Another EMDR session

Tuesday I saw H, the therapist who is covered by my insurance. She was nice. She seemed smart. But, I chose not to make a follow-up appointment. I know I could be saving a lot of money every month but it means something to me that K tries so hard to make sure my needs are met.

When I went in for my session with K yesterday, she had moved her chair closer to the couch. She wanted me to know, I was heard when I said the table makes it feel like a huge gulf between us. She also reassured me that she was willing to do every part of the gazing exercise I suggested, even holding hands. She gave me options for what I wanted to use that session for. She said we could do the gazing. I said I wasn’t ready. I had too many butterflies in my tummy. We ended up doing some EMDR around my avoidance.

She was trying to normalize my avoidance as a protective factor. She wanted me to be able to see that there was a valid reason why I avoided. In order for us to move past the avoidance, we had to make room for it to just be, without judgement. But that was an issue for me because I do judge myself for having to avoid. It makes me feel like there is something really wrong with me, that I will never be able to overcome.

We went over the amount of avoidance I was feeling. We went over the body sensations. We went over the why of my avoidance. Then she gave me the “buzzies” and had me focus on the why. Almost immediately after she turned them on I said, “I don’t want to do this.” She respected my no and turned them off. We talked it through. I told her what was coming up for me. And she asked if I wanted to try again or if I really wanted to stop. I told her we could try again.

We just did short bursts each time. Going through each aspect of the avoidance. When we got to the end of the session she asked me again, on a scale of 1 to 10 where was my level of avoidance. I said, “I don’t know. It is at ‘I don’t care.'” She asked what that meant. I told her that my mind and my body weren’t in agreement. The body was at a 10. But my mind was at a 2. Again, she normalized that for me. She said, the brain knows that these things need to be talked through. But the body doesn’t. The body can’t recognize past from present.

That’s pretty much where we left things. K asked me if there was anything else I wanted to say before I left, to practice making space for my voice. And I told her I wish she could see through my crap, like when I say I’m fine and I’m really not. She said she does see, but I don’t know. In my mind, if she did see then why doesn’t she call me on it? Why has she let me leave in a not fine state? She said something about trusting me and taking my word. So, I guess that puts responsibility back on me to be more truthful. But if the clock is ticking and my time is almost up, I can’t make myself say I’m not okay. Because then she will want to help get me to that okay space and we will run over into someone else’s time. And that isn’t okay with me.

7 thoughts on “Another EMDR session

  1. I am impressed with how good you are at saying what you mean and talking about what you’re feeling and what you think! That’s what I want to be like someday.

    For the not wanting to run over into someone else’s time, maybe there’s a middle path, where you say that you’re not okay and you guys talk about it briefly but not a ton? I know sometimes when I get to the end of sessions with my therapist and I’m dissociating/crying, but she has someone else, she’ll ask if I can do x thing that we know has helped me in the past, and I say if I can/can’t do it, or what I can do instead, and then I go do it. Sometimes she’ll check in with me later in the day. It’s okay to take a little of other people’s time, though, especially if you’re really not okay, and it’s also the therapist’s choice whether to run over or not, so it’s not really your responsibility. This is what a former therapist told me, at least.

    I normally read your posts in my email, so I don’t normally comment, but I really like them. I think you write well in a story way that’s easy to follow, and I like the way you reason through things, and all the good things you’re doing and ways you’re speaking up for yourself are so impressive! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t think I was that good at that. Haha thank you for saying that.

      K does do the “can you agree to do x between now and next session?” The problem is… I will say yes even if I’m not feeling up to doing the things. So, I’ll just leave and keep self-destructing. I know you’re right about it not being my responsibility though. It is hard to let go of the part of me that’s learning to be a counselor.

      I’m really glad you commented. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That has definitely been my stance for a long time. Just push through. But I think forcing ourselves past things, pushing through, isn’t always healthy. Sometimes we need a break. Or, sometimes we just need to practice radical acceptance.

      Liked by 2 people

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