So, this is going to be a more personal post. I'm trying to be more transparent with how I feel and my personal struggles/journey. Also, I'm a huge proponent of therapy so I thought, "hey, maybe if I share my journey more people will be open to it."
Anyways, here we go!
Currently, I see a therapist, who we'll call Sarah (for confidentiality purposes) who does (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing on me. What is it exactly? Well, to not bore you with the technical terminology, I'll put it into laymen terms. Here's how my sessions work:
1. I sit in a chair and she sits closely in front of me. Cliche, right?
2. I'm supposed to think of an event that was upsetting to me and think of how it makes/made me feel.
3. Then I sit straight up (no crossing of arms or legs) and Sarah then moves her fingers horizontally for about 15-20 seconds.
4. ONLY my eyes are supposed to follow her fingers AND I'm supposed to hold onto the event and feeling associated with it during this time.
5. When the time is up, I take a deep breathe in and exhale. As one should when breathing.
6. Then Sarah asks me to tell her how I feel, any images I saw and how upsetting the "event" is now on a scale of 1-10.
7. Also, I'm supposed to mention any physical pain that I feel. For me, it's usually in my head, chest or shoulders. One time though, I felt it everywhere and that session was the hardest but most rewarding in the end. It was a turning point for me.
8. Anyways, then we rinse and repeat step 2-7 using the same event.
9. Depending on how traumatic the event is, we can do this for 10 minutes to 60.
10. After the entire session is complete she'll ask me again how upsetting the event is now on a scale of 1-10.
11. Before I leave she'll tell me to watch out for any noticeable changes. This could be my reaction to something, a dream, a thought, etc. It's difficult to pinpoint but sometimes there are strong moments that stand out.
When I leave my therapy appointments I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. A few times this has carried over into the next day. But never longer than that. Here's what's absolutely amazing about EMDR, it literally rewires your brain. On top of that, it works.
I'm not going to go into detail about my deep rooted issues but here's what I will say: There have been moments in my childhood and adult life that have been traumatic and these events have formed the way I cope with life. Up until EMDR, my coping mechanisms were not healthy. But now, I can literally notice a different in the way I handle things and my thought process during them. It's remarkable. My coping mechanisms have completely changed which sounds almost impossible. But that's the beauty of EMDR, it works fast and well if done right. My rebound rate from a stress induced moment is almost immediate now which is a ginormous improvement for me.
Okay, well that's enough personal talk for awhile. I suggest doing your own research to find out more about it but if not, hopefully my journey (which is still going by the way) was interesting enough for you. I'm really proud of my progress (something I've never been able to say) and wanted to share it with you all in hopes it might help you too if you need it. Not implying that everyone needs to go to therapy ha-ha but you get the gist.