You’ve heard about EMDR. Perhaps you’ve had someone close tell you about their experience of EMDR sessions. But you wonder “What is an EMDR session like?”
In this article, I’ll describe to you the typical flow of EMDR sessions.
Your First EMDR Session
The first time we meet, I will do my best to help you feel comfortable talking about personal things. I’l ask you questions to help me learn about you. We’ll talk about your history and your goals. We’ll come up with a plan about how to work together in such a way as to get you the best result.
I’ll guide our conversation so that together we can establish what we call “EMDR targets”. This means we’ll decide what we will focus our attention on. These targets are usually memories, personal issues, beliefs or sensations.
I’ll help you come up with an image of a “Safe place” or comforting and calming image. From time to time, we’ll return to this image. We will add in gentle, rhythmic eye movements, or sounds using a wand or a light bar. In EMDR, this is called Bi lateral stimulation (BLS). The BLS will help your brain and your nervous system strengthen it’s ability to feel calm and comfortable.
Throughout the EMDR session, I’ll ask you to direct your attention to certain thoughts, images, feelings or body reactions. While you do this, you will also focus on the alternating lights or sound. This will help to unlock your brain’s own innate ability to heal.
Your Subsequent EMDR sessions.
At the beginning of the next EMDR session, I’ll ask you for an update. I’ll be curious to know how the previous session sat with you. I’ll ask if you have noticed any changes in yourself since the last EMDR session. Then we will return to the previous weeks target and do some further assessment on it to see if there is more therapeutic work to do, or if processing that target is complete.
If you would like to learn more about my work as an EMDR therapist, and how EMDR sessions might help you, click here