Exercises for EMDR Tracking and Communucation

1. Tracking EMDR Results

After each EMDR session the individual should notice and list the impacts of their work. The results of EMDR are immediate. Here are some of the most commonly noticed changes from a successful EMDR session.

  1. A decrease in anxiety and an increased feeling of relaxation.
  2. A sudden decease in presenting symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD.
  3. An increase in positive beliefs about self and a decrease in negative self thoughts.
  4. An increase in the belief that the future will be good.
  5. An awareness that the targeted memory is no longer thought about or bothersome.
  6. A decrease in negative body sensations that occur during times of stress.
  7. A decrease in negative emotions that had been triggered by reminders of traumatic memory.
  8. An increased ability to problem solve in relationships.
  9. An increase in the ability to be objective about self, others, the future and the past.
  10. A feeling that a weight or heaviness has been lifted.
  11. An increase in quality sleep.

2. Imago Listening Exercise

Imago Communication is a technique developed for marital therapy with the primary goal of developing relational intimacy. Proper Imago Communication will allow for the speaker to relate current relational conflicts to childhood experiences and emotions.

Mirroring –Mirroring is simply a repeat of what was heard by the speaker.

         So you are saying…Is there more…let me make sure I have it all…

Validation –Validation is a statement that the speaker’s perspective is reasonable. Validation is not necessarily agreeing with the speaker, however.

        That makes sense because…Can you help me understand?

Empathy – Empathy is the act of putting oneself in the position of the speaker and imagining how it would feel to experience their position.

       I can imagine you feel…

3. Finding your Imago – Complete the sections A-E then refer to the sentence below.

  1. List the bad qualities of your mother and father.
  2. List the good qualities of your mother and father
  3. Complete the sentence – “What I wanted and needed most as a child was…”
  4. List good memories of your childhood and how you responded emotionally.
  5. List the disappointments of your childhood and how you responded behaviorally.

Complete the sentence below using the corresponding answers from the statements above. This sentence will give you a description of what you look for in a partner.

I am trying to find a person who is (A) to always be (B) so I can get (C) and feel (D). I stop myself from getting this sometimes by (E).

4. Cognitive Exercise

The goal of the cognitive exercise is to better understand negative thoughts and change related patterns and behaviors.

The exercise is divided into four parts. The exercise should be written.

  1. Identify a situation that causes an emotional change such as feeling anxious or depressed.
  2. List the negative self belief that accompanies the change in mood. Use the sentence “I am _______” and fill in the blank. Examples are “I am bad”, “I am worthless”, “I am not good enough”. Also write the negative emotion and body sensations that are felt from the negative emotion.
  3. List the Cognitive Rebuttal – In other words what is the self perception you want to believe. It is usually the opposite of the negative belief. Again use the frame sentence “I am_________”. Examples may be “I am good”, “I am important” or “I am ok”. After this is listed then write as evidenced by… and fill in. Such as “I am good as evidenced by my daily respect and concern for my coworkers”.
  4. Reread the positive Cognitive Rebuttal and the rational evidence for this description and then list the appropriate behavioral reaction. Follow through with the behavior.

5. Journal Exercise

The purpose of the journal exercise is to experience, track and increase awareness of emotions. This exercise helps to decrease symptoms and increases assertive communication. Journal writing should be done daily and can include any emotion from the day good or bad. Journal writing should follow very specific language. First, start with –

I feel________  because _______. For example “I feel angry because you forgot about me.”

After using this exercise for 3-4 weeks, change it to a more detailed version. Think about a specific situation and follow the suggestions below.

  1. I think…..
  2. I feel…
  3. I want…

For example “I think you are more concerned about your own schedule. I feel hurt by your inconsiderate behavior and I want you to include me in your planning.”

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