headspace | emdr: patient’s perspective [part one]

As part of me recording my journey to recovery, I’ll write down how the sessions go for my Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. There will be some things that I prefer not to disclose, but I promise that I’ll try to jot down as much as I can so you peeps who are searching around for this therapy can get some insight on how it goes (or at least I hope it helps! 😅).



Art from Andertoons.com.


So far I had two sessions with the psychiatrist (he’s very cool guys, but don’t tell him that ☝🏻😝). During the earlier sessions, the psychiatrist took my history. Oh! I don’t remember if I mentioned this before, I decided to look for a new psychiatrist since I don’t feel that I can click with my previous one.


As a medical student, I can’t stress enough about this. Find yourself a good doctor whom makes you feel like you’re in a safe place. Patient-doctor relationships are vital for patient’s adherence of treatment. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, request for another doctor or, in my case, find another doctor in a new medical centre. Don’t worry about hurting the doctor’s feeling. They will understand. Patients are clients to the doctors. If the doctor can’t provide a safe place for the patients to disclose everything she/he wants, the patients have a right to find another doctor who can deliver a safe environment. This is especially important for mental health issues.



Art from Pinterest.


The thing I like about my current doctor was, during our first session, when I was trembling trying to explain (convince) him that what’s happening to me is real and I’m not faking anything. He paused me for a minute then, ask me to put down all the letters from the previous medical practitioners (GP, psychologists etc) that I was holding and he asked me about my hobbies. The question caught me off-guard as I forgot if I have any. Of course, I used to have hobbies. But now I forget how much joy those hobbies bring me and those activities somehow become very distance to me. 😕

Back story: due to some previous disturbing events that happened, I feel as if the world doesn’t believe that I have severe generalised anxiety disorder even though I was diagnosed with it. Every time I have to disclose my situation to a person of interest, I feel as if I fail to convince them that I’m not faking it. 



Art from Google.


Then we talked about my family, school, boys, politics etc. before he asked me to explain my situation to him again – this time without using any letters, just me. I felt calmer then. Still trembling, with high-pitched voice, talking (very) fast – but, calmer. 😊 Poor doctor! He had some not-so-easy time trying to calm me down while I was explaining. 😅 He then did some tests on me. At the end of the session, he recommended that I switched to a more specific medications since it was obvious that the escitalopram I was taking didn’t deliver well. And he recommended EMDR, which he would conduct himself, to sort of overwrite the awful experience that I previously went through which still scars me and triggers the anxiety attacks. He gave me a pamphlet of information about the therapy and sent me off.


*sigh* At least, I managed to drag myself to meet a therapist eh? 🎀 😅



Art from Pinterest.


So basically in this session, we discussed a new treatment plan. During the process, the therapist (psychologist/psychiatrist – whoever giving you the therapy) identifies and clarifies potential target for EMDR. Target refers to a disturbing issue, event, feeling, or memory for use as an initial focus for EMDR. Maladaptive beliefs (e.g. “I can’t trust people”, “I’m going to fail”, etc.) are also identified during the session. EMDR are traditionally used for PTSD, however, now it has been slowly recognised to have beneficial effects of GAD and other anxiety disorders.


I feel that this entry is too long. I’ll break the entry into several parts. Thanks for reading!😊




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