as I’ve said feelings are not easy for me a lot of the feelings she feels, I don’t because in a way it happened to her not me. I probably view it this way because it is easier to deal with the memories in third person otherwise not only do I feel her feelings but I also feel the rest.

I get you don’t like the new T but still, give them a note. I cut and I’m suicidal and I’m concerned about how EMDR will affect this. Simple, no voice and then the new one can go from there. Personally at the beginning there were days I wanted to wring my Ts neck, if he asked one more time, “How does that make you feel?” I was going to quit. I stuck with him because I had very few choices for male on my insurance and I’ve grown to really like him and trust that he has my best interest.
I'm scared they'll tell my parents.... If my parents find out - I... It's not worth it for me
Are you a teen 18+ or not 18 yet? Because that will determine if they tell, however if you are that fearful of what they’ll do then maybe explore that with your T. Are they abusive or potentially so? Your T could help with that. If your old T didn’t tell why would the new one?
she didn't teach me any coping tools. Do you have some good ones?

Unfortunately I have found that individual therapists (ie ones you see weekly) don’t really help with coping skills. I say this as someone who has seen well over a dozen therapists in my life. (Maybe 2 dozen? It’s a lot!) I have gained ALL of my coping skills from inpatient treatment and day programs.

Anyway….. There are SO MANY coping skills out there. Self soothing is a big one, and a good one to start with. You do things that comfort yourself and appeal to your 5 senses. Ex, you have a really soft blanket that feels good against your skin and makes you feel calm, or a favorite food that you can eat that soothes you, or maybe a favorite scent that a perfume or candle you can burn or a diffuser scent, you listen to calming music or music that brings you comfort in some way because it’s familiar, you watch tv or movies that are calming because they are your favorites.

Learning how to do deep breathing is also a good skill to have.

Learning how to meditate can also be beneficial.

There are so many more. You can do a search here or on Google to find many more.

Just remember that many skills won’t work necessarily the first time you try them. I’ve had skills that I’ve had to work on for months and months before I really get any benefit. We live in an instant gratification kind of world which is why I stress that coping skills require practice. BUT! It’s definitely worth the effort because once you find the skill that can calm you immediately, you’ll want to cry tears of joy. (Now remembering to actually USE them when in a bad place, that’s another story and something I still struggle with.)

Edit. I’d like to add that if a therapists asks you to contract for safety ie you won’t hurt yourself or attempt suicide, do not lie. Once you break their trust, they may come down more heavy handed in the future. My therapist asks me to verbally contract that I won’t hurt myself and when I say I won’t, I mean it. If I feel the urges to harm myself AND I’m lacking impulse control (the second part is key and tells me I’m in a bad place), then I know to get more help. I’m lucky that I have a private psych hospital nearby that’s pretty decent so I can go there if I really need help. (But I’m almost 3 years hospital and day program free, woohoo!)
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