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#53026 - 03/12/03 10:09 PM EMDR?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
My therapist and I have talked using EMDR to help treat the severe dental anxiety that I have along with my claustrophobia from events of my childhood. I am considering it and from what she was explaining, it was not an ongoing process but more of a "few visits" type thing.

I was curious as to others who have used this and what are your views of what it did for you. Was it something you went to long term or was it a short period of time. Just curious about it as I am giving it serious thought.

Thanks
Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#53027 - 03/12/03 10:44 PM Re: EMDR?
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Don,

I think the idea with EMDR is few sessions that are focused on one or maybe two issues at a time. There are two type, slow and fast EMDR. The slow EMDR is used for "trauma reduction", the fast EMDR can be used to "strengthen" or re-enforce positive thoughts and beliefs. It can be amazing when it works, the closest I've come to finding a magic pill.

I don't think it's a lot of sessions, my T uses it with me on occasion only. It's a very powerful tool and has ended up triggering me more than not, sort of flipping me into a disociative quivering jelly of raw feelings. In fact my T has told me he's had to think a lot about how to do it with me. I jokingly told him 'well, just don't say anything triggering'. I try not to mind **** what a difficult case I present.

jer


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#53028 - 03/13/03 12:11 AM Re: EMDR?
cog Offline
Member

Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 42
Uh,
funny you should ask.
I am currently in EMDR therapy. I go twice a week. And have been going for about 3 weeks now. I know that this isn't the same for everyone, some people never feel anything different. As if nothing happened. For me it is like therapy on Steroids.
Very intense.
The first treatment, I wasn't prepared for. Even though I had been in therapy for 6 months previously and I felt I pretty much covered most of everything for those 6 months. I guess the only thing I didn't cover was unleashing the raw emotions - which was completely unexpected.

ON my first session, My t would tell me to focus on something that we previously discussed, and he moved his fingers side to side while I tracked them. After about 30 seconds, he would ask me, "now what are you feeling?" I would tell him, and I could feel the raw emotions surging.
He repeating the process and asked me, "Now what are you feeling?" I would tell him as tears well up in my eyes.
He repeated the process and asked me, "Now what are you feeling?", I started sobbing and crying uncontrollably and would tell him what I was feeling.
He repeated the process and asked me, "Now what are you feeling?" My seizure disorder took over and he had to keep me from falling out of my chair as I was headed for the floor. I was barely able to get the words out of what I was feeling that time.
He repeated the process and asked me, "Now what are you feeling?" A volcanic surge of raw emotion raged out of me and I SCREAMED for 2 minutes. I SCREAMED just those same screams of primal fear that some of you may have had the misfortune to emit if you have ever had night terrors. I had so much fear, and rage, and emotions that are just not possible to describe in words. When I stopped screaming, he made me tell him what I was thinking. I was shaking, and sobbing, and crying; I was completely out of control. I think for me, EMDR has a way of tapping into my subconscious that we haven't been able to do before.

A few more times of repeating the procedure, and I had to ask to stop. It was just too intense.
I went to bed early that night. I don't know if I had ever been so emotionally exhausted as I was that day.

That first session was my only scream session. However, all the others since would evoke similar feelings of raw emotions full with tears and the physical manifestations of my seizure disorder. All the sucessive sessions seemed to progressively get just a little less intense. There is a lot to this that is so weird.

I am still having seizure episodes (from conversion disorder) and my functioning is way off, but the emotions in subsequent sessions weren't as intense as they were the very first session. I am hoping that this EMDR could be a good thing since it is tapping into some very intense emotions that we haven't seen before in therapy. I also hope that I can start to increase my functioning so I can walk and talk better and maybe even return to work.

I have personally heard of EMDR providing great success for many people. Although the jury is still out for me, so far I have survived the treatments ( I haven't died yet) and my symptoms aren't any worse. In fact, today instead of being in bed most of the day (like I have been lately), I ate all my meals at the table, I sat in a chair for some time downstairs, and walked accross the street and talked very very briefly to a neighbor.

I have had ups and downs, an am still skeptical until I have more bodily control, but I will keep going to EMDR. It may do me good.


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#53029 - 03/13/03 01:14 AM Re: EMDR?
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#53030 - 03/13/03 03:02 PM Re: EMDR?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Thanks for all the input and responses on the EMDR. Now I understand it a little better and will probably look into it further.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#53031 - 03/13/03 03:08 PM Re: EMDR?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Cog,
When I read your line about the conversion disorder, I was like...wow.... finally I meet someone else who has gone through this. Not that I want to wish this on anyone, but the few things you described are exactly what I went through back in 1991. It was called a conversion disorder and so far to this day, I have not ran across anyone that experienced it. While there may be people out there, I know it is a rare disorder. I was completely paralyzed by it and it took me years to get to the point I am at today. Now most people around me do not know that I was ever paralyzed because it would hardly show up. I notice a few little things that I have learned to live with but for the most part, I am physically fine. My memory is the part that never has come back all the way.

And it is one of the reasons why I am going to massage school because I understand what happens when the body shuts down... oh how I remember those days. But I just want to tell you thank you for sharing this. It is in encouragement to me to hear someone else identify with this.

Don

Quote:
I am still having seizure episodes (from conversion disorder) and my functioning is way off, but the emotions in subsequent sessions weren't as intense as they were the very first session. I am hoping that this EMDR could be a good thing since it is tapping into some very intense emotions that we haven't seen before in therapy. I also hope that I can start to increase my functioning so I can walk and talk better and maybe even return to work.


_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#53032 - 03/13/03 09:47 PM Re: EMDR?
PeteT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Michigan
What is EMDR?? I am new to some of this.
Pete

_________________________
Pete

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#53033 - 03/13/03 11:20 PM Re: EMDR?
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
EMDR = eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is an innovative clinical treatment that has successfully helped over a million individuals who have survived trauma, including sexual abuse, domestic violence, combat, crime, and those suffering from a number of other complaints including depressions, addictions, phobias and a variety of self-esteem issues.

EMDR is a complex approach to psychotherapy that integrates many of the successful elements of a range of therapeutic approaches in combination with eye movements or other forms of rhythmical stimulation in ways that stimulate the brainís information processing system. With EMDR therapy it is unnecessary to delve into decades-old psychological material, but rather, by activating the information-processing system of the brain, people can achieve their therapeutic goals at a rapid rate, with recognizable changes that donít disappear over time.

Fourteen controlled studies support the efficacy of EMDR, making it the most thoroughly researched method ever used in the treatment of trauma. The most recent 5 studies with individuals suffering from events such as rape, loss of a loved one, accidents, natural disasters, etc. have found that 84-90% no longer had post-traumatic stress disorder after only three treatment sessions. A recent study financed by Kaiser Permanente revealed that EMDR was twice as effective in half the amount of time compared to the standard traditional care. However, clients and clinicians should note that EMDR is not a race. While many people show dramatic responses in a short amount of time, there are also those who will progress more slowly and that the slower progression is not abnormal. For instance, those with multiple traumas such as molestation and combat veterans will generally need longer treatment. The one study offering a full course of treatment to combat veterans found that after twelve sessions, 77% no longer had PTSD. Just as in any therapy, we all progress at the rate appropriate to the individual and the clinical situation.

The major significance of EMDR is that it allows the brain to heal its psychological problems at the same rate as the rest of the body is healing its physical ailments. Because EMDR allows minds and body to heal at the same rate, it is effectively making time irrelevant in therapy. Given its wide application, EMDR promises to be the therapy of the future.

Just an opinion of a clinician, but worth a further look...

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#53034 - 03/13/03 11:59 PM Re: EMDR?
cog Offline
Member

Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 42
Don,
Amazing thing. Thank YOU for sharing with me.
If you remember what you went through in '91, you can probably imagine what I am going through now. I feel so worthless because of my limitations. I seem to do okay laying down, or sitting. But most any kind of activity, even talking will trigger symptoms or shut me down. Typing seems to be ok most of the time, but there are times that even that will shut me down. The symptoms can be so varied including paralysis, stuttering, gait abnormality, slurred speech, falls, convulsions, seizures ... bizarre. None of it makes sense. And it drives me crazy. I am glad to hear that you are doing so much better. You give me hope.

-Cog


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#53035 - 03/14/03 12:37 AM Re: EMDR?
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Another thought on EMDR, or rather what my T told me during my session today.

He's been doing trauma therapy for many years and when EMDR fist came around he jumped at the chance to get the training, even though at the time it sounded too good to be true. It's been his experience that he and his colleagues doing trauma work have all found it to be an invaluable tool, albeit a potentially dangerous tool in the wrong hands.

There is level one and level two training as I understand it. Both are not required. Sadly, as with all other things in life, just because someone hangs out the shingle of expertise, doesn't mean they are. I'm saying this only to caution those's pondering EMDR therapy to be careful. My T also gave me the understanding that when used for trauma reduction or strengthening of positives, the T should also have lots of experience with trauma work other than EMDR - and this is where the dangerous part lies. A misguided T using EMDR could make things worse for a client.

I was also able to get a better handle on why it hasn't been more effective for me, which boils down to my disociative disorder and the early childhood neglect. So we're going to take a different tac.

All in all, if you trust your T... give it a try. You've nothing to lose and possibly a lot of high speed healing (magic bullet) to gain.

jer


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#53036 - 03/15/03 12:59 AM Re: EMDR?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Thank you to everyone who gave feedback here. It was very helpful to me and will be a big benefit to me. I firmly believe that the more we know about treatments available, the more effective they are for us. I do appreciate everyone sharing what they did.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#53037 - 03/15/03 01:24 AM Re: EMDR?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Cog,
Even though most people can not readily see that I was paralyzed, I know there are "things" that still remain from those days. Most people are shocked when I tell them I was paralyzed because I look active and healthy. Of course I am a master at disguise for the most part.

Memory is one of the things that I have never fully gotten back. I'm not sure if I ever will or not but it is little things. Things like my friend's names, or my address or my age. No, not earth shattering things, but they do get very frustrating when you need to remember them and you can't.

Sometimes signing my name is very difficult or even hand writing. I tell people that if you get a hand written letter from me, frame that puppy because hand writing is just very difficult to this day. Taking notes in my classes has been interesting to say the least. Writing checks out is one of the most difficult things that I face and so I try to arrange my finances so that I don't have to write many checks out at all. For my mind to connect with my hand in writing all the stuff down on a check is a monumental task for me.

I still struggle with anxiety a lot which was a major side effect of the paralysis and hospitilization early on. Fear is a big part of my life and one that I have been working hard to get rid of. In many ways I am doing very well with it and yet I still struggle with the anxiety, the fear and having the courage sometimes to confront it all (or the energy).

Another part of me is if I get very very tired my body begins to shut down. It first starts in my legs and they do not want to move very easily, quickly or hardly at all. Like last week when my body was exhausted from school, work, final exam..etc... I could barely stand up on my two legs. I had to do some massage stuff in class and was having a difficult time doing the "body mechanics" or moving myself with the massage like we are taught. They kept getting on me for it and I told them I can barely stand up on my feet right now. They didn't understand what I meant and it wasn't like normal people that are just tired. I literally meant I could barely stand on my feet. They were going out.

For me touch is sometimes not connected to me and I don't know if this is just a result of the abuse or the paralysis/conversion disorder has something to do with it. I tell people that I can see them touch me and I know they are touching me but I don't feel a thing. They freak out and don't understand this. The massage is helping me greatly with this, but I still struggle with it (especially when I get real tired).

Speech is pretty good for the most part. The part I struggle with is just remembering the words when I am talking. Take for instance the word "these". Sometimes a word as simple as that is one that I will just get lost with and not be sure how to say it. I often compensate in other ways for it but I struggle with that still.... kind of frustrating to me... not kind of - it is frustrating!

Many of these things I have learned to live with or have found alternate ways of dealing with them. I don't trust my memory at all and keep my IPAQ with me at all times. I probably will put my address and stuff in my billfold so I can take the pressure off of my memory on this. Writing checks.... I may go back to letting the computer print them so I don't have to worry about them.

As far as getting tired goes, I've got 5 more months left of full time school. However I have just talked to my supervisor at work and looking at cutting back to 4 days a week. I am afraid if I don't cut back, my body is going to shut down before it is all over.

So in many ways, I am learning to take care of myself but believe me I know how rough it can be with this stuff. Most people have no clue what I go through in a day just to function in a normal capacity. I am a fighter and I can get very determined when I need to. So I have fought like hell through all of this because as I saw it in my mind, if I give up, them those sons of b*S that abused me will have won... and no way in H&&L will I let them win!

Anyway, I realize this is off the topic of the original post, but knowing someone else has experienced a conversion disorder gave me a sense of encouragement. I don't feel quite as alone because until now, I have found no one that went through this. I don't know how serious you got with yours, but for me, my brain was shutting down which my doctor told me later that if I wouldn't have gotten help, I wouldn't be alive or I would be alive and be a vegetable. It was scary then and still scares the daylights out of me.

But no matter what, you've got to keep going... and just kick this thing in the butt every day if you have to. I've used Joy Harjo's poem, "I Give You Back" as a daily inspiration to myself. It is an awesome poem in many ways.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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