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EMDR Therapy: Phase 1 Demonstration

– Welcome, Jamie. – Thank you, Jamie. – So, thank you so much
for coming in today, and I’m gonna jump right
in and do some history. And then, after the
history, we’ll flow into really getting you prepared
for doing the work, but it’s first good for me
to have some background, and a little bit of an idea of what it is you’d like to work on. So, I know a little bit
about your backstory already, but for the purposes of
EMDR, I’d like to get an idea about what is it
specifically you would like to work on with me, during this session. – I’ve been having some difficulty
with gaining wait, food. – Okay. And the nice thing with the EMDR is you can tell me really as much, or as little as you want to. As I ask you these
questions, and even as we go through later points of the procedure. Just for the point of clarification, to get us a little
deeper into the history, anything specific you’re willing
to share with me right now about your difficulties with food? And maybe specifics of
what you’ve noticed, or how do you think it
may be helped by the EMDR? – Well currently, there’s
not as much of an urge to eat the food, it’s
more lack of planning. Too tired, so I might just grab
whatever is there, or easy. And those aren’t always
the healthiest choices. They tend to be more of the carbs. So, some of it can be
comfort eating, at times. – Okay. In a few minutes here, I’ll
ask you a few more questions for us to delve more into
the themes behind that, but before we get into
that, I’d actually like to spend some focus on
some of the positives that you have coming in here. So, the words that we like to use a lot, sometimes interchangeably, are words like strengths,
assets, resources. Basically, the things that are good, that you’ve got goin’ on in
the service of your recovery. So, even as I’m asking the question now, what is coming up for you as things that are resources for you? – I have some good friends. – Okay. – I would say also, some
of my family members are supportive to the
best of their ability. And their intention is to be
supportive, even though it doesn’t always necessarily seem that way from sometimes when they verbalize, but I believe their intention
is to be supportive. Too, more of a spirituality. – Can you tell me a little
bit about your spirituality? No right, or wrong answers. I just like to hear what it means for you. – Well, it continues to evolve. That there is, wait a sec. I haven’t needed to put this to words. – It’s okay. – That there’s something larger than me. I believe it’s a positive
entity, not punitive. Again, it’s difficult to put in words. Is that enough to give you a– – That’s enough, yeah. So, something we work
with a bit in the EMDR are things like added visualizations, breath, body type mediations. Have you had any experience
with those types of practices? – Guided imagery, especially a disengaging breath to disengage the fight, flight, or freeze. Just deep breathing at
times, because I realize I still go through periods where I hold my breath frequently. Magical safe place is very helpful for me. – Great, so as part of the preparation, that’s great what you gave me there, I’m gonna have you show
me the disengaging breath that works well for you, and then we’ll do your
magical safe place together. So, the specific issue
here that we’re wanting to work on is the difficulty with food. What do you think, Jamie, are
some of the themes at play? As they relate to some
of your issues with food, or seeking comfort food. – I think a lot of it, cognitively, I can tie-in going back to my childhood. Overall, our family ate
for all sorts of reasons, it wasn’t just for nourishment. Whether we were happy, sad, bored, tired. Issues, too, with deprivation at times, and so almost anywhere
I go, I always take my, always something with
me, because on some level there’s still a concern
that I wouldn’t have food. – Okay. – Does that make sense? – It makes a lot of sense. So, what’s your goal here? What, ideally, would be your goal in targeting some of
these issues around food? What would you like to see
be different in your life? – Being able to, hard choices, I guess
when you get down to it, planning ahead better so that I have more appropriate, healthier foods for me. Because initially, the carbs for instance, are comforting, feel good, taste good, but then if I OD on them, I start to feel sick. The weight goes on quickly. Is this making sense? – Yeah. – And am I answering your question? Okay, sometimes I get off. – It’s actually, it gives
me enough to work on here for us to clarify this down to a more specific incident or memory that we’ll target with the EMDR. So, I’m gonna go ahead
into the next couple pages that we do here for our history, to just help us get at a
little more specificity. So, in terms of theme,
I’ve heard you mention the phrase, a couple
times now, comfort food, or comfort eating, and would it be fair, and correct me if I’m wrong, would it be fair to say that seeking comfort has
been a theme, for you? – Yeah, that would be
accurate, I would say. – Okay. – In different ways. – And I’m also hearing, in terms of theme, as you share with me
some of the backstory, issues around deprivation,
not having enough. So, this is what I mean by theme. Things like seeking comfort, deprivation, are there any other themes
that are popping up for you? That you may identify as related too. – Safety. – Safety. Okay, so let’s look at
all three of those here, and again, this is not necessarily meaning we’re gonna tackle all of these, especially at once, with the EMDR therapy, but it’ll help us
collaboratively figure out where we both want to start this deeper trouble work, I guess. Okay, so Jamie, what I’m gonna have you do is take a peek at this
negative cognitions list, negative beliefs, things we
may believe about ourselves. And as it relates to the
theme of seeking comfort, is there a negative cognition, or a series of negative cognitions that are resonating for you around that? – How many would you like? – I’m gonna give you the pen. – (chuckles) Mark them? – Yeah, go ahead and check off just anything at your gut level that seems to be coming up
connected to seeking comfort. Okay. I want to let you know you
know, you did a very good job of keeping your breath
flowing as you did that. Cause I noticed that some
distress came up for you, even as you were looking at the list. All right, so you have
quite a few checked off. So, as it relates to seeking comfort, I’m gonna have you go back
and look at your list, and can you either rank,
like one, two, three, or circle for me which ones
seem to be the most resonant, or the ones that we sometimes say have the biggest charge
connected to seeking comfort? – These are close, the first three? It’s kind of close. – Okay, so I am in danger, I am trapped, and I am not important. So, since you have a good bit of the list checked off anyway, I’m just gonna go through
the other two themes. So, the next theme is deprivation. So, how about you look at the list, would you say it’s the
same three cognitions connected to deprivation,
or are there others that have more charge around
the theme of deprivation? – Most of them are
pretty well intertwined. – Pretty well intertwined,
same with safety? Okay. Okay Jamie, so the three cognitions we’re gonna do some questioning around are I am in danger, I am trapped, and I am not important. So, because we’re doing a little bit more of a specific EMDR type of focus to our work around your issues with food, and not necessarily working on the whole of your childhood trauma, although we know inevitable connections may come up. So, looking at a question
like I am in danger. Generally, I would ask, thinking back over the course of your whole life, when’s the first time
you starting believing, “I am in danger?” But to make it a little more specific, I may ask, as it relates to food, can you float back over the course of your whole life, when did you first seem to start believing, “I am in danger?” – I feel like a feeling. I’m young. I think five. I am wedged under the basement stairs, and I’m cold and cramped,
but my dad hasn’t found me, so I’m not gonna move. And I think the cold and cramped, kind of think, is more… I’m more aware of that,
but I think I’m hungry too. – Yeah. – And it’s nighttime, not that I would, I know that, but the
basement had no windows, but I know that it’s nighttime. – Sounds definitely
like not uncomfortable, or it’s not comfortable. – Comfortable. – Yeah, so I can see connections there. All right, so we don’t have
to go into this just yet, this is kind of getting an overview, so thank you for giving
me the generalness. Is there a worst memory
connected to I am in danger, or would it be about that same
time in your life, as well? – This one seems a bit later. I’m seven. I’m in the box. He said I was bad. And at some big structure, and they left. I’ve been there a long time, and I’m hungry, and I don’t think they’re coming back, and there’s no way for me to get out. – So, let me ask you this, Jamie, with I am trapped does it feel like that floats
back to that similar memory? – To being in the box? – Yeah. – Because under the stairs,
I can eventually move. But I think Dad has fallen asleep. But I cannot get out of the box on my own, they have to unlock it. – Take a breath. (exhales heavily) And then I am not important, which is the third belief you gave me. I’m gonna ask you to float that back. Was it a similar memory,
or is there another one that’s coming up as an early, or a worst, connected
to I am not important? – It feels like this
happened at various times. I’m not being able to vocalize it for lack of a better term. – It’s okay. – It happened at various times where Dad would stop the men because they were
damaging the merchandise. So, I wasn’t important,
I was the merchandise. – Can you take one of your
releasing breathes for me, that you told me about, with that? (exhales heavily) (exhales heavily) So, of these past memories
that you told me about, and I thank you for being transparent, and willing to share them, even at this early junction in our work. Which one, and in your felt sense, and knowing what you know about yourself, would you think we would
most need to work on to help you start targeting
your issues around food? Specifically your goal of making better, healthier choices for yourself, particularly when you’re
eating to seek comfort. – What’s coming up is the box. – The box. – There’s less control. – And let me ask you, Jamie,
is that feeling like something you’d be willing to work on in our work? Or do you feel there’s
another more recent memory around the themes of comfort,
deprivation, or safety that may feel like it’s a little more of a better entry point, because with EMDR we always have these choices to take you way back to the past, which
is the most ideal, of course. Cause that’s where we
believe a lot of this starts, but we never want you to feel like you have to tackle something you may not quite be ready to handle right away, even though it might be related. So, that’s why we always
ask this question, is there a more recent memory around, let’s say, seeking comfort,
and I am in danger, that may be coming up for you? – The more recent memories, there’s not as much charge to them. – Okay. – So, I think we’d
probably make more progress if we go with the box. – I am game, if you are game.


  1. German Caballero
    German Caballero August 23, 2017

    Very interesting procedure and process. A sensible case study.

  2. Orchard Valley Counselling Services Kelowna & Area
    Orchard Valley Counselling Services Kelowna & Area October 30, 2018

    Where can someone get this cognitive list

  3. James Upton
    James Upton December 25, 2018

    I get the causes can be different but still, modeling a smoking hypnotist? How is this a sensible case study?

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