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#162363 - 06/19/07 06:57 PM Re: EMDR [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Thanks to all of you for asking!!

Unfortunately, the study I participated in through a hospital in NYC was never published - apparently due to some kind of statistical errors on the part of the researcher. Here's what happened: the researchers had noted that people with PTSD have demonstrably lower levels of cortisol in their bodies than those in a "control population." The researchers decided to see if EMDR would raise the cortisol levels in the test subjects with PTSD. I was one of the guinea pigs. I had EMDR once a week for (I think) it was 3 months???? and at the end of the study, yes, indeed, my cortisol levels had, in fact, increased. Almost directly at the same time, I went into pre-mature menopause at age 40. There is no one in my family with this medical condition. However, it can be correlated with adrenal fatigue (as normal women age, healthy adrenals play an increasing role in estrogen production). SO. Although I can't prove it, I have reason to believe that the way the EMDR might work is to simply get our adrenal glands to protect us the way they normally do when we are exposed to extreme threats and triggers. The way I see it, there isn't a question of "moving traumatic memories around from one area of our brain to another." It is simply that we are being stressed again by re-experiencing the terrifying memories & our poor little adrenal galnds are once again coming to our rescue the very same way they did when we were first traumatized.

That's my theory.

The doctor who treated me was a dear, though misguided, soul & at the end of the study, she hugged me with tears in her eyes & said "you are cured, My Dear! You are cured!!!"

Well, NOT.

Not at all, I am sorry to say.

Maybe others will have better experience with this technique, but I would certainly urge caution. We just don't know enough about the physiology of this awful syndrome.

Thanks so much for listening!

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#162530 - 06/20/07 08:51 PM Re: EMDR [Re: kolisha54]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Kolisha:
I don't know about the wisdom of using EMDR once a week for 3 months. The most I ever did with one person was about 8 times over a two year period. Most of the people I've done EMDR with were one or two times. Didn't need to do more.

The use of EMDR is to reduce the negative emotions and cognitions (thoughts) that are connected to the trauma. I can't imagine how severe your starting trauma could be to require 10-12 sessions in such a short time.

I wonder if they were trying more for the cortisol connection than the subjective decrease in your thoughts and feelings associated with the abuse.

You might ask them to provide the rationale and IRB (Institutional Review Board?) data to look at the proposed focus of the study and see if that's what you were getting. It might be that the study was rejected because it violated the original stated purpose and hypothesis they proposed.

Ken


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#162559 - 06/21/07 06:01 AM Re: EMDR [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Thanks, Ken, for helping me to put this in better context. It happened several years ago & (being a trauma survivor) I really don't want to go back into it to stir things up again. The key word here is "violated." Yech.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#162832 - 06/22/07 10:20 AM Re: EMDR [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
thecoopstah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 589
Loc: massachusetts
I'm not sure who i am replying to in this post regarding EMDR nor do i care or even want opinions however i'm also extremely apprehensive and bewildered and quite frankly don't give a shit about the negatives and although i'm getting all kinds of mixed opinions i'd rather hear the honesty then to "dance" around the inevidable and that is people pleasing in which i'm not one.

Coopstah

_________________________
" You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have "

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#162834 - 06/22/07 10:25 AM Re: EMDR [Re: thecoopstah]
thecoopstah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 589
Loc: massachusetts
Is there really a need to debate and be so damn clinical about EMDR afterall i'm really not to sure what to expect or how i may or may not feel/act/re-act/.....blah blah blah.....therefore can'nt we just keep it simple.


Coop

_________________________
" You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have "

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#162944 - 06/22/07 08:24 PM Re: EMDR [Re: thecoopstah]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Coop:
The best thing is to do your own research. Google EMDR and do some research on it. I tell my clients who I think may benefit from it to check out various websites and make the decision for themselves.

If you google it, you will find more than the EMDR affiliated websites and you will get different opinions on it.

Anyone who is considering EMDR or other therapies should do some homework to be sure it is the right choice.

Ken


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#163106 - 06/24/07 10:15 AM Re: EMDR [Re: thecoopstah]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Coop,

I understand you frustration and apprehension. In the end, EMDR is no different from any other form of treatment, be it Gestalt, talk therapy, massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, etc. etc.

Your experience with the treatment will be a highly personal one, and to a large extent, the more courage you can find within yourself to be open to these treatment options the more you will get out of them. Perhaps you will discover that EMDR is not right for you, in that case you can move on to searching for another form of therapy and treatment that is better for you. Perhaps, on the other hand, you'll find that EMDR really helps, in which case all this debate, and even everything all of us have said in this thread is really of no importance, because your own experience will have becoem your guide.

In simplest terms, the EMDR can be an effective treatment in dealing with trauma. It is generally used as a supplement to other forms of therapy, usually talk. It can be a tremendously powerful experience, but that power should not be something to be feared. Whatever EMDR brings up is already inside of you. EMDR doesn't create new memories of images, it merely helps you to unlock things that you have hidden from yourself.

_________________________
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

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#211210 - 03/17/08 04:13 AM Re: EMDR [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
vda Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Canada
Hi Kolisha,

I'm renewing this thread because I think your warning needs to be heeded.

My son had a very bad experience with EMDR --he felt re-traumatized. A large part of it may be due to the fact that the therapist used it in session 2 without having given sufficient time to really get to know my son, and establish the vital trust necessary before any therapy can be effective.

But the other distressing symptoms he started to have following the EMDR session and which have persisted for weeks, is to have what he can only describe as LSD-type bad trips. He keeps have intrusive, very distressing mental images which he can't control.
He did not experience these in the first six weeks following the incident of violent sexualized abuse--they only started after the EMDR session. These images have been tormenting him . . . to the point where he nearly became suicidal.

I think that perhaps some memories, (e.g. of images from horror movies)are better to remain hidden and locked in our deep cortex, rather that brought to the frontal cortex of a severely traumatized person, who is still essentially in shock from what's happened to him.

vda


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#211373 - 03/17/08 11:41 PM Re: EMDR [Re: thecoopstah]
pufferfish Online   embarrased
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6847
Loc: USA
EMDR by one of my T's was immensely profitable.

I got the impression that they don't really understand why it works and that they were "flying in the dark" Let that alone, though. It did work for me.

My T used a plain stick about 14 inches long with a spot on the tip. He waved it back and forth as I watched the tip. He would modulate the rate of waving and the pointing of the tip depending on the progress of the session. He would guide me verbally through the session. Some might wrongfully call it hocus pocus.

When I started a session, I would focus my mind on a problem I was having, such as having a PTSD-like reaction to seeing somebody or something. Sometimes it was feeling 12 years old in a certain situation. (I had massive trauma when 12).

As the stick moved, I let my mind follow its inner direction toward the source of pain. Sometimes I had to voluntarily shut out distractions. It often seemed at first to go through something like a forest of trees which opened out into a scene in which I was being abused. The scene involved visual and emotional aspects. Most of the scenes were agonizing (hence the source of the pain). Don't let this scare you off however. I had to face this to get help. After the T backed me out of the session, I was henceforth free of that particular aweful blackhole like feeling that I had a lot.

The next session we would go on to another problem as I usually felt relieved of these problems session by session. The improvement was real.

Especially the earlier sessions left me feeling like I had a root canal or something. Very bad memories were faced in 3-dimensions with "feely-touchy" realism. I had to take several hours after the session was over to "come down". Then the pain of the childhood trauma we faced in the session would gradually decrease through the next few days. I could feel it decrease, and I could see myself responding in a more healthy fashion to other people and my environment. This was really great!

The technique, as practiced in approximately weekly sessions for about a year. was as I said enormously succussful. I may still have to return for a few mores sessions because under some conditions I still feel 12 or experience some of the other PTSD or dissociative symptoms. I now live mostly free of most of the symptoms.

I still had low self esteem and a tendency to isolate myself. However, these symptoms started to work themselves out because I was now able to perceive myself in my environment without being chained to my childhood conceptions of who I was and what people were doing to me. In short, now I was able to learn about who I was and who other people were.

The sessions cost me a bundle but it was the best money I've ever spent.

I also see another T with whom I am able talk about anything. And that's what I do. I trust him and he in a fatherly way guides my thinking. If I did something bad I couragously tell him. Sometimes I disagree with him. Sometimes I have to be concerned about how to disagree with him without stopping his flow of good fatherly advice.

As I went along in this process, my marriage continued to heal and I was able to respond in a healthier way to my wife and to other people.

'nuff said. Feel free to ask questions if I left something out.


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#211387 - 03/18/08 12:40 AM Re: EMDR [Re: pufferfish]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1961
I did some EMDR work, and I would say for me it was positive. It did seem to have an amazing ability for me to recall some things. I would go into a session feeling not too inspired, but if I just sort of let go and work with the process, I found my mind opening up to a lot of things. I can see though, how this could be overwhelming to someone depending on the circumstance.

I do think it helped with one of the traumas I was having, which was when I awoke in the morning, it wasn't long before I was feeling like the peer who did what he did to me had his naked body against mine. It was traumatic for me, but it seemed like I couldn't shake it. Not sure if it was the EMDR, or something else, but I don't get this anymore. I still have other 'body memories', but not as bad as this was.


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