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#162199 - 06/18/07 04:23 PM EMDR
thecoopstah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 589
Loc: massachusetts
Hi again all, I am begining EMDR with my therapist next week who i have been seeing for about as year now.Anyway has anyone ever had this procedure and/or process done before.How is it asfar as releiving the stresses from your life or rather help you cope with them as a whole.Any thoughts on this or personal experiences would really mean alot.


Coopstah

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

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#162202 - 06/18/07 04:41 PM Re: EMDR [Re: thecoopstah]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6424
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Coop,

According to my T and MD, I suffer from "severe" PTSD. With that, I have very bad flashbacks (with visual, physical, smell and audio images).

They started me on EMDR right away.

It did nothing for stress...it did give me some tangible control over the Flashbacks (but not always).

I will tell you though, that the FBs got more vivid once I had the EMDR.

Rob

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#162209 - 06/18/07 05:23 PM Re: EMDR [Re: Still]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
I've been getting EMDR for the past couple of months. Like Rob - I can't say it's done anything for stress (yet?) - but I can say what little I can remember has been surfacing since I started. Nothing "vivid" - but any progress is progress.

Marc

_________________________
the story
    https://1in6.org/men/bristlecone/mark-krueger/

Kirkridge - October 2008
Alta - September 2012
Alta - September 2013

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#162212 - 06/18/07 05:40 PM Re: EMDR [Re: MarkK]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear Coop,

This is second-hand information only, so take from it what you will. My BF has been doing EMDR with his T for about a year. Or more--I forget! For him, it seems to be very effective. He almost never gives me any detailed information about what happens, but he has said that the emotional overlay associated with the trauma memories is much reduced. My observations are that the activity itself is pretty intense, since he is quite drained afterwards and it takes him a few hours/a day to process the feedback fully. However, now that he is in the routine, he knows what to expect, and he does believe that it has been really helpful. It's a useful strategy for him to use also when he has some new emotionally difficult experience (outright trauma or otherwise). From my point of view, he's far more relaxed and centered now than he was a year ago, and the progress just continues. Whether that's all because of EMDR, who knows? He's a very kinetic sort of person, so perhaps that makes a difference.
Good luck to you, whatever you pursue!

Peace,
HG

_________________________
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

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#162218 - 06/18/07 07:21 PM Re: EMDR [Re: honey girl]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Coop,

I have done EMDR on a few occasions with my T, and it has proven to be a very powerful therapy for me. That said, we have not used it very often, partly because it takes me a while to process and make use of the information and images that have coem up in those sessions.

We use it in two ways - one is actually setting up the light and doing a sort of guided meditation and exploration of whatever comes up while watching the light move; the second method is a sort of "johnny on the spot" method when I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed by something. In this latter case, he will often simply move his fingers before my eyes instead of setting up the light box.

I would caution you not to expect too much in the way of stress reduction at first, Not that EMDR (or any form of therapy, for that matter) automatically increases stress, but I have found that in my experience, I have actually experienced slightly more anxiety as my therapy has proceeded. The difference is that I am much better capable of processing and handling it without being overwhelmed or pushed to the point of depression or acting out.

Best of luck. As you know, healing isn't always easy, but it is important. EMDR can be a very effective treatment if you allow yourself to let it work. The more you can relax and let the images, thoughts, and feelings flow freely (remembering that you are in a safe place, with a T who is there to help you) the more effective your experience will be.

_________________________
"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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#162220 - 06/18/07 07:23 PM Re: EMDR [Re: honey girl]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
I have used EMDR several times, and while I can not claim it is a "magic bullet", I can say that it has helped me open up quite a bit. The only catch is that I can't remember a lot of what happened to me... so maybe the emotions are processing even if I can't recall the memories.


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#162222 - 06/18/07 08:02 PM Re: EMDR [Re: Dewey2k]
dannym Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 543
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Hey Coop.

I did EMDR about 5 years ago when I was having severe panic attacks, 5-6 a day. I was also drinking quite heavily, and, embarrassingly, went to several of the sessions loaded (I was a master of hidin, so the therapist didn't know. I was always sucking on mints because I smoked... or so I told everyone)

Anyway, EMDR is supposed to be less effective when drinking, but I got a lot of relief. The theory (and it is supported by PET scans) is that the brain activity shifts from a very deep, emotional part of the brain, to the frontal lobes.. where we can deal with it more rationally... therefore, the memories are not changed or dampended, but our ability to process them on a more intellectual level is enhanced.

I also work with kids with disabilities, including PTSD, and have seen improvments in them as well with EMDR.

There is no magic bullet - it is all hard work, but EMDR is another tool to help make the work more manageable.

Good luck! It was not scary for me - it was actually quite relaxing, but I don't know if that is everyone's experience.

Dan

Oh, there are diffent methods of delivering the stimulus.. I chose 2 discs that delivered a slight vibration... I held on in each hand. I did that becuase I am extremely tactile... I need to "do" to learn... there are also visual and auditory stimuli, so you may want to ask you therapist if he/she can offer choices that best fit how you process information.

_________________________
"You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

Marge Simpson

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#162234 - 06/18/07 09:27 PM Re: EMDR [Re: dannym]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
PLEASE PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!! The way this techinque seems to "work" is to get your poor little stressed-out adrenal glands to confront the overwhelming stress of the memories: your body responds as if its very life is being threatened which releases powerful cortisol compounds into your blood stream. People with PTSD have LOWERED levels of cortisol for a reason - it isn't good for us! So - messing with these chemicals can have a rebounding effect later on. Eventually, your adrenals get even more depleted. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

_________________________
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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#162251 - 06/18/07 11:26 PM Re: EMDR [Re: kolisha54]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Kolisha,

Could you share a little more of the experience that led you to this thinking? It seems that many of us who have had EMDR have a lot of positive, if measured, things to say about it. Your comments seem to suggest a very negative reaction, and I'd be very interested to know more about what happened. At the very least some more detail would be helpful, and would not have the effect of terrorizing someone who is sincerely curious about the process.

_________________________
"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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#162283 - 06/19/07 08:39 AM Re: EMDR [Re: tartugas]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5779
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Kolisha:
Could you please cite some literature where you saw the info on cortisol?

I do EMDR with clients selectively and have not seen the stress symptoms you refer to.

Many people feel tired after a session and the only thing about post EMDR sessions I was told about years ago that you should drink plenty of water and don't plan any major activities later that day. Other than that.......

Ken


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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: 5779
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: 5779
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 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6867
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: 1962
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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#211397 - 03/18/08 03:51 AM Re: EMDR [Re: ericc]
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
I have tried EMDR two time so far and it was a positive experience. I do 2 hour session and have dealt with two different tramic experiences in my adult life. I reprocessed the 1968 event when I became a victim of police abuse for protesting at a George Wallace rally.

The other event was me getting fired from a great job in 1993. I was able to reprocess these events and draw a different conclusion. I haven't tried EMDR on the CSA events yet.

Tom

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#211427 - 03/18/08 08:58 AM Re: EMDR [Re: vda]
mike5 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/01/07
Posts: 170
Loc: Cleveland, OH
vda - from your post it sounds like EMDR was used very soon after an abuse experience:

Originally Posted By: vda
He did not experience these in the first six weeks following the incident of violent sexualized abuse--they only started after the EMDR session.


My experience of EMDR was with addressing "old" trauma that had resulted in PTSD symptoms. I've never heard of it used to address "fresh" trauma before. I'd suggest you talk with that therapist and others about whether it was appropriate at that stage or not.

Mike


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#211471 - 03/18/08 12:38 PM Re: EMDR [Re: mike5]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6424
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
EMDR is used for fresh trauma. For example the New Orleans disaster. Teams of Ts went there to do EMDR on the people.

Post 9/11 New york was another early-application of EMDR.

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#211499 - 03/18/08 02:51 PM Re: EMDR [Re: Still]
wes-b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

I shall chime in to share that I have had the good fortune of EMDR as a regular part of my Therapy, it has been very helpful in dealing with my varied trauma experiences --which include some brutal CSA experiences--. I feel it has been a beneficial component of my recovery... IMHO; Therapy, 12-step, and the support of other male survivors are key.

_________________________
Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

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#211532 - 03/18/08 06:16 PM Re: EMDR [Re: wes-b]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5779
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
In my training for EMDR 15 years ago, we were told that it should be done no sooner than 6 weeks after the trauma. However, since that time, I've seen where EMDR professionals go fairly quickly to places where natural disasters have occured as well as some fresh war incidents. So, I'm not sure what the current thinking is.

You might contact the International EMDR Association (not sure what the acronym is or if that's the correct name for the organization) to see what the protocol is for new trauma.

Ken


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#253229 - 10/06/08 03:21 PM Re: EMDR [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
sunwolf Offline


Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 225
Loc: Indiana
My T has done EMDR..i had a lot of blocked memories and traumas...I felt it worked...at least in some occasions i do not hurt so much...It was weird istarted to think of a pleasnt feeling and suddenly i started to cry like a baby..i was reliving that particular experience and i cried and was shaking all over...but at the end i felt good...


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#253231 - 10/06/08 03:38 PM Re: EMDR [Re: thecoopstah]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6867
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: thecoopstah
Hi again all, I am begining EMDR with my therapist next week who i have been seeing for about as year now.Anyway has anyone ever had this procedure and/or process done before.How is it asfar as releiving the stresses from your life or rather help you cope with them as a whole.Any thoughts on this or personal experiences would really mean alot.
Coopstah

EMDR was absolutely wonderful for me. It was the best thing for me for relief of symptoms from CSA. I have another T for talk therapy who says that EMDR is becoming almost a preferred treatment for it.

Some of the sessions were indeed very intense. They took me right back (in my memory) into the emotional heart of the abuse. I felt and reexperienced the abuse. That may sound horrible but as an adult I was able to bear it. EMDR reconnected my childhood abused self to my adult here-and-now self. I think that is where the healing comes. I think that in terms of my brain it was actually reconnecting certain pathways in my brain. This freed me from the strong symptoms I had. It took me several hours in some cases to come down from the sessions. But a few days later I was genuinely feeling better. All in all I had EMDR for about a year. It was definitely well worth it.

Allen

puffer


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