It is claimed that bad, unwanted memories are erased from memory with the EMDR technique, which is familiar from the movie ‘Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind’. We look at the experiences of someone who has experienced this.
EMDR is an interesting therapy technique. It is performed by stimulating traumatic clients’ right and left lobes of their brains by sound or vibration or both. I would like to share my personal experience, especially since there has been a great deal of interest in the subject recently.
I wanted to try this method because I had quite a lot of traumas about my childhood and adolescence. After a month with my therapist, I decided to apply this method. Before I started, I was very excited and worried about what was written on the internet, but I saw that there was nothing to fear during the process. The distress and sadness I experienced during the process was no worse than my traumas involving my life and upsetting all my human relationships.
Anyway, let’s come to the process
Together with my therapist, we have listed the memories that cause trauma and the feelings that these memories have created in me. After rating the intensity of these feelings, we started out from the moment we thought it most affected me. We remembered this memory by closing my eyes at the beginning of each EMDR session. After 15-20 seconds of remembering the moment, I was warned with my eyes closed for about 1-1.5-2 minutes. After these 1.5 minutes of being silent, I explained the things that came to my mind for 20 seconds. Then I closed my eyes again and was warned again for 1.5 minutes. EMDR proceeds in this way in the form of 1.5 minutes of arousal and then 20 seconds of talking about what these arousals remind you of. During these recalls, many things that are relevant, irrelevant, useful, useless come to your mind. My sessions were very productive since I had plenty of memories and feelings and I had more and more control over the therapy process. But since I was very resistant to my traumas, I was able to improve after about 6-7 EMDR sessions. The process was a bit slow for an impatient person like me and I thought seriously to leave it. But even though I have come a long way until now, I say ‘I am glad I did not leave’ At the end of about 6-7 EMDR sessions, I noticed that the most important stage of the moment we used when starting therapy was deleted. Although I worked hard, I could not remember that scene clearly and talked to my therapist about it. He also mentioned that EMDR could create a blur in memories.
Therapy is a rather slow process in general
It is not easy to heal the wounds of a big life that lived in 20-25-30-40 years. Therefore, waiting to make great advances in a short time remains as utopias away from reality. Others mentioned that they made serious progress at the end of the first 1-2 sessions. That’s why I had a little disappointment with this expectation. Let us warn friends waiting for miracles; miracle does not happen. Those sad events have occurred, and the past cannot be changed unfortunately. The things that therapy can do; Being able to change your perspective of the past, to remind the events that cause trauma to you as a result of the wrong coding of your brain, to enable your brain to code these memories in a healthy way and to decrease your sensitivity to the events. When these happen, you become a more mature person who can leave the past and look into the future. This change of perspective can completely change one’s life.
I hate to cry with people, and it was very difficult for me to cry even with my therapist. But I got saliva snot from all of my EMDR sessions. I was fooled. I was crushed under the weight of what I lived. We have dealt with my entire life and I have seen that things are even worse than I thought. There was another world that I missed, and we touched them one by one. I was very tired in this process. I was sad, cried, frayed, felt helpless, lost hope, and so much more. The process is ongoing now, even I am counting down the road. I became a more fragile, calmer, more aware and more unhappy person than I started the therapy. But I know very well that this awareness will turn into my favor in the long run. So, I will continue and I hope everything will get better.
If I give the last advice
- It will be a bit like a personal development book introduction article, but excuse – do not go through this process alone. Have someone around you who loves and supports you. Tell those people what kind of a process you have entered and what will happen in this process. May they welcome you and be with you. Feel free to state that you need support.
- If you do not have such support, try not to be alone. Be sure to mention that you have no one to support your therapist.
- Continue the therapy very regularly. No excuse should cause problems in therapy and disruption of that discipline.
- Do not expect miracles from therapy and know that the results will be seen in the long term. Don’t lose hope.
- And of course, work with the right person in this process. Research the person who will be your therapist very well and feel free to spend money on this. Nothing is more precious than your mental and mental health.
- Love your therapist and keep communication with him intact. Share what goes through your mind and heart with your therapist honestly. And try hard in this process. Nobody can transform your life with a magic touch after you try.
- I was unstable against EMDR. He pretended to solve problems, but did he really solve it or put it on the shelf, I’m not sure. This method probably has a different effect on everyone. If the person causing your trauma is still alive, it is a separate problem, if he is dead, another problem. The pain is still not completely gone. Those who are very curious can try a few sessions.