Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. Perhaps a friend or relative told you that they experienced dramatic improvements in their mental health because of this approach to therapy. Or maybe you’ve struggled with talk therapy in the past. Now, you’re interested in trying something new.
Yet you’re questioning if EMDR is worth pursuing because you don’t have clear memories of your trauma. You may not have any real recollections of traumatic events that occurred in your life because they happened when you were so young. Alternatively, you might have done your best to suppress these memories.
You don’t know if you’ll be able to recollect all the details in therapy. Thankfully, possessing detailed memories of your trauma is not a prerequisite for attending EMDR therapy. Here’s why EMDR can benefit you, regardless of the strength of your memories.
EMDR Differs from Talk Therapy
It’s important to note that EMDR differs from talk therapy. This is why bringing every detail of your trauma to your therapist is simply not important. Yes, you’ll benefit from being able to describe the traumas you want to address.
But you do not have to divulge concrete details of every traumatic event in EMDR therapy. This form of therapy is centered around releasing tension in your body and enabling you to process your trauma without reliving those difficult memories again.
“Forgetting” Can Be a Protective Mechanism
Your EMDR therapist will be prepared for the possibility that you haven’t held on to clear memories of your trauma. That’s because many people try to “block out” their traumatic memories as a way of protecting themselves.
It can be easier to function in your daily life if you suppress these memories, so you become practiced at pushing these memories toward the back of your mind and avoid dwelling on them. Eventually, the specific details can become quite blurry. Your therapist has likely worked with multiple clients who have dealt with the same issue, and they’ll be equipped with the right strategies to guide you through therapy.
Your Body Might Remember Your Trauma
As you work through EMDR therapy, certain physical sensations might bring up memories of past trauma. This does not have to be emotionally destabilizing, and it does not mean you will be re-traumatized. Your therapist will be ready to support you through this experience if unexpected memories crop up without warning.
You May Recall Forgotten Events Through Therapy
Although EMDR and talk therapy are not one and the same, you’ll have the chance to talk to your therapist about what you hope to accomplish through your sessions. As you share your goals with them, you’ll reflect on your life and what prompted you to seek therapy. While you talk about your hopes for the future, you might be surprised by how much you’re able to remember from your past.
Is EMDR the Right Fit for You?
You might still be unsure about the benefits of EMDR for addressing your trauma. It’s normal to feel a bit apprehensive about pursuing EMDR when you may not even be sure of which forms of trauma you hope to address.
However, if you have questions or concerns, it never hurts to get in touch with a therapist and simply ask how they approach EMDR for clients with foggy memories of their own trauma. Their answers will likely put your mind at ease!
Are you curious about whether or not EMDR therapy is right for you? A therapist can help you find out. Reach out to us to learn more about our EMDR therapy services.