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#419054 - 12/13/12 07:31 PM Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1540
Recently it has been suggested that I need to explore different therapy techniques. It was suggested after a fugue episode by the psych doctors at the hospital. My T and I have been talking about different techniques. It was identified that my trauma was unresolved and very deep in my core. I have made progress with my T, unraveling the past and the memories and identifying parts of me that are in conflict--mainly the part that finds the abuse and abuser repulsive and the other part I have disowned that finds a feeling of being special or loved by the abuser and the actions done to me. I gather this more common that I would have thought and for me it is hard to accept. My T and the doctors have said when I go into fugue or loose time it is a way for that part of me to seek the abuser. Buy say the last episode which was long and some people could verify some of the activity, suggests I was seeking safety from the abuse and unsafe environments.

We are exploring EMDR as a way to get to the core of the trauma and hopefully bring some resolution to the trauma to keep the healing moving forward. Has anyone else encountered reaching a plateau with one form of therapy and having the need to seek an alternative to help move the healing forward. Also, EMDR--anyone's experience--positive and negative would be appreciated.

Thank you


Edited by KMCINVA (12/13/12 07:37 PM)

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#419068 - 12/13/12 10:09 PM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: KMCINVA]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1274
Quote:
...the other part I have disowned that finds a feeling of being special or loved by the abuser and the actions done to me.

Not familiar with EDMR but I'm certainly familiar with the dynamics expressed in the quote above. I wish I could disown it as well, but I still feel that unholy pull with the same feelings of guilt and secrecy and self-reproach. You are not alone. Frankly, I think beyond a certain point, even the best therapists don't have a clue.
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#419070 - 12/13/12 11:18 PM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: Chase Eric]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6810
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: KMCINVA

We are exploring EMDR as a way to get to the core of the trauma and hopefully bring some resolution to the trauma to keep the healing moving forward. Has anyone else encountered reaching a plateau with one form of therapy and having the need to seek an alternative to help move the healing forward. Also, EMDR--anyone's experience--positive and negative would be appreciated.


I have had about 2 dozen sessions of EMDR. They were in general very healing. Some of them opened up the inner memories of highly abusive child trauma. Then they had to be processed by my adult mind with the help of a "talk therapist". I initially felt very bad after these EMDR sessions, but that was because they got me in touch with the emotions of some very bad experiences. After that however, the effects of the trauma were amenable to healing since they had surfaced. I think the process of EMDR is analogous to lancing an infected sore or an appendicitis. Once the pus is drained the trauma begins to heal. So, YES, EMDR has the potential for being very healing. However, I had other sessions which were less productive. The last session I had got into terrible fear or terror that was so immense that it caused me to dissociate right then and there. I don't think there was any healing in that session. I don't think that is the objective of EMDR. In dissociating, I didn't drain the pus, so to speak, but only put it somewhere else. Dissociation was like being in a house of mirrors. In other words, that particular session moved into dangerous territory so fast that it knocked me for a loop. I think I needed a pain signal to slow down or stop so that we wouldn't have such a train wreck.

Puffer






Edited by pufferfish (12/14/12 01:29 AM)

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#419071 - 12/13/12 11:18 PM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: KMCINVA]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1469
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: KMCINVA
.....EMDR--anyone's experience--positive and negative would be appreciated....


Hi KMCINVA,

I started EMDR two weeks ago. Its too early to tell you how much or if it helped me, but I can relate that so far it took me back to the actual event(s) when I was 13 in a very real way (sights, sounds, tastes, sensations, smells)that was very painful. On the otherhand , in that trip back in time, I came to understand that the pain was not just the physical violation, but the emotional betrayal of, yet again someone I looked to to care about me, pulled the rug out from under me, and I was left abandoned. At least that gives me some insight on how to deal with the pain.

Jude
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#419088 - 12/14/12 02:06 AM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: KMCINVA]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
My therapy is a combination of talk therapy and EMDR. I started with EMDR about 6 months ago, and have had about 12 or 14 sessions. I'm not sure. It is sometimes very hard because, as puffer said, it brings you in touch with past emotions, but the whole point of EMDR is to minimise the effect it has on you, emotionally, as you remember it. The sessions are often very exhausting, both physically and emotionally, but the idea is that you should not feel terrible walking out the door. Often, things are too big to process in one session and you do leave feeling somewhat vulnerable, but my T always leaves a few minutes at the end of those sessions to help me ground myself. Over all, it has been an incredibly powerful healing process.

I would recommend it to anyone, BUT- very important - make sure the T knows what he is doing. An inexperienced in incompetent T can really screw it up.
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#419115 - 12/14/12 09:50 AM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: KMCINVA]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1540
Thanks everyone. The whole process of healing is so complicated and I must admit exhausting at times. As was said here, therapists can never predict the outcome of the treatment because we all react differently. My T has brought me this far but I must get to the core of the pain of the trauma. I know I fight the other part of me that has this "special" feeling toward the abuse and what was done. I guess I am in denial that any part of me could feel this way--despite knowing I was a child and a child looks for love and feeling wanted and special. I now know it was more than physical and included emotional and psychological abuse.

Crazy gecko your word vulnerable hit a chord. Yesterday in therapy I said I felt vulnerable as well as culpable for what what happened as a child. Vulnerable making me susceptible to the abuse (not my fault) and culpable believing I was deserving of the abuse (my fault).

I want to keep healing and feel stuck but I have fears of uncovering more pain. but I need to heal--being stuck sucks as does the whole abuse.

My T does not do EMDR and he is working with me on identifying a competent T to help me move ahead. I am happy with the honesty and support of my T--to acknowledge we may have plateaued with current therapy--but for me he has taken me far in the process. The comfort and what we have achieved make it difficult to explore new therapies--but as he explained--like a medicine--at some time people hit a point of resistance or ineffectiveness and new medications must be prescribed. I am not yet sure we have truly plateaued.

Thanks


Edited by KMCINVA (12/14/12 10:31 AM)

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#419120 - 12/14/12 11:31 AM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: KMCINVA]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6810
Loc: USA
Guys

I think this is a good discussion of EMDR. I think I need some more sessions or the right kind of hypnosis because I have memories of early age abuse which have not progressed.

There are a couple of previous threads on EMDR.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...true#Post403979

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...true#Post401952

Puffer

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#419142 - 12/14/12 04:31 PM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: KMCINVA]
DrPJL Offline


Registered: 12/14/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Boston
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I'm a therapist who uses EMDR as my primary method (for over 17 years) and I've also personally had EMDR therapy for anxiety and grief. As a client, EMDR worked extremely well and also really fast (just a few sessions) on my problems. I just want to add that in my experience as an EMDR therapist and in my role as a facilitator who trains other therapists in EMDR (certified by the EMDR International Association and trained by the EMDR Institute, both of which I strongly recommend in an EMDR Level II therapist) I have used EMDR successfully with PTSD, anxiety issues, depression, grief, body image, phobias, panic attacks, distressing memories, and bad dreams. And probably more stuff that I can't remember at the moment. Other EMDR therapists are more proficient in using it for eating disorders, OCD, dissociative disorders, addictions, etc.

There is a ton of great research now proving EMDR's efficacy and it is considered one of the threee treatments of choice for trauma by organizations such as ISTSS (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation), American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Defense, Departments of Health in Northern Ireland, UK, Israel, the Netherlands, France, and other countries and organizations. It is used all over the world.

During EMDR 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. 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. One of the key assets of EMDR is that YOU, the client, are in control NOW, even though you probably weren’t in the past or during the bad 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) 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 ask you to say just a bit of what you’re noticing. (The stimulation should not be kept on continuously, because there are specific procedures that need to be followed to process the memory). 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 techniques that help make it the gentlest and safest way to detoxify bad life experiences and build resources.

Grounding exercises are terrifically helpful. 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). Anyway, the book is terrific. It's 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.

The bottom line is that EMDR is a very gentle method with no "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.

I can't say enough good things about EMDR. It's changed my life both as a person/consumer, and as a therapist. It's 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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#419195 - 12/15/12 11:43 AM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: KMCINVA]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1116
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
I had many kinds of counseling/therapy over the years (starting at age 16 when my father discovered suicidal writings of mine). I always had huge problems numbing out in sessions(more recently I learned that it was called disassociation).

About a year ago I talked to my current counselor (life coach type guy) about EMDR. He agreed it would be beneficial, and I found a local EMDR therapist at a reputable medical center.

Oh my, I would say that EMDR did what i could never do. feel those real core emotions. I had maybe 12 sessions. Felt like crap after most, but it did help release much of the pain.

I know I still have more work to do, and may go back and do more EMDR.

Jim
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#436776 - 06/04/13 01:29 AM Re: Therapy and Beyond EMDR??? Help Need Information [Re: pufferfish]
Czaesar72 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/10
Posts: 211
Loc: California, USA
Peter. My therapist tried the EMDR approach with me and assured me that it has helped many patients find a lot of relieve from PTSD. I personally found it to be like a freaking torture, but I was told that this may be because my PTSD has too many layers to it, not one specific issue and it goes back to my toddler years. I do to agree with that EMDR is not for me, but I also know of quite a few people that have benefited from it, but these were people with phobias and a more defined cause of PTSD. This helped me a bit with my social phobia, and somewhat with panic disorder. But I wouldn't do it again. I truly feel that i practice EMDR when having my own nightmares and flashbacks.

This is just my experience with it,I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it if they think they could benefit from it. i hope this info helps. smile
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and Advanced WoR Alta 2011, Alta, UT, USA.

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