EMDR, Training Notes

EMDR Basic Training Weekend 1 (Part 2)

(Training notes #1)
EMDR 2By the lunch time on week 1, I was in tears thinking about how this idea explains so many “symptoms” I have seen in the last 20 years.

How so?

Think about our combat veterans. Every single incident encountered during the combat, no matter it was about being ambushed, being shot, seeing someone getting shot, or even in the chow hall waiting to get the meal, those are “life-threatening” trigger. What does that mean? It means that their physical body are aroused and it starts to trigger the cognition, emotions, physical reactions, but…….. there is no “coming down” from that arousal because the “threat” is constant and continuous for another 6 months, 9 months a year, or even longer.

So, if there is no “comfort” or “coming down” from these physical arousal or explanations to process the cognition and emotions, these “experiences” become a chain of memories categorized all together.

And, you wonder whey they come home feeling “hypervigillence.” Not only that, you wondered why “it has been years, why are you still feeling this way?” Our brain and body do not differentiate the differences of the “threat.” When the brain gets aroused, it gets aroused. It is the “after thoughts” help us differentiate the “cause” of the trigger.

This is the same as children growing up in the neglect and/or abusive home. There was no one there to explain to them their “reality” was not “real” and it is really not their fault that the adult was abusive. As they continued to rely on the adults to provide shelter and protection, it is more likely they chose to believe the caregivers can’t do no wrong and they are the one who are “wrong” to cause the abuse from the caregiver.

So, why is this simple understanding brought me tears?
(to be continued)

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2 thoughts on “EMDR Basic Training Weekend 1 (Part 2)”

  1. Because it’s sad, that’s why you felt that way. Same thing for me. I finally could see myself as the little innocent child that I was, and that it wasn’t my fault. To finally feel compassion for myself was almost like relief bc I wasn’t angry at myself anymore.
    After that, in my mind I replaced the players in my story. I put MY kids in my place and the abusers taking care of them. The anger that I felt was more like rage towards those adults. I realized that I was no different than my children…I was a kid just like are now. It wouldn’t be their fault anymore than it was mine so many years ago.
    Rearranging the players was a huge help for me to see things in a different light. How could I be so hard on myself for something I went through as a child that was beyond my control? And believe me, I’ve been HARD on myself…felt like I was a bad person. I’m still struggling with it.

    In group therapy I learned the words “I should have” do not ever apply when referring to yourself as a child. “Innocent”. That’s the word. Naive. Trusting. We’re like dogs when we’re children. Always wanting love and affection from our masters no matter how they mistreat us. That’s how it is. Period.
    Adults SHOULD always know better and they are the ones to blame. Never the child. Never ever ever ever. 😉 I’m trying to forgive myself and love myself. It’s hard. The word “should” does not belong in your mind either when you think of yourself as a child. Hang in there.

    1. HI, Tracy:
      Yes, the “should,” “could,” and “would” are the three difficult words to make peace with. It takes a lot of time and compassion towards oneself to be able to do that. I always tell my client, “forgiveness” is really not to forgive the perpetrator. It is actually let yourself off the hook of these “should,” “could,” and “would.”

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