One of the most frequently asked questions during EMDR sessions is "Am I Doing It Right?". In this post I would like to offer reassurance and clarify expectations around "what is supposed to happen" during EMDR processing.
The short answer is - there is no wrong way to process a memory or a painful experience. There is also no one particular way in which the processing happens for everyone. Your experience is your experience, and that it OK.
However, since EMDR is quite different from traditional talk therapy, it requires an adjustment in our expectations. The idea behind EMDR is that it activates and accelerates new learning on a neurological level. The main requirement for this process to happen is to trust your brain to do the processing, which can mean stepping back and letting go.
During the processing phase (when we use bilateral stimulation, such as eye moments, to target a memory) you can feel that the memory is close, or more distant. Other memories often emerge, that are likely to be connected to the same neural network. There may be sets where you are more aware of the feelings in your body, there may be sets where you are more aware of your thoughts. Whatever is coming up, I will help guide you through it, and support you in your learning style.