Follow the Chasing Lights

If you’ve been playing the home game, or happened to listen to or read the transcript from the episode of “Doing the Work with Jay and Becca” that I had the wonderful opportunity to join as a guest, you know that for several weeks now, I have been engaging in EMDR therapy.

You also know that I had an unusually rough session a few weeks ago, because I’ve said so, or, because you’ve noticed that I haven’t been around as much lately on the WordPress since then, or, because you’re reading this sentence right now. However you’ve come to know, here we are.

And because I promised, via several media, to take you along on my therapy trip, we’ve come to the time in our programming where I shall do just that.

What happened, and, you should take this with a grain of salt, because you only get my side of the story, was that there was a failure to communicate. There was a failure on my part to emphasize my complete lack of desire to engage in any and all forms of talk therapy or other emotion-mediation techniques other than the actual light-bar therapy. I know that, for me, talking about my triggers does not make them hurt any less. So a few weeks ago, that lack of clarity on Dr. Walt’s part and the lack of the ability for me to articulate that I was not interested in what was being offered during that particular session attributed to me leaving in tears, uncertain as to whether or not I would return.

I did return.

I sent a lengthy email, in which I outlined my expectations for therapy — the main one being that even though I didn’t expect to necessarily part from therapy any better than I came in, I definitely expected to not leave any worse off.

So, I returned two weeks ago, and we got right down to the blinking light business. It went much more smoothly than I had expected, mostly because I had spent part of the previous two weeks in a flaming ball of rage. It went smoothly, and I returned, again, this week.

This week, it also went smoothly. I mean, I looked at the chasing lights, and focused mostly on the things on which I was supposed to focus. Like many of you, I’m sure, I have a hard time focusing on difficult content either completely or for the requested duration. All of us have unintentional thoughts float across our minds as we are trying to think about other things.

At any rate, we came to an impasse.

Focusing on the lights while recalling the painful scene did not result in the expected reduction of ickiness.

That means that now Dr. Walt has some homework: he can confer with colleagues and consult academia.

Maybe EMDR is not as helpful for people with on-going trauma. Maybe it would have been more helpful if I had tried it five, ten, or even fifteen years ago. Maybe there are other protocols we can try. Or maybe it’s just not applicable to someone in my particular situation at all.

To Be Determined. And, To Be Continued.

As always, I welcome your thoughtful comments and questions.

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