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EMDR - May 28th 2016, 07:53 PM

I'm starting EMDR soon. Has anyone ever done it and what were your results? What was it like etc. I'm really scared to start because of all the memories I have of abuse. I hope some of you have had this type of therapy.

Thanks!
   
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Re: EMDR - May 28th 2016, 09:59 PM

Hey

Honestly I found it really hard so I stopped it after a few seconds. I also found it. A bit awkward too but I might be trying it again soon. However different things work for different people and this may be something which really helps you so it may well be worth the try but I think you have to be in a some what stable position to start this therapy.

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Re: EMDR - May 28th 2016, 11:42 PM

ahh thank you so much Jessie!
   
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Re: EMDR - May 30th 2016, 02:37 PM

As a recently retired psychologist, I used EMDR therapy as my primary psychotherapy treatment and I've also personally had EMDR therapy for anxiety, panic, grief, and “small t” trauma. As a client, EMDR worked extremely well and also really fast. As an EMDR therapist, and in my (now retired) role as a facilitator who trained other therapists in EMDR therapy (certified by the EMDR International Association and trained by the EMDR Institute, both of which I strongly recommend in an EMDR therapist) I have used EMDR therapy successfully with panic disorders, PTSD (acute and chronic), anxiety, depression, grief, body image, phobias, distressing memories, bad dreams, and many other problems. It's a very gentle method with no significant "down-side" so that in the hands of a professional EMDR therapist, there should be no freak-outs or worsening of day-to-day functioning.

One of the initial EMDR therapy phases (Phase 2) involves preparing for memory processing or desensitization (memory processing or desensitization - phases 3-6 - is often what is referred to as "EMDR" which is actually an 8-phase method of psychotherapy). In this phase resources are "front-loaded" so that you have a "floor" or "container" to help with processing the really hard stuff, as well as creating strategies if you're triggered in everyday life. Ailurophile, it sounds like you didn't get enough of this phase "under your belt" before beginning the processing phase!! In Phase 2 you learn a lot of great coping strategies and self-soothing techniques which you can use during EMDR processing or anytime you feel the need.

In phase 2 you learn how to access a “Safe or Calm Place” which you can use at ANY TIME during EMDR processing (or on your own) if it feels scary, or too emotional, too intense. One of the key assets of EMDR therapy is that YOU, the client, are in control NOW, even though you weren’t in the past, during traumatic events. You NEVER need re-live an experience or go into great detail, ever! You NEVER need to go through the entire memory. YOU can decide to keep the lights (or the alternating sounds and/or tactile pulsars, or the waving hand, or any method of bilateral stimulation that feels okay to you) going, or stop them, whichever helps titrate – measure and adjust the balance or “dose“ of the processing. During EMDR processing there are regular “breaks” and you can control when and how many but the therapist should be stopping the bilateral stimulation every 25-50 passes of the lights to ask you to take a deep breath and say just a bit of what you’re noticing, anything different, any changes. The breaks help keep a “foot in the present” while you’re processing the past. Again, and I can’t say this enough, YOU ARE IN CHARGE so YOU can make the process tolerable. And your therapist should be experienced in the EMDR therapy techniques that help make it the gentlest and safest way to detoxify bad life experiences and build resources.

Grounding exercises are essential. You can use some of the techniques in Dr. Shapiro's new book "Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR." Dr. Shapiro is the founder/creator of EMDR but all the proceeds from the book go to two charities: the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program and the EMDR Research Foundation). The book is an easy read, helps you understand what's "pushing" your feelings and behavior, helps you connect the dots from past experiences to current life. Also gives lots of really helpful ways that are used during EMDR therapy to calm disturbing thoughts and feelings.

I can't say enough good things about EMDR therapy. It's changed my life both as a person/consumer, and as a therapist. It has been so satisfying to have someone come in for help and then to witness them get through their issues and finish therapy relatively quickly (compared to regular talk therapy, it's like night and day). I am both humbled by and grateful for this wonderful method that heals suffering.
   
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Re: EMDR - May 30th 2016, 02:56 PM

Pattijane, thank you so much for commenting. I really found your post helpful. Now I'm not as afraid to take on this new challenge. I'll definitely check out that book you recommended.

Thanks again!
   
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Re: EMDR - June 1st 2016, 12:31 AM

I didn't get a chance to completely read through these responses, so hopefully I don't sound repetitive.

I have done EMDR a few times, but I had to stop because I was not ready for it. I found it to be too intense and I am currently working on skills that will help me keep safe enough to go through EMDR. From experience I know that it can be very exhausting, especially in the beginning. I suggest doing it when you have some time to rest and pay more attention to self-care. Definitely look into some skills to help you keep grounded, and some skills you can use to avoid self-destructive behaviors.


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