Wednesday, November 16, 2011


That odd looking acronym above is actually a specialized form of therapy. In particular, it's designed for those who have PTSD or incidents of trauma in their lives. My first session was today and over the course of 90 minutes, the psychologist and I covered quite a bit of ground. I've noted most of the details multiple times, so that in itself was not especially out of the ordinary. I rattle off psychological jargon and past events like some people talk about books they like or where they want to go for a vacation. Psychologists appreciate how uninhibited I am, though I should add that regular sorts of people have not. Which is why I'm going through EMDR.

Sometimes, with certain childhood memories, I feel like I'm describing someone else's life. The analogy I draw goes like this. Rock musicians have often stated that, with time, playing a huge hit in concert feels a bit like performing a cover. Once your calling card has become that well-known, the artist gives up ownership, passing along that ownership to the audience. For me, prior methods and modalities of addressing the same core issues have failed. Now it's time for something very different.

In the meantime, I'm cautioned to avoid emotionally loaded and unstable situations. Should I currently be in a dysfunctional environment, EMDR would not be recommended. The process runs the risk of being triggering and uncomfortable, though I will first learn relaxation techniques, should I ever find myself in a situation that is too distressing. The EMDR lingo for this is the concept of "safe place". I'm optimistic, but also a little nervous. Should I start to have panic attacks in the shower, for example, I know I'll need to decrease the sensitivity of treatment. However, I am willing to take my chances if it means other aspects of my health will be improved.

Mainly, I'm tired of being anxious, fearful, and hypersensitive. I routinely project my own phobias onto other people, seeing enemies where there are none and desires to harm me that do not exist. This is clearly a result of childhood trauma, and one I hope the most will be positively affected. I may always be a little socially awkward and shy, but those qualities are tolerable. It's the side effects that are out of the ordinary, as described above, that I would go to any lengths to put aside forever.

The video below might better illustrate the technique.

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