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#437929 - 06/12/13 12:34 PM EMDR--Has anyone tried it?
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
I'm looking into Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. There seems to quite a buzz about it in the area of treatment. My therapist is being trained in it as well. I am told it is not for everyone, just as not every treatment is right for everyone.

I know there have been discussions in threads here but I am finding only scattered comments through the search feature. I recall many fellow survivors saying it worked well for them.

I've read the print information from professionals, but I'd like to hear from fellow survivors before I make a decision on it. Any thoughts you'd like to share about your experience with EMDR?
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#437931 - 06/12/13 12:44 PM Re: Has anyone been through EMDR? [Re: WriterKeith]
mattheal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 142
Loc: Ohio
Hi Keith,

I tried EMDR with my last T. She had been trained, but did not have a lot of practice. We tried the follow my fingers approach as well as knee tapping. I did not see any benefit. Not sure if it did not work for me because of me, the T's inexperience, or the method. My advice would be to try it. I sincerely hope it works for you.

Regards,
Matt
_________________________
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"

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#437932 - 06/12/13 12:48 PM Re: Has anyone been through EMDR? [Re: mattheal]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
Thanks, Matt. I have offered to be my therapist's first try as well. My guess is that it is something that takes some practice for a newly trained therapist.
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#437937 - 06/12/13 01:27 PM Re: Has anyone been through EMDR? [Re: WriterKeith]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
Keith,

If you have any DID symptoms, I would recommend you not do EMDR with a newly trained T without experience working with DID abuse survivor clients.

EMDR can be a powerful thing, especially for us. Be careful.

I'm working with a T with experience in EMDR and DID clients, and she and I did nearly 4 months of foundational work before she started the follow-the-finger processing.

We've only been processing for a few weeks, but something is certainly happening with me.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#437938 - 06/12/13 01:40 PM Re: Has anyone been through EMDR? [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
Thanks, Cant..

Ok.. help me out. What is DID?
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#437939 - 06/12/13 01:42 PM Re: Has anyone been through EMDR? [Re: WriterKeith]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3600
Loc: South-East Europe
DID - Dissociative identity disorder wink
_________________________
My story

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#437947 - 06/12/13 03:46 PM Re: Has anyone been through EMDR? [Re: WriterKeith]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 04:15 PM)

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#437948 - 06/12/13 03:55 PM Re: Has anyone been through EMDR? [Re: WriterKeith]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
As Pero says, DID = Dissociative Identity Disorder. What we used to call Multiple Personality Disorder but also a spectrum of similar issues resulting from our minds fragmenting in order to cope with the abuse.

For me, I have three parts: my seemingly normal primary self; my young self that carries the abuse experience; and a part that I've come to call Izzy, where all my negative emotions lurk.

If your mind is segmented like that in any way, or if you lose time or don't feel you are in control of your body at all times, that's DID.

And what happens when a DID person does EMDR is that the eye movements make him re-experience the trauma that caused his mind to split in the first place. His mind may not be prepared for this, and it could cause psychic crisis, including additional personality splitting and suicide ideation.

That's why you need a T who has some experience in this. If you have other "parts," your T needs to say hello to them and determine which is present when. That sort of thing.

If that doesn't fit your issues, then you can disregard, but it's something you and your T should keep in mind.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#437955 - 06/12/13 04:38 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
My T recommended EMDR as well, however, I did not have the cash for it. However, I did a lot of research on it as well. It's nice to hear more from guys who actually experienced it. The more I learn the more curious I get about the practice. I'd be lying if I did not admit to wanting to buy into the hype. If there were a pill out there that cost $100,000 dollars but would erase the abuse experience and all of its after effects, well, I'd found a way to get the money : P
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#437966 - 06/12/13 05:26 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: Publius]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6815
Loc: USA
I had about 2 dozen EMDR sessions. They were separated by about a year. That is, a dozen and then lay out a year and then another dozen.

They were of great benefit. I had early abuse as a 4-year-old and then severe abuse (torture and sex abuse) as a 12-year-old. That was a pretty nasty combination. But the early abuse taught me how to dissociate. In other words I had DID. Then I experienced a bunch of other abuse, mostly by other boys. There were some predator boys in my environment. So I was quite a mess. Lots of alters. (oops - you're a writer - I can't use any dangling participles).

When I came to EMDR I was aware of being double. I was both an adult and a boy who remembered horrific abuse. EMDR dealt with that pretty well by bringing together the objective memories of the abuse and the terrible feelings of being there. My practitioner used a special stick which he waved back and forth before my eyes like an upside-down pendulum. My eyes would follow the pendulum. He used certain phrases to guide me. I have described this in more detail in another post. Pretty soon I would be right in the abusive situation I faced as a boy (virtually). It was very real, including the feelings of the abuse. After the session I was a bleeding dummy. But taken in these little doses as an adult I was able to manage the horror. After the session, it took several hours to come down and then several days to adjust. But after that I distinctly felt better. It was a lasting fix.

As a 12-year-old I was given LSD in kind of an experimental way on the last day of the 2-week camp. There was no such thing as a careful dose and so it was just a slam dunk kind of a thing. I didn't know what was happening then. I must have gone on a psychotic terror binge as a 12-year-old. I don't know. But when EMDR got to the LSD emotions I started to crash badly. But my brain remembered the solution it had learned when I was very young and I immediately dissociated and found an entirely new personality. That handled it but it's better not to have to go that way.

After laying-out of EMDR for awhile I became aware that I still had a lot of issues. they were combined with DID-like manifestations. That means I still had a bunch of split personality type stuff, call them alters if you like. I'm presently having light hypnotherapy for this. My T is very gentle and he calls the different ones out and talks to them for awhile. It works.

Puffer

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#437972 - 06/12/13 06:38 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: pufferfish]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
Puffer,
That's an intense testimonial. I always respected your strength and sense of self and now I have even more respect than ever for you.
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#437974 - 06/12/13 06:46 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: Publius]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
For those with anxiety or panic disorders, does EMDR incite an attack during the session?
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#438024 - 06/13/13 08:42 AM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
DrPJL Offline


Registered: 12/14/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Boston
I've posted this (or a version thereof) before on this list and had positive feedback. Hope it helps!

I'm a psychologist who uses EMDR as my primary treatment psychotherapy 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 role as a facilitator who trains other therapists in EMDR (certified by the EMDR International Assoc. and trained by the EMDR Inst, both of which I strongly recommend in an EMDR therapist) I have used EMDR successfully with panic disorders, childhood sexual/physical/emotional abuse and neglect, single incident trauma and complex/chronic PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief, body image, phobias, distressing memories, bad dreams and more...

It's really crucial that the therapist spends enough time in one of the initial phases (Phase 2) in EMDR that involves preparing for memory processing or desensitization (memory processing or desensitization - phases 3-6 - is often referred to as "EMDR" which is actually an 8-phase psychotherapy). In this phase resources are "front-loaded" so that you have a "floor" or "container" to help with processing the really hard stuff. 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. So if you start feeling overwhelmed or that it's too intense, you can ground yourself (with your therapist's help in session, and on your own between sessions) and feel safe enough to continue the work. In my practice, after the Phase 2 work lets us know that my patient is safe enough and able to cope with any emotion and/or physical sensation both during and between EMDR processing sessions, I often suggest we try a much less intense memory first if there is one that happened BEFORE the trauma(s). If there isn't one, then I suggest we start developmentally with the least disturbing memory and work our way "up" to the most disturbing event(s).

Grounding exercises are indispensable in everyday life, and really essential in stressful times. Anyone 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 teaches readers lots of helpful techniques that can be used immediately and that are also used during EMDR therapy to calm disturbing thoughts and feelings.

As I’ve mentioned about Phase 2, during EMDR therapy you learn coping strategies and self-soothing techniques. 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. There are other kinds of Resource Development strategies that can be used depending on the skill level and experience of your therapist (Google "Resource development and installation" and find articles by Janina Fisher, Debbie Korn, and/or Andrew Leeds, ask about John Omaha's AMST - Affect Management Skills Training, or the Imaginal Nurturing protocol).

One of the key assets of EMDR is that YOU, the client, are in control NOW, even though you likely were not during past 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 hand/knee tapping - all forms of bilateral stimulation that should be decided by the client for the client's comfort) 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 or so passes of the lights to ask you to take a deep breath and to say just a bit of what you’re noticing. 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 neutralize bad life experiences and build resources.

Pacing and dosing are critically important. So if you ever feel that EMDR processing is too intense then it might be time to go back over all the resources that should be used both IN session and BETWEEN sessions. Your therapist should be using a variety of techniques to make painful processing less painful, like suggesting you turn the scene in your mind to black and white, lower the volume, or, erect a bullet-proof glass wall between you and the painful scene, or, imagine the abuser speaking in a Donald Duck voice... and so forth. There are a lot of these kinds of "interventions" that ease the processing. They are called "cognitive interweaves" that your therapist can use, and that also can help bring your adult self's perspective into the work (or even an imaginary Adult Perspective). Such interweaves are based around issues of Safety, Responsibility, and Choice. So therapist questions like "are you safe now?" or "who was responsible? and "do you have more choices now?" are all very helpful in moving the processing along.

In addition to my therapy practice, I roam the web looking for EMDR discussions, try to answer questions about it posted by clients/patients, and respond to the critics out there. It's not a cure-all therapy. However, it really is an extraordinary psychotherapy and its results last. In the hands of a really experienced EMDR therapist, it's the most gentle way of working through disturbing experiences.

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#438026 - 06/13/13 08:44 AM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
DrPJL Offline


Registered: 12/14/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Boston
Please read what I posted above... with proper resource development prior to beginning EMDR processing, you shouldn't have a panic attack during the processing. An experienced EMDR therapist will know how to help you stay grounded during the work!


Edited by DrPJL (06/13/13 08:44 AM)

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#438045 - 06/13/13 11:56 AM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
Thanks, DrPJL, very informative!
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#438049 - 06/13/13 12:27 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
Climb1975 Offline


Registered: 05/21/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Brit
This has been very helpful to me. I too have had EMDR suggested by my therapist. I have CSA experiences but also more recent PTSD from working in Iraq where I was more than once close to major bombings. My therapist said that I was probably prone to hyper-arousal (not sexual) from traumatic experiences which is perhaps why the Iraq experience and the CSA have a slightly similar impact on me.

Strangely enough, I haven't experienced traumatic flashbacks from the incident of my life when I came closest to death, which was a mountain climbing scenario and which was a really, really close call. I think (just my speculation) that the difference was because climbing mountains is something I love doing and associate with freedom and health-giving activity, even if the incident should have been traumatic.

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#438157 - 06/14/13 08:49 AM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1478
Loc: New England
About six months ago I switched to a therapist who specialized in childhood trauma, and was experienced in EMDR. It was a very dramatic and painful experience for me. Some how it brought back memories that felt as though I was right THERE reliving them. Also it connected memories that I never realized were connected. But over all it brought me to a place where the memories became less painful..... tolerable if you will. Not gone, but manageable. Talk therapy continues, maybe indefinitely.

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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#438188 - 06/14/13 03:59 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
Climb,

Thank you for your honorable service.

Regarding PTSD, keep steady and know that help is on it's way.
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#438256 - 06/15/13 03:06 AM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
Jude,

By "painful," are you talking about emotions, or is the process somehow physically painful?
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#438271 - 06/15/13 12:18 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1167
Loc: New York
this seems like a very interesting subject. I have reluctant to try EMDR which my T recommends, but he doesn't do. The major problem I'm having is that I'm afraid of anyone fucking around with my head. I'm afraid I will get dumped back into that time without a way to get out and this time end up dead. In a nutshell I'm afraid to re-experience all that went on during those 9 years. That is also a reason I didn't want to try hypnosis either. I am simply afraid to have no control over what I'm doing or what is being done to me.

Peace, Rainbows, Love & Healing
Jeff
_________________________

Stick around, It will get better....

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#438292 - 06/15/13 05:09 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 932
Loc: southern California
Jeff,
Your thoughts have me interested in reading more about EMDR and finding out exactly what is happening inside the mind when it is being administered..and during the after effects.
_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#438297 - 06/15/13 06:16 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1167
Loc: New York
well Keith,

I will probably go and do EMDR since my T painted me into a corner. I am very nervous but as he said I was nervous to go to a shrink for meds, at one time I was nervous to tell my story and I was very nervous to sign up to go to a WoR in July, all of which I have now done. I wish I could be more at ease with doing EMDR but my whole story has been a battle with myself.

I've heard so many different stories but my T thinks it will help me tremendously and I do trust him in telling me the truth. But I'm definitely scared of being brought through my past, there are places in my past where I tried hard to die and was scared others would just dump me in the river. I'm afraid of going back there but it is scarier going forward without a map.

In a way I really don't want to end up like Bryan (LAD) which still sits on my head like an elephant. It's the funk of no return, one moment we're talking to him and the next we're mourning him.

The bottom line is that we have to try EMDR, it might not help but I'm hoping that I will be in a better place than where I'm at right now.

Peace, Rainbows, Love & Healing
Jeff
_________________________

Stick around, It will get better....

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#438319 - 06/15/13 10:57 PM Re: EMDR--Has anyone tried it? [Re: WriterKeith]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1478
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
By "painful," are you talking about emotions, or is the process somehow physically painful?

Emotionally painful.....not physically.
_________________________
"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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