EMDR stands for eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is a technique that helps one to release overwhelmingly bad feelings that are attached to memories. It consists of moving one’s finger to the right and left before the eyes and tracking the movement with the eyes. If this is done while one is allowing the bad feeling into one’s awareness, the feeling quickly dissipates, leaving only the facts of the memory without any feelings attached to it.
Bilateral tapping is another way to release bad feelings, and is done by alternately tapping the right and left sides of the body with one’s fingers–tapping one’s knees, upper arms or shoulders.
I do not recommend going to a therapist for this, because besides charging a lot of money for something you can do yourself, their job is to fix your ego, not to help you get rid of it. Without intending to, doctors and therapists can keep you unwell by encouraging you to believe that the body and mind are real things which have power over you. This video shows you how easy it is to do EMDR and bilateral tapping:
EMDR/Bilateral tapping protocol
I have included the protocol here in case people were curious to know what it is. Assigning numbers to feelings may help the therapist to document the result; you however don’t need to see a number to know when a terrible feeling is gone forever. I think that you are much more capable than a therapist will give you credit for!
Choose a traumatic memory (see below for the definition of a memory).
State how you feel, e.g., “I am a horrible person”; or “I am going to die.”
State the opposite, e.g., “I am a good person”; or “I am all right.”
On a scale of 1 – 7 rate how true the positive statement is. If “I am a good person” does not feel true, it’s a low number.
On a scale of 1 – 10 rate your level of distress. “I feel terrible” is a high number.
Bring up the event or memory and begin moving your fingers back and forth and tracking them with your eyes.
In the alternative, alternately tap your knees. Another tapping method is to cross your arms and lightly tap the front of your shoulders with your fingers. Tapping can be fast or slow.
What a memory is:
• A negative memory is rarely an accurate recollection of what actually happened. Every time we remember something we edit it in some way, and what we put back into storage is never exactly what we retrieved. Memory is constructed, rather than fixed; it is an edited and re-edited recording, rather than the original one.
• A negative memory is a negative memory whether we actually remember it or not. You know those family stories you hear about yourself so many times that in the end you really do not know if you do remember it or you have just stored a version you imagined from hearing about it? That can still count It’s what is in your head that matters.
• A negative memory can be something that did not even happen to you. Sometimes we imagine things that we hear about or see on television so vividly that it gets to be stored in our head almost as if it was our own experience. And it can have jsut as much influence on us.
• A negative memory is sometimes a composite. If something happened over and over, especially when we were children, we might find it hard to know what is an actual historic negative memory and what isa composite of a number of them. But it really does not matter. What counts is what we have stored in our heads, not what actually happened.