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Thread: EMDR - experiences/thoughts/anecdotes?

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    EMDR - experiences/thoughts/anecdotes? 
    #1
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    has anyone had EMDR, what were your experiences and how would you recommend getting the best out of it? i?d be particularly interested to hear if anyone has had it for memories they?re completely dissociated from- as the main trauma that?s ruled my life for years is such a memory.

    i?ve only had 2 sessions but am amazed. i still don?t quite believe something so simple can transform an intensely painful memory into just a memory. but that?s what its done.

    i?d really appreciate it if anyone has any anecdotal advice about how to get the best out of it ie.

    - how to choose memories to work with? my therapist wanted memories that haunt me, but there are a lot, and this is expensive.

    - is there anything you can do before or after to maximise the benefit?

    - how(/does) it work with dissociated memories?

    - have you used it as part of addiction treatment? how effective did you find it? i?m currently in rehab.
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    I had EMDR after rehab for the better part of a year, and I think for it to be effective, it has to be a long-term treatment. I considered it a part of my addiction treatment because many times, traumatic memories, of things that were done to me, or I did to other people, would haunt me, and alcohol and other downers would put a stop to it. Not that recollection of these unpleasant memories has completely stopped, but I don't need to drink myself into an alcoholic stupor over them anymore. I don't even have a diagnosis of PTSD (from violent early childhood abuse) anymore. I don't know that I can really say how it works with dissociated memories, but I was surprised at the amount of shit I had managed to lock away that came flooding back over the course of the treatment, nor can I really say that there was a way to maximize the benefit, except to confront the bad memories head on and resist the urge to lock them back away, which was extremely difficult for me at first.
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    I did 5 sessions. Frankly I wasn't impressed. I could never really completely let go when it came to visualizing the memories. I always felt like I was guiding it instead of it guiding me.

    The evidence for it working is really weak as well. I didn't realize how controversial it was in the phych profession when I started going.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj View Post
    I did 5 sessions. Frankly I wasn't impressed. I could never really completely let go when it came to visualizing the memories. I always felt like I was guiding it instead of it guiding me.

    The evidence for it working is really weak as well. I didn't realize how controversial it was in the phych profession when I started going.
    Just corroborates my belief that this is something you have to be in for the long haul. You don't accomplish dick in five sessions. I was told this going into it.
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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj View Post
    I always felt like I was guiding it instead of it guiding me.
    I had that fear at the start but realised that even if I'm guiding it, it and I are the same thing, my brain/consciousness/whatever is still guiding my brain/consciousness/whatever, and that realisation, plus things that seemed totally unrelated popping into my head, then the connection become clear, helped me let go. plus my therapist says you can't do it wrong.

    i've done a bit of research on it and it appears to me that there is evidence. though actually i don't give a fuck about the statistical evidence when my own anecdotal evidence, i don't really feel anything about stuff that would reduce me to tears, is so strong.

    aihfl- i'm so glad it worked for you!! that's really awesome.

    i had the accelerated derivative today, and i'm stunned. i couldn't have done EMDR on the memory we used because even just thinking about it made me close to hysterical. you don't have to go into any detail in the therapy or properly activate the memory. instead you think of the memory very briefly, but don't activate it, then focus on something positive while doing specific movements, then feedback how you're feeling, repeat. i keep making myself remember the event now, which was too painful to come near before, and i don't get upset. i feel like i should get upset. i'm worried i'm just numb. i just can't believe it, like its gonna come back.

    so tomorrow we're going to go for the big one. and it doesn't matter with ART whether I'm dissociated.

    anyone else have experiences of ART?
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