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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: 952
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.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
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: 952
Loc: southern California
For those with anxiety or panic disorders, does EMDR incite an attack during the session?
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
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: 952
Loc: southern California
Thanks, DrPJL, very informative!
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
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: 1584
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
_________________________
Can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up the time but feeling fine every day
That's why I'm telling you
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
Rare Earth

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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: 952
Loc: southern California
Climb,

Thank you for your honorable service.

Regarding PTSD, keep steady and know that help is on it's way.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
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: 952
Loc: southern California
Jude,

By "painful," are you talking about emotions, or is the process somehow physically painful?
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
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: 1235
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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