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  #1  
Unread June 29th, 2005, 08:13 AM
daisy7 daisy7 is offline
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Default therapist thinks it's done

Hi,

Just wondering if you can give some general comments about this experience. In my session yesterday, my therapist said that he thinks EMDR may be finished for me (after 2 sessions). He said that there is either nothing left there to work on or I am looping. I asked why he thought there may be nothing left there and he said because after last session no additional memories surfaced, and/or I didn't have any kind of abbreaction. I am concerned that he is giving up too soon. I did ask him to try to see if I am looping and when we went to a certain memory, alot of emotions came up. However, I am concerned because last night after the session, I did not have any reaction, no additions to memories surfaced and I didn't feel upset at all...just tired. I am certain that this will mean he will want to stop the EMDR now.

So my question is...does the fact that a person has no additional memories surface after a session OR has no reaction mean that the EMDR sessions should stop?

Thank you
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  #2  
Unread June 29th, 2005, 11:02 AM
dmuldawer dmuldawer is offline
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Default Re: therapist thinks it's done

Hi Daisy. I'm not a therapist, just another explorer like yourself. It seems that certain memories resurface over and over, no matter what the target statement is. So I asked my therapist why this one particular memory kept coming back, and it actually turned out that I needed to treat myself better in this particular area because every time I attacked myself mentally, it essentially recreated the original memory.

Does your therapist mean to leave off EMDR forever or just to take a break to integrate the new knowledge? I often go four-five sessions between EMDR.

Diane
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  #3  
Unread June 29th, 2005, 12:19 PM
daisy7 daisy7 is offline
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Default Re: therapist thinks it's done

Hi Diane,

Thanks for the response...we actually have the same name
I got the impression that the therapist meant to end EMDR forever. I am not feeling that much better so I really want to continue because I have hope that this will help me. I am not sure how to relate to what your therapist said to you. My memories are of physical abuse from my father and of my mother leaving us. I think that I must actually be looping rather than finished because as soon as the T used a slightly different approach(ie. asking me questions about the event) I felt alot of emotion. In any case, have you noticed a difference in how you feel since beginning the EMDR?
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  #4  
Unread June 29th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Location: Bainbridge Island WA
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Default Re: therapist thinks it's done

By no means should the emergence or non-emergence of new (apparent) memories say anything at all about whether to use EMDR. In fact, we don't couple apparent emerging memories to EMDR at all, because to do so invited trouble, by inviting the client to think that anything that comes to mind during EMDR is a memory. EMDR should not be viewed as a memory retrieval method, though occasionally some people do seem to access new material.

And the presence or absence of an abreaction also should not be coupled with the decision to do EMDR or not. Abreactions may or may not occur, a person may or may not be upset.

The decision of whether to do EMDR turns on the presence or absence of symptoms that may benefit from reduction via EMDR, or the presence or absence of memories of experience that had a maladaptive learning outcome. Those can be big T or little t traumas, the latter being those small hurtful events that no one would call a true Trauma but that affected the client's life in a big way.

An experienced EMDR therapist can use EMDR for big or little t traumas to address symptoms that disturb the client. Not all symptoms are addressable with EMDR, but those that came from events with disturbing outcomes can be targeted.

Many people benefit from processing with EMDR disturbing memories about key relationships, including Mother, Father, sibs, exes, etc.

Summary: its not about strong reactions to emerging memories. its about getting shifts in beliefs developed during life experiences that may have been very or only a little disturbing at the time.
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  #5  
Unread June 29th, 2005, 07:58 PM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Default Re: therapist thinks it's done

EMDR decisions aren't to be made on whether 1) new memories are emerging or 2) the intensity of response -- abreactions aren't required. EMDR decisions should be made based on progress against symptoms, life going better and targeted material no longer being disturbing.

If a cognitive interweave activates emotions, thats clear evidence that there is something left to process.

EMDR shouldn't be used for memory retrieval, which is fraught with hazards.
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