Why Do I Feel Weird After EMDR?

Unravelling the Post-EMDR Experience

If you’ve ever felt a sense of strangeness or unease following an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy session, know you’re not alone. It is common to feel a bit weird after EMDR therapy. As an EMDR practitioner, I’m here to demystify this phenomenon and provide insights to help you navigate these post-session feelings.

young girl deep in thought

The Power of EMDR:

EMDR is an effective therapeutic approach designed to address specific distressing memories while simultaneously employing bilateral stimulation (BLS). This stimulation can take various forms, such as eye movements, alternating hand movements, or auditory sounds. Research has shown that EMDR helps the brain reprocess traumatic memories, reducing their emotional impact and facilitating healing.

Why the Post-EMDR Weirdness? Here’s Why:

  1. Processing Unresolved Emotions:

EMDR delves into your emotional experiences, connecting with intense feelings that may have been suppressed. The subsequent emotional release can leave you feeling vulnerable, resulting in that “weird” sensation. Rest assured, this is a sign that the therapy is working, enabling you to confront and release these pent-up emotions.

  1. Stirring Up Memories:

Revisiting distressing memories during EMDR can lead to vivid images, sensations, and emotions. It’s completely natural to feel a bit unsettled as these memories resurface. Consider it a temporary turbulence on your way to a calmer emotional state.

  1. Shifting Perspectives:

EMDR has the remarkable ability to reshape your perspective on traumatic events. This may lead to cognitive dissonance as you begin viewing these memories in a new light. It’s akin to rearranging the pieces of a puzzle; things might initially feel chaotic before they start to make sense.

  1. Processing Dreams and Thoughts:

EMDR’s impact extends to your dream patterns and thought processes. You might experience more intense dreams or find your mind revisiting the therapy session during waking hours. This heightened cognitive activity can contribute to that “weird” feeling.

  1. Integration:

EMDR triggers a reorganisation of your thoughts and emotions, necessitating time to integrate fully. After a session, your mind diligently works to make sense of the new insights and emotional releases, contributing to the sense of weirdness.

The Healing Process

Feeling weird post-EMDR session is a crucial part of the healing process. It signifies internal change and active engagement with your emotions, memories, and the therapeutic journey. This discomfort is an indicator of positive changes underway, even if it feels unfamiliar now.


Navigating the Journey

As you continue your EMDR therapy, prioritise self-care. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your therapist if needed. Give yourself the necessary time and space to process these experiences. With time, you’ll likely find the “weird” feeling diminishing, paving the way for relief, clarity, and emotional balance. Trust the process; healing is a transformative journey, often marked by initially unfamiliar moments that eventually lead to positive change.

By understanding the reasons behind the post-EMDR “weirdness,” you’re better equipped to embrace the healing journey, acknowledging that these feelings are a natural part of the process.

If you would like help with navigating your journey using EMDR please contact Dr Kaur and her team today here.

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Dr Gurpreet Kaur, Chartered Clinical Psychologist & EMDR Practitioner

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