EMDR therapy?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by crazymama30, May 3, 2009.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Thoughts? Experiences? At first it really freaked me out, seemed weird, but I think I really like it. I am just curious.
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I have used it once, and am not sure if the therapy helped, or if it was other factors. There is a sequence of visits you go through, ie the first one is to identify a safe, calm place you can go to if you got too upset in a visit, and then the first session is a "relaxation" session where you practice where you practice thinking of something mildly annoying and then your safe place at the same time. That is what we did anyways. I was so relaxed by the time I was done it was amazing. I did feel much better, and have felt better since. The session was last Thursday.

    I am sure that each clinician does things a little different, but that is how my session went. I really do not feel like I know a lot about this technique, but if you have questions can try and answer them for you.

    On another board I go on several have used this and have had good results.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I was diagnosed with PTSD after living in a torturous and abusive marriage for 13 years, and I guess since I never got over all of those issues I carried my fears, aprehensions and parenting style over into Dudes life.

    I didn't realize that some of the trauma I had experienced in my married life had anything to do with how I parented Dude or allowed him to live or rather NOT live his life. I didn't realize the PTSD kept me from doing, growing and living life. Much to the same credit of any unaddressed traumatic issues - you can get stuck in your mind in that time.

    EMDR that I had was a life saver for me. I do not know if you could just walk into an office without having a relationship and history with a psychologist and just go from there - but I had seen been seeing our doctor with Dude, Dude alone and then eventually by myself. I knew that there was some things wrong with me and how I reacted to certain situations. I knew that distressed breathing, racing thoughts, fear to the point of paralization and hiding wasn't healthy when someone mentioned my x. I was literally a prisioner of my own mind.

    The first thing I thought about EMDR? Was whodoo da voodoo. I mean come on. Sit here - listen to my voice - watch the laser light on the mini blind, keep listening to my voice...this could not help....could it? I was not impressed with the first two visits but then realized that I was missing nearly 45 minutes the 2nd session. I had actually gone into the trance like state and felt safe there.

    THe sessions I had were in the beginning establishing a very safe, dark, calm place in my mind. We used a movie theater scenario where no one could get in BUT me, no one was there BUT me.....and the doors and any other accesses were non-existant after I came into the theater. Then I had to imagine that I was watching myself. This took a little bit of doing and I had to visualize me sitting a few rows in front of me. (that was weird)

    Then I watched a movie about my life with my x. You have a safety in place if the movie (which for me was a rerun of abusive time) gets to be too much for your psyche. The session will end immediately and you will process those fears with your doctor. If you can watch a full movie about an event of abuse then you can move to the next step. THe first step taught you that you were safe, no one could hurt you again and you saw what happened to you from a different prosepective.

    The next stage is where you get the remote. The remove has a fast forward, pause, rewind, slow motion button.....and YOU get to control the abuser. I was in trance like state laughing my arse off because 1.) My ex could NOT hurt me, 2.) I made his ugly words speed up/slow down. The second stage teaches you that YOU are in control. You are not helpless, and you get to go back mentally and in a way - rewrite what happened. With the exception of this time - YOU are not hurt - you are in control.

    If you can handle the laughter that this will bring (which is a good feeling) then you move on to literally reprogramming your brain that it was a bad thing, it's over - you in essence rewrote what happened so that you can move on. And you simply repeat this step/and phases over and over with your psychiatrist who is already aware of most of the horrors that happend - because the brain is wired to block out a lot of things that happen - and these EMDR sessions - unlock and deal with once and for all what happened and HOW to change them in your mind so you remove the stunted time and grow forward.

    It's not something that you can teach yourself. It is DEFINITELY NOT something you want to do without a trained professional there to recognize the signs of too much trauma because it does happen and they need to be able to see that and say 3,2,1.....and were back in the office. To get you and your brain OUT of that situation.

    It works with the greatest of fears......fears of dogs, cats, animals, spiders, snakes.....driving across bridges.....it helps YOU revisit the time and point in your life that whatever fear you have for whatever reason - developed so you can move forward. It helped DUde until they got to the worst part of his torture and abuse and then he mentally shut down, shut out and crawled in a literal closet. He may never deal with what his biofather and friends did to him - or maybe some day he'll get to a point where he's so tired of the fear and angry feelings running and ruining his life that he'll want to deal with them and learn how to be in control of being in control.

    So that's my experience -

    I recommend it highly and have used the techniques and exercises I learned to help me put a hault to NOW things that could have gotten out of hand, but didn't. So, yeah - I like it.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    difficult child and I both had many sessions of EMDR. It really helped us both, though more difficult child than me.

    You must use someone who is trained and certified here in CT and I'm glad for that because it is a complex form of therapy.

    It certainly can't hurt you if you're working with the right therapist. Best of luck!
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I agree with star, you must have a relationship with the therapist. Would not work with anyone off the street. We started EMDR on the 4th visit with therapist. I have no true diagnosis (have not went searching for one--though I am sure there is something there) but we are working with anxiety and dealing with stress with the EMDR. I really feel calmer already, but it just seems like too soon be working. Maybe not, who knows. All I know is I feel better
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    EMDR is the most studied psychological treatment.

    When I started to try it - key word being 'started' - I had to first come up with a list of safe memories and a list of bad memories. I couldn't get through the bad memories and even starting it gave me panic attacks. I was in too bad a place to get to it. It's something I should do, though. My reaction to my ex possibly being in Ohio made me realize that.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    As I posted in PE, I was contacted at one point by Rob's adoption worker that they were experiencing great success with EMDR for kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)/Trauma. At that point, she said it would take 60-80 visits to have effect but, from what I'm reading here, it doesn't seem to take nearly that long. Is that right?

  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Suz, it depends on the level of trauma, I believe. It can take a long time because for those moderately to severely affected, they first have to work on building inner resources so that the patient can deal with the therapy and the memories it invokes. And sometimes the therapy has to be backed off as more resources are needed, and then started again. I'm having trouble finding my words so I'm not explaining it well, but that's how my former therapist explained it to me. The gist of it anyway.

    And that's why I couldn't tolerate the therapy when I tried it. I didn't have the inner resources to cope with it. My coping mechanism has always been to bury it, which works great until something comes along to shake me up. Then I'm a mess.

    Here's the website given to me by that therapist: