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TOPIC: Not so funny at the time but....

Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #96

  • scotty
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Wouldn't call it funny as such but it was an unusual situation that was Aphantasia related.

After a car crash a number of years ago where I was stuck in the car for quite a while with a crowd of onlookers gawping at me I found it quite difficult to be in certain crowded situations so I was referred to a psychologist to fix me.

He set out on a tried and tested, cognitive therapy which involved me 'visualising' the event and him waving his finger from left to right which is supposed to be quite a successful treatment.
As I could not visualise the event and being unaware of Aphantasia back then I could not tell him this and the therapy was doomed before it began.

He'd wave his finger and ask me how I felt.

Psychologist: "How do you feel now?"
Me: "The same"

More finger waving.

Psychologist: "How do you feel now?"
Me: "The same"

This went on for some time and each time I could see the guy getting more and more frustrated until his frustration seemed to develop into anger and I'm sure his arm must have started to ache by now.

Psychologist: "Mr Jackson. This is a successful method that is PROVEN to work and you should be feeling better!"
Me: "I'm sorry but I don't feel any different."
Psychologist: "I'm sorry but I feel I can do nothing more for you."
He escorted me to the door and I actually heard it slam behind me.

I felt pretty confused by the experience and almost like a fraud.
Looking back I now realise the poor guy was on a non starter and I actually feel sorry for him.
Being a "Psychology Professional" he wouldn't have understood Aphantasia as it goes against everything he was taught in mind school.

I'm sure the guy had a bit of a FFS moment that day. :P
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #99

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This is why more research is needed into this area. Current methods could be a completely ineffective treatment for us, as you discovered.

As my blog post said, this is the beginning of an interesting journey of discovery.
If you need anything just Send me a Private Message

Please don't be afraid, Make a Suggestion to Improve Our Community
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #100

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Poor bugger, I work closely with some academics, and the one thing I consistently warn about is "specialization myopia", this tendency to put everything into a simple black and white perspective. There is a type of bias related to perceiving oneself as being objective, that is countered by simply realizing we are not completely objective all the time, nor can we be, it is something to aspire too, but when professionals forget they will fall short, well they tend to get pretty blustery.

On a similar not so funny, but interesting in retrospect...I am glad I cannot visualize some things, I have seen real harm, real trauma, folks convulsing, a suicide, etc. And I grateful I don't have to relive those events, but that is a trade off, I would wish to remember my daughters first smile or laugh. But, that is what external memory storage is for...go video!
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #112

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Reminds me of that old Candid Camera trick when a guy rolls into a garage in his car and the mechanic lifts his bonnet to find no engine. :)

On another note. I wonder if we ought to wear one of those medical bracelets a bit like diabetics or epileptics?

It could say: "In case of medical emergency. Do not perform visualisation techniques." :dry:
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #118

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scotty wrote:
I wonder if we ought to wear one of those medical bracelets a bit like diabetics or epileptics?

It could say: "In case of medical emergency. Do not perform visualisation techniques." :dry:

HAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!
So funny :)

I was hypnotised a few times by this guy for study skills and one of the images he had me 'visualise' was a filing cabinet full of files that I could put memories in and find at ease. I was like "what the literal actual fuck are you on about you clown" but sat there nodding my head with eyes closed feeling weird.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #145

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I was successfully hypnotized once...but there was no visualization aspect to it, it was a tactile sensation and I could clearly see it was not real, but at the same time part of me went along with it, I suppose I managed to suspend belief just long enough for it to work...just not super effectively.


I do like that medical bracelet thing Scotty, was a very solid chuckle there.
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #152

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Nathan Buzby wrote:
I was successfully hypnotized once...but there was no visualization aspect to it, it was a tactile sensation and I could clearly see it was not real, but at the same time part of me went along with it, I suppose I managed to suspend belief just long enough for it to work...just not super effectively.

I have been hypnotized successfully before but the visual shite with the filing of images I was like OK BYE.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #154

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Same reason I avoid meditation, even though evidence points it could help me in regards to the very high level of pain I feel everyday. It is just not a strategy that is ever going to work on me, and the simple use of that strategy often results in me becoming agitated, which at that point has completely defeated the purpose of the original activity. Hopefully it won't take too long for this to be recognized more by professionals, and then they can begin to use alternate methods with far better clinical results.
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #221

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The finger thing is to make you look from left to right while visualising a traumatic event and it's less hypnotism and more of a cognitive therapy.
Some use a track of lights similar to the thing on front of Kit (the car) in Knight Rider.
Not sure how it works but the eye movement is supposed break down the anxiety we feel when we re-paly an event in our mind which was something I didn't do.
For me it was situations and environments that used to trigger anxiety like being hemmed in at a busy supermarket checkout.

@Nathan

I found meditation VERY frustrating at first as many use visualisation and I'd get stuck at that point.
The technique I use is Mindfulness Of Breathing.
You simply focus on your breathing more and more until you can let go of that and you are left with an empty mind which is something non-imagers have an advantage with.
I too have a constant inner monologue, what is called "Monkey Mind" to the point when I'm concentrating intensely, I sometimes verbalise it.
I find it a huge help and not only for the moment, the calm lasts a long time after the actual meditation practice.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #277

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now would love the bracelette
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #969

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7 or 8 years ago (maybe a couple more, I'm not very good with time, generally), my buddy and I were biking in the mountains about 50 miles north of our homes here in SoCal. As we sped down the winding trail through the trees, we came upon a dip in the trail, which l successfully negotiated, but which my friend did not, quite. As I watched, he wheeled into the dip, flew up the other side and descended to terra firma, unfortunately with his front wheel somewhat askew.

If you have even a rudimentary grasp of physics and bicycle navigation, you can likely surmise what transpired from his rather awkward landing; yes, he crashed very convincingly. At the time, of course, we didn't realize it, but it's entirely probable he suffered a concussion, as he impacted on his shoulder and his helmet almost simultaneously.

The funny part was that once we all loaded up in the car for the trip home, he began to ask us, my stepson and l, what had happened; and he continued to ask us that question almost the entire way home, even though each time he asked we answered him in graphic detail. "So, what exactly happened back there?" "Uuuhhh, you were flying down the trail and came to this dip...." A few minutes pass and, "So, what exactly happened?" "Well, you were going like a bat outta hell...", etc., etc.

He never did experience total recall of the incident and to this day l kid him about it, like "Hey, you remember that time we went to Mt. Pinos and you crashed?"
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by bikersurfer. Reason: correcting autocorrect
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #970

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Hilarious, Scotty! I love it.
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by bikersurfer. Reason: clarification
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 2 months ago #976

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Bikesurfer, that is pretty common after a concussion, and I too would be hard pressed not to have a bit of fun at his expense.

Ok, speaking of funny but not funny moments, I think I will have to place a version of a tale in the adult topic forums sometime today about my "coffee and a drive" story, it is really funny in retrospect, but horrible at the time.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 1 month ago #1744

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As a child at school I was not at all successful in Art. The Art teacher exasperatated with my failure to put anything on paper said: "Boy, just close your eyes; think of a nice scene then put it down."
Obediently, I closed my eyes and after some time fell asleep. Poised precarioiusly on an art room stool I fell off, much to the amusement of my fellow pupils and much to the annoyance of the teacher.
Unfortunately, this was still when corporal punishment was common in Scottish schools and I was duly punished for 'insolence and disruptive behaviour'.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 1 month ago #1765

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That sucks that you had such a crappy counseling experience. The psychologist was doing EMDR with you. Unfortunately for you, your counselor wasn't trained all that well, or at least didn't know other methods in a few areas. I'll explain them just in case it helps someone else when they go in for counseling sometime....

1. I let my clients pick between eye movements (what you were doing), auditory tones (headphones with sound back and forth), or tapping (me tapping them on one side of the knee then the other knee or by giving them buzzers designed to do the same thing in their hands. *Personally, I hate the eye movements. I don't know if it doesn't work on me but I hate it so I never made it far when a practice client.

2. There are LOTS of ways as you know pull up our memory of situations and events without using visual imagery. The key is listening to the client when going through the intro (before #1) with what they saw, heard, smelled, tasted, felt on their body, and what emotions they felt. Also, what negative belief they have about themself. With that information - and knowing what areas they might lack, you can help them through the correct steps in the process to heal. *I have no visual memory and struggle or lack in other areas and it worked great with me. I went from a "9" no way I'm white water rafting again after almost dying to going again the next season after EMDR. May not have been my smartest choice but EMDR will bring you back to your prior functioning, and for me I wasn't scared prior to the bad incident. :)

Hope that helps a bit for someone sometime. Let me know if you have questions about EMDR, I'm happy to help.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 2 years 1 month ago #1768

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Thanks @KM. :)

That's really interesting as I'd only ever caught part of a TV programme about EMDR and had a very thin understanding of what he was up to.

It must have been frustrating for the guy as I didn't know anything about 'non-imaging' back then and I guess the same went for him.
I spent my time confused as to why I couldn't place myself in the situation mentally and he got more and more wound up.
I think he thought as I'd been sent by my insurance company, I was some sort of compensation scammer.

I was diagnosed with PTSD at the time and it wasn't the thought of the crash and being trapped in the car that bothered me, it was certain situations.
One was supermarket checkouts.
The feeling of being funnelled down a gap with other people being 'too close' and not being able to get out used to make me very anxious.

I can imagine what it would have looked liked taking the guy shopping with me and him waving his finger at me while I packed my shopping. ;)
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Not so funny at the time but.... 1 year 7 months ago #2867

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KM wrote:
That sucks that you had such a crappy counseling experience. The psychologist was doing EMDR with you. Unfortunately for you, your counselor wasn't trained all that well, or at least didn't know other methods in a few areas. I'll explain them just in case it helps someone else when they go in for counseling sometime....

Yep! I'm completely aphantasic, but EMDR does very strange things to me. It definitely 'works', but it works in a very different way than it does on most people. My counselor said she not only had never had a patient like me, she'd never even HEARD of anyone like me!

I use both auditory tones and the hand-buzzers. I prefer a frequency much higher than most people can even tolerate. And of course I don't try to visualize the scene, I just try to remember the event in my usual way - telling myself the story of it.

EMDR makes me see things. Colors, to be precise - wispy sheets of color like the Northern Lights, along with dark, vague shapes. The colors swirl around, and sometimes also form vague shapes.

When I'm done processing a memory, I usually see peaceful waves of green light. Sometimes those waves seem to shape themselves into a woman's arm.

I'm told that a certain percentage of people get colors, but she asked around at a conference and nobody had ever heard of the colors having any sort of meaning, like being 'done' like the green does for me.

A few times since, in deep meditation, I've had those sheets of color spontaneously reappear. But I can't summon them up at will.

Also, different frequencies 'clear out' different memories for me, which I'm told is unheard of. I start up at 30 or higher (I don't know what units are in use - it can't possibly be Hertz - but most people like to be around 20 or below apparently) spend some time there, then have her turn it down to 29, then 28, then 27, and so on. I can very much tell the difference between those frequencies, which blows my counselor's mind.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 1 year 6 months ago #3110

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I was really glad to find this forum and read about your experience. I am in grad school, one that teachers EMDR and I have been wondering about how it would work on someone with aphantasia. Fact of the matter is there are a ton of interventions that require visualization (which I am 100% incapable of doing). I'm going to find out more about it, but from what I know there is absolutely no research on EMDR and aphantasia. One of my professors did say that often you can get people to draw what happened to them switching back and forth between their left hand and their right (so you could try that with a more open minded practitioner) and it it activates the same brain mechanism as EMDR would but again, I think that's something he's figured out by himself without research, because when I googled EMDR and aohantasia, it brought me here!
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Not so funny at the time but.... 1 year 5 months ago #3257

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Ooooo sorry about the bad time. Even just yesterday when I was in a counselling session she said "Imagine your thoughts as passing cars around you. Watch them go and new ones come by..." I just burst out laughing. I could not for the life of me imagine it. She got really pissed off with me. I didn't mean to laugh but when you just explained to her just minutes before that I can't picture anything in my head. She just scoffed and said 'bull'.

Personally I feel that in sessions that you really just talk about stress, anxiety or the like (don't know if you mentioned why you were there. If you did, sorry.) but for anything that isn't something like major depression, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, etc you need someone who thinks like you or has been through it before. KM's idea look amazing and I would try and find someone if you need to continue with this that is willing to do something like that.
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Not so funny at the time but.... 1 year 5 months ago #3269

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I know exactly how you feel!!
I went to a psychologist for night terrors and cutting, she tried the same exact method and I just thought she was nuts. I wonder what she thought of her inability to help...
I found other ways to cure my problems on my own a few years later

Thank you so much for sharing, explains why it didn't work at all
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