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EMDR Therapy

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Susan1111, Jan 18, 2016.

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  1. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Has anyone heard of or used this therapy technique? http://www.emdrnetwork.org/description.html

    Today my therapist used a little bit of this therapy to resource and help me anchor myself in a peaceful place with my protectors, nurturers and wise figures. It was not only calming but it reminded me that I'm not alone and that there are people in my life who have or do care about me. The beauty of this process is that if I feel a moment of tension or TMS pain I can do this for myself.
     
    kevinmichael, mike2014 and Grateful17 like this.
  2. Grateful17

    Grateful17 Well known member

    Susan,
    Thanks for posting that link to the EMDR. Great explanation of how it all works.
     
    mike2014 likes this.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had quite a lot of EMDR therapy many years ago. It can be a really excellent cure for PTSD. You don't have to relive the trauma for it to work but you do need to get in the general area for it to be most effective. I wanted it to work for me so much but I am not sure we ever got into the general area. It did not help me with my chronic pain or anxiety unfortunately. It does have tremendous results for many veterans and anyone who is suffering from PTSD though.
     
  4. drpattijane

    drpattijane Newcomer

    As a recently retired psychologist, I used EMDR therapy as my primary psychotherapy treatment 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 (now retired) role as a facilitator who trained other therapists in EMDR therapy (certified by the EMDR International Association and trained by the EMDR Institute, both of which I strongly recommend in an EMDR therapist) I have used EMDR therapy successfully with panic disorders, PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief, body image, phobias, distressing memories, bad dreams, and many other problems. It's a very gentle method with no significant "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.


    EMDR therapy is considered a first-line treatment for trauma by organizations such as ISTSS (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies), the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Defense, the Departments of Health in Northern Ireland, UK, Israel, the Netherlands, France, and other countries and organizations. There are 35 randomized controlled (and 20 nonrandomized) studies that have been conducted on EMDR therapy in the treatment of trauma to date. A randomized controlled study is the gold standard for evidence-based therapy, and for any research. And more excellent research now on the role of eye movements, mechanism of action, and other Randomized Controlled Studies, not only on trauma and PTSD, but also on the use of EMDR therapy with generalized anxiety disorder, treatment of distressful experiences that fail to meet the criteria for PTSD, dental phobia, depression, body dysmorphic disorder, chronic phantom limb pain, panic disorder with agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and peer verbal abuse.


    The World Health Organization published Guidelines for the management of conditions that are specifically related to stress: Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR are the only therapies recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD. "Like CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR therapy aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive cognitions related to the traumatic event. Unlike CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR does not involve (a) detailed descriptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework." (Geneva, WHO, 2013)


    One of the initial EMDR therapy phases (Phase 2) involves preparing for memory processing or desensitization (memory processing or desensitization - phases 3-6 - is often what is referred to as "EMDR" which is actually an 8-phase method of psychotherapy). In this phase resources are "front-loaded" so that you have a "floor" or "container" to help with processing the really hard stuff, as well as creating strategies if you're triggered in everyday life. 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.


    In phase 2 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. One of the key assets of EMDR therapy is that YOU, the client, are in control NOW, even though you weren’t in the past, during traumatic 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 any method of bilateral stimulation that feels okay to you) 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 say just a bit of what you’re noticing, anything different, any changes. 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 therapy techniques that help make it the gentlest and safest way to detoxify bad life experiences and build resources.


    Grounding exercises are essential. 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). The book is 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.


    I can't say enough good things about EMDR therapy. It's changed my life both as a person/consumer, and as a therapist. It has been 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.
     
  5. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Drpattijane what a wonderful testimonial on this form of therapy. Thank you for tasking the time to contribute information on this therapy.

    Yesterday was all about being in a safe calm place and it felt wonderful. As I said in my post I like that I can also access this on my own.
    My therapist is currently training in this technique so I will see where we take it..
     
  6. Grateful17

    Grateful17 Well known member

    drpattijane
    I can't thank you enough for your post on EMDR. Great information that I will copy/paste and keep.
    I found someone near my home that has extensive experience with EMDR. I am just in the beginning phase of getting started. Looking forward to seeing where it takes me.
     
    drpattijane likes this.
  7. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    I had EMDR for a car accident trauma and a fear of flying. Both times it was VERY helpful. But also both times it was done by someone I trusted, knew well, and valued.

    :)
     
  8. kevinmichael

    kevinmichael Peer Supporter

    Just started this therapy
     
  9. Tala

    Tala New Member

    I recently had 3 sessions of EMDR. I felt AMAZING following the first 2 sessions especially. I felt like the anxiety haze I had was lifted, and it left me free to feel emotions. My only issue is that since now I am feeling things, I am really feeling angry at lots of things, a lot of the time. It is a bit overwhelming to be angry all the time, but I keep reminding myself that this is what feeling emotions is so I don't try to repress it. Last week some pain came back, and I suspected it was to distract me from the anger that is now being exposed.
     
  10. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Feel the anger like heat in your body. It will pass. I am feeling similar waves of grief and sadness and loss. I understand. But I would rather have feelings. I feel alive. And a lot of these feelings are old feelings that hadn't had a chance to come up. I am safe & the more I feel my feelings the looser and freer I feel inside.
     
    Tala likes this.
  11. Tala

    Tala New Member

    I'm finding that underneath the anger, brings up a sadness. I think sadness is even harder for me than anger because my earliest memory is being yelled at for crying because I was sad. I cannot think of one example of sadness shown in my house growing up. There were only a few incidents of anger, but they were powerful, scary outbursts. I 100% agree with you that I would rather feel this then nothing at all. I went so many years repressing everything that it is good to feel now.
     
    lexylucy likes this.
  12. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Thank you drPJ for a great and clear synopsis of EMDR therapy. I too am recently retired. My work as a licensed counselor led me to become trained and certified in EMDR therapy about 15 years ago. I did not become a trainer but worked closely with someone who was a trainer and provided ongoing supervision to the staff of social workers, psychologists, counselors and MFT's within the organization. EMDR proved time and time again to be a valuable method in resolving issues from past traumas, allowing the individual to begin to move forward in their current life with a new freedom. I have not yet read Dr. Shapiro's new book but will take a look. Having my own current issues with TMS pain syndrome and knowing from whence it came (so to speak) still does not mean that I do not need to do the work. A much longer story, as you must know, but thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise for all here on the TMS site.
    Lainey
     

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