I just returned from my usual weekly lunch-time therapy session, and thought it might be beneficial to talk about the type of therapy I am doing and what my experience has been thus far.
I have been doing EMDR therapy for the past 6 months, and today we did my first Brainspotting session (my therapist just got back from a Brainspotting seminar so we gave it a try!) I have to say that I know that I would not be in the mental and emotional state that I am in today without the help of EMDR. So what are these types of therapy?! Let me provide the basic definitions:
“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress. Below is a Brief Description of EMDR Therapy.” Find out more at the EMDR International Association HERE
“Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment, enhanced with Biolateral sound, which is deep, direct, and powerful yet focused and containing.” Find out more from David Grand, Ph.D. HERE
My Story with EMDR Therapy:
When I first started attending EMDR therapy, I was still deep within the abuse cycle from my Narcissist and he was gaslighting me hardcore. I actually started going to EMDR because I was convinced that I had a problem with anger and my emotional triggers and I thought that I needed to seek help to make myself a better wife for my Narcissist. (Note to those of you still in a Narcissistic relationship – if you frame the therapy as a way to improve yourself for them, they might actually let you go!)
So what is an EMDR session like? For me, my therapist has me put on a headphones and listen to bin-aural beats. We start with a topic that is making me feel triggered or upset, and I rate it on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most upsetting.) As I listen to the beats, I let my brain take me down whatever rabbit hole of thoughts start coming up around that topic, and I talk it out loud to my therapist. We usually end up somewhere where I have worked through the thing that was bothering me and come out in another place. I then re-rate the upsetting-ness of the topic to me. If it is still high, we go through another session with the beats and see where it takes me. Example: today I started with how I feel a lot of guilt and feel like it was my fault that my marriage failed… mostly due to all of the gaslighting that my ex did. By the time I had talked through the topic, shed some tears, and come through the other side I ended that section with the realization that I did absolutely everything I could have done to make that marriage work, and it was my ex’s crazy standards and unhealthy behavior that kept the marriage from being healthy and successful.
I have actually never done traditional therapy, but I have found EMDR to be extremely helpful in processing the things that I have been through, work through my own traumas & triggers, and be able to start the healing process. I have also found EMDR to be very beneficial in helping me work through the gaslighting and mental abuse to help me sort out reality from my Narcissist’s version of reality, and find my own inner wisdom again.
I have made tremendous strides over the past 6 months and I credit a lot of it to my EMDR sessions. I feel like I am spending my time actively processing and clearing out the traumas and not simply talking them through or feeling like a victim telling my story. I feel active in my recovery and active in my healing and it has been extremely empowering for me.
Today was my first session with Brainspotting and wowzers I was really impressed with how much stuff I worked out. I was crying, I was triggered, I was emotionally pointing out a lot of stuff… and then slowly I started to work through it all. I came out of the session a bit exhausted but feeling lighter than ever before. I am really looking forward to seeing where this goes.