As we’ve been doing EMDR at most every session with our therapist now, I’d like to talk a little bit about aftercare and care during the session. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself and your system.
While doing EMDR, you should internally be close to someone you are comfortable with. We usually do it with our protectors, so I (Cloud) did my session today with Squall. Kiddos should be tucked in and taken care of away from you unless they are the ones doing the EMDR then they should be rallied behind and kept comfortable with someone co-fronting.
Make sure you’re therapist and you have it out in the open that you can take a break if needed. Don’t try to push yourself with this, take your time. You can always look away, or drop the buzzies if you’re using those. You are in control while doing this.
Afterwards, you may get very sleepy or really energized. I’ve had both reactions. You may dissociate completely or you may feel too hyper aware. Be sure to leave time to sit and breathe with your therapist and collect yourself.
Once home, taking it easy on yourself is best. Try not to have any big appointments or other hard stuff going on if you’re doing EMDR in a session. Take the chance to do something relaxing, like taking a bath or reading a nice book. Switching to a part who is less traumatized can also be good to get through the day.
I always find it nice to hold a system meeting either at night or the next day to try and collect everyone and make sure you’re all doing okay.
Always check in with you’re system before, during, and after EMDR. Working together on healing is great, but you don’t want to be re-traumatizing anyone either.