What can you expect from a session? A case study
David was a 40-year-old man who began to have flashbacks to a traumatic event in the past. Whilst he had been at university, he had been assaulted by a man who attacked him when he was withdrawing money from an ATM.
David tried to put the incident behind him but he did start to binge eat and gained 10 pounds during the next year at university. He noticed through the years that he became startled when he heard footsteps behind him or when he heard sudden noises.
EMDR was recommended for the flashbacks that began to trouble him. David’s ‘target symptom’ was the assault. David re-experienced the shock and terror of the assault, reliving the scene in his mind and body. Then he let it go as if he were on a train watching the event become smaller and smaller until it disappeared from memory. Finally it was gone and in the past.
The next memory that came up during the processing was when he was a small child in the hospital having his tonsils removed. He felt safe with his mother beside him, but then the nurses wheeled him away to the operating room. He remembered screaming and feeling suffocated when they held him down and the doctor put a black ether mask over his face. As he relived the memory, he relaxed his breathing and felt in control of it. Then he let this memory go, too.
In both instances, David had believed that he was helpless. Through EMDR, his negative belief that he was helpless, changed to “I can take care of myself.”
I just wanted to thank you for all your help. I really feel like I’m getting better and starting to become the person who I really am.
I appreciated the flexible approach to therapy which was tailored to my needs. Richard was good at remembering what I had said in previous sessions. I found his questions intelligent and thought-provoking!
I found the whole experience incredibly useful and I feel I’ve moved on massively in a relatively short space of time. I feel like a different person to how I felt when I walked into therapy! The main thing for me was being equipped with the tools to deal with anxiety and realise that I can deal with it! I would thoroughly recommend it.