mardi 18 août 2015

EMDR Therapy

My psychologist started me on this form of therapy called EMDR. I had never heard of it before the psychologist I was seeing in Austin mentioned it to me. Because of the organized nature of the therapy, and the focus on remembering past traumas, I was actually nervous about it. When the psychologist I am seeing now in LA brought it up, I experienced the same reluctance. He was a little bit more insistent though, and so I agreed to try it out. This is the first time that I have encountered a form of therapy that reminded me so much of Scientology that it made me afraid to even think about doing it.

First he started by asking me about my traumatic past, and we talked about some of the things I experienced in the Sea Org and before. I kept having to remind myself that this isn't Scientology, this isn't a sec check, this isn't Dianetics. Despite many, many similarities. He asked me for a specific memory that seemed to encapsulate the whole of the traumatic experience in the Sea Org and then asked me some questions about it. He did a quick subjective, number-based assessment of how the memory affected me in various ways, and asked me in what part of my body I was experiencing sensations related to the disturbance. It was all so Scientology-esque that I was terrified of what I was walking in to.

Then we did the actual therapy. It consists of about 45 minutes of watching a ball bounce back and forth on a screen and focusing on memories of the traumatic experience. My doctor explained to me that there is a specific series of steps in the brain that each memory travels through in order to be properly imprinted. When a memory is being recorded amidst a traumatic experience, that memory skips the normal channels and is recorded in such a way that it negatively affects a person. I am telling you the deeper I got into it, the more afraid I was that I was walking into a Scientology session.

I kept all that fear at bay and I sat down in the chair to watch the ball bounce across the computer screen. Shockingly, it has helped a lot to relieve the negative emotions I have been holding on to around my experience in Scientology. In fact it has helped me deal with my father specifically, and the hateful emotions I have had attached to my memories of him. It helped me to more clearly remember parts of my life that I closed the book on long ago because I couldn't deal.

The therapy is absolutely fascinating. It is unfortunate that Hubbard mimicked the ideas in his own demented way, but I am glad that I was able to set aside my apprehension and engage in the therapy. It has done more for me in the last 3 or 4 sessions than auditing ever did. When I am done, I don't feel like I was in a trance, or like I am waking up from a dream. There's no commands that the therapist gives me. I just watch the ball and let my mind wander through my traumatic experiences.

What do you think about this?

Has anyone else ever tried this therapy before?

Quote:

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that EMDR facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced. During EMDR therapy the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation are often used (Shapiro, 1991). Shapiro (1995, 2001) hypothesizes that EMDR facilitates the accessing of the traumatic memory network, so that information processing is enhanced, with new associations forged between the traumatic memory and more adaptive memories or information. These new associations are thought to result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of cognitive insights. EMDR therapy uses a three pronged protocol: (1) the past events that have laid the groundwork for dysfunction are processed, forging new associative links with adaptive information; (2) the current circumstances that elicit distress are targeted, and internal and external triggers are desensitized; (3) imaginal templates of future events are incorporated, to assist the client in acquiring the skills needed for adaptive functioning.
EMDR Therapy

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