Thread: Disbeliefs?
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Unread August 19th, 2006, 12:29 PM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Posts: 207
Default Re: Disbeliefs?

Lets discuss three possibilities: 1) advertently distorting (lying), 2) inadvertently distorting (misperceiving) and 3) truthful sudden recall.

1) Lying. It is always possible to lie. But anytime someone is surprised by their own response, it appears to rule out lying. A liar is not surprised to hear him/herself lie, since it was deliberate.

2) Misperceiving. Inadvertent distorting or misperceiving, misrecalling is possible in any human cognitive function and EMDR is no different. Unless we have DNA evidence or videotapes its hard to know whether, for example, a memory is true.

3) Truthful recall. EMDR is an associative process. When we turn attention to a matter and add bilateral stim, there seems to be increased associations generated. It is clinical very very common for people to recall events with more vividness during EMDR. We try not to get too worked up about it, and often the particulars don't matter. Just like when you are traveling on a train, watching the scenery, you may see something that surprises you, and you're not sure you really saw it, but then its gone, and the train moves on, so you let it go.

However, sometimes what comes up in EMDR is very important. If it is just a wisp of a thought, maybe the client just lets it go. If however it is associated with additional channels of information, such as smells, sounds, colors, tastes or body sensations in addition to a picture, it is hard to ignore. The more channels of info their are, the more compelling a person will find it. If it suddenly explains lots of things -- such as the origin of symptoms, or why something has been difficult all ones life, well then we pretty much have to deal with it for symptom reduction.

In general, I encourage my clients to just sit with it, suspending judgement, and notice. Sometimes we do an experiment. See how life goes for one week if the observation were assumed to be untrue, and another week try to see how life goes if the observation were assumed to be true. If symptoms increase with one view of reality and decrease with another view of reality, then the client can choose based on which view makes life go better.

Very often, the decision of whether to accept a snippet of information as true is made difficult by the fact that accepting the snippet may require "demoting" a parent or other significant person from a pedestal. This may seem daunting, but may be necessary in some cases. Not all, surely.

Finally, if all that comes up during EMDR that is disconcerting is to hear oneself say something that is surprising, or feels slightly outside oneself, well, that might mean an ego state is being integrated by the work. Ego states sometimes get dissociated out of necessity (even in people without a formal dissociative disorder) and EMDR, being associative, pulls that ego state back into awareness and integration.

Don't know if any of this applies to you tho!
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