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Has anyone tried EMDR for PTSD issues?

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Dreambirdie, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Just wondering how effective EMDR is for trauma issues...
    Has anyone here given it a shot? If so, please let me know what your experiences were like.

    I definitely have PTSD issues when it comes to consultations with doctors. Also, traveling in a car that is going faster than 40 mph is really challenging for me. I am wondering if EMDR might be helpful.
     
  2. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    I have had EMDR for trauma and I found it very useful. It is well accepted that it works for PTSD and you should find it fairly easy to find someone who does it.

    I learnt about it after my dad had iEMDR (not quite the same thing, but similar) for his migraines which he had most every day for about 30 years. Incredibly debilitating, and he was losing the ability to speak in the end. He only tried it because he had tried everything else, but wasn't expecting it to work really. My mum arranged for him to go after reading about it. He had that about two or three years ago now and has been almost 100% cured by it after a single session. It's changed his whole life completely. Im not clear why it worked really, but it most certainly did in his case, and as I said, EMDR was useful for me personally.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    snowathlete:

    That's pretty amazing about your father... wow!..that one session of iEMDR cured him of 30 years of migraines! That's qute something.

    How many sessions did you need to have before you felt significant results? And did you have any worsening of symptoms before you felt better? In my research on it, I read that this is not uncommon.
     
  4. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    If you try this, please let me know how you do! I was up for a series of EMDR sessions for PTSD in Alaska in 2005 when my then husband abruptly called it quits, and haven't had a chance to try it. What I learned of it seemed spot on. I have some good patient handouts from it somewhere in the computer.

    My doctor in Alaska brought up the PTSD. It was her opinion that many with CFS develop PTSD as a result of the emotional trauma involved with lack of support and having to adjust to a completely new life emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. She thought it sadly ironic that my husband called it quits over my illness just as things were coming back together for me. More trauma and drama, right...
     
  5. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    I haven't dealt with all the traumas from my past yet but those I have dealt with I think are close to fully resolved now and pretty much immediately after the EMDR.

    I don't think there is any worsening of them other than the fact you have to focus on them initially as part of the EMDR. This can be upsetting because normally you try not to think about them too directly I think. But worth it I think as I always feel better after the EMDR. I do find it tiring. EMDR is pretty mainstream nowadays when it comes to treating trauma. It seems to be quicker and more effective than more traditional techniques.

    Regarding my dads migraines, he still gets them but he straight away does iEMDR (my mum helps or sometimes he does on himself) and they just go immediately! He's a different man now really compared to how he used to be.
     
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  6. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    gosh, i wish i knew how to to do this--in a migraine right now!
    researching iEMDR doesn't come up with much for DIY, or practitioners in my area. darnit!
    so glad to hear your dad got relief....migraines are horrible, esp when you get them all the time :(
     
  7. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Sorry to hear this, GracieJ. I definitely had a lot of trauma due to the CFS. I guess it goes with the territory. I hear stories like this much too often. :(
     
  8. Patti Levin

    Patti Levin

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    I'm a therapist who uses EMDR as my primary method and I've also personally had EMDR therapy for my own stuff. As a client, EMDR worked extremely well and also really fast on my problems (anxiety, grief, "small t trauma"). Recently I read 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 very helpful and empowering. 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 gives lots of really helpful ways that are used during EMDR therapy to calm disturbing thoughts and feelings.
    I have used EMDR very successfully with PTSD and many other problems. It's a very gentle method with no real "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.

    There is a ton of great research proving EMDR's efficacy and it is considered a first-line treatment for PTSD by organizations such as ISTSS (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation), American Psychiatric Assoc, Amer. Psychological Assoc, Dept of Veteran Affairs, Dept of Defense, Departments of Health in Northern Ireland, UK, Israel, the Netherlands, France, and other countries and organizations.

    During EMDR 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. 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 too intense. One of the initial phases in EMDR involves preparing the client for memory processing or desensitization (the 4th phase in the 8 phases of EMDR therapy). Resources are "front-loaded" so that you have a "floor" or "container" to help with processing the really hard stuff. This phase is the most important! These resources are what makes EMDR therapy tolerable for dealing with VERY difficult stuff.

    Unlike CBT, there's no homework. Unlike Exposure Therapy, you're not forced to relive the horrors of bad events without relief. I can't say enough good things about EMDR. It's changed my life both as a person/consumer, and as a therapist. It's 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.
     
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  9. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    EMDR sounds promising. I am glad it was so helpful for you. I found a local therapist who has 20 years of experience doing EMDR, and I am seriously considering trying it out. She said the sessions can be one and half to two hours long.... which I think would be rather exhausting. But if it helps, then it would be worth it. I am thinking that maybe it could help me with my insomnia issues. We'll see.
     
  10. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    My sessions are an hour, though they often overrun ten minutes but they tend to go very quickly, so I can see an hour and a half or even two hours being useful.

    If you do go ahead and try it then good luck, I hope it helps you.
     
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  11. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Patti Levin: Interesting to hear your take on the EMDR, and that you found it to be so helpful. I noticed that this was your first post on the forums, and I am wondering if you have CFS? or if you just happened to be in the neighborhood? ;)
     
    The Spitfire likes this.
  12. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Dreambirdie I thought maybe that was YOUR therapist!! :)

    Patti Levin Thank you so much for coming on and posting, very sweet, humble, and informative.
     
  13. Shoesies

    Shoesies Senior Member

    I have had EMDR for PTSD and found it helpful. I did also find it exhausting and there were psychological and physiological issues while processing through EMDR sessions. I believe those of us with CFID should be more aware of the physical repercussions and plan accordingly. Interrupting sessions to ride out a relapse/flare was not productive.
     
  14. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Hi dreambirdie,

    Please forgive me if this sounds like a dumb question. But seeing as how we pwcs are still
    going to run into people, doctors too, who don't understand our illness how can this therapy
    help ? Unlike ptsd, we're just going to be traumatized again.

    Could it actually be helpful to remember our angst around those who don't accept us ? That way
    we're not disappointed or surprised when it happens.

    Providing you're able to enjoy life when you're not with these people, it seems healthy to me.

    Tc ... X
     
  15. CallieAndToby

    CallieAndToby Senior Member

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    Yes I did it as long as could but became too sick to continue. However it was helpful for me even in that short time period. I hope to start up again when I improve physically. I would recommend it.
     
  16. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi X--Not a dumb question at all. I expect to run into doctors and people who do not understand this illness, but I want to feel less anxious around them, and feel more confidant in my ability to deal with them when I have to. At this point my anxiety level is WAY OVER the top whenever I go near a medical facility. I know it's from repeated traumas.

    Also, I would like to feel less anxious in a car if possible, and maybe even get some help with sleep--my biggest issue of all.
     
    xchocoholic likes this.
  17. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    In trying emdr, I found the need to focus enough to participate caused overstimulation issues for me and I could not do it. It was also, as Shoesies pointed out, physically exhausting leading to flare.

    On the other hand, I did find a wonderful tape( yes it is a cassette ! but now, apparently, comes in CD form) that helps me sleep sometimes
    It's kind of a guided imagery w/ the sound emdr --- going from one head phone to the next during it. I did not find the imagery part is not of high concentration requirement. --- at least not for me.
    It is by Mark Grant ( an aussie )
    Amazon.com: Calm and Confident CD: MA Mark Grant: Music

    It is very relaxing I found it to be.
    I still have the tape and I use it for a while then put it away ( I've got the thing memorized and it doesn't work so well to used it all the time til I've forgotten it again)

    I just googled and he has a website .
    current research | Over Coming Pain
    ( hey like I said this is a tape. not sure there was much to the net back then) at quick glance -- It appears he has gone the direction of pain management. has more audio out. I have no idea what his stance is on illness or chronic pain...... I'm not sure I want to know. not up to reading right now. I'm wary of the mind/body folk --- don't get me wrong, it is useful, has it's place and yes we are all connected, but too many tend to go to extremes on that with this illness. need I say more ?

    That said the tape is great. He has a great ( for those in the US anyways) aussie accent. Seeing his picture though completely shattered my image of him..... HEY !! a gal's gotta put a face to a voice, why not make it a really great looking hot aussie ? : )
    wonder if those down under or in the UK say -- wow he's got a great american accent.ok. probably not. LOL

    PS It's also great to put on if /when you have to have major dental work. hopefully no need.

    I went back and tried to find the words i put in wrong rest for next that sort of thing. hope you don't find this too confusing. i would clarify if you need. one of those days. been working on this post for over an hour. ahhhhh . time to get off the computer.
     
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  18. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Hi db,

    I think I know what you mean about being overly anxious in certain situations. I just figured it
    was part of getting older and having gained years of emotionally significant events.

    There's a funny story about how emotionally signifcant events (ese) work. A child keeps blaring his music in his room and driving his parents insane. After multiple attempts to get the child to co-operate, his father walks in with a
    baseball bat and smashes the speakers. This triggered an ese in the child's brain so he didn't do that again.
    As a parent, I fantasized of doing this many times. Lol.

    I thought ptsd would mean someone is in a constant state of angst or emotional numbness not over responding to specific events.

    Sorry if this is off topic. I'm just curious since I get a little anxious around doctors other than my integrative doctor.

    Tc .. X
     
  19. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I just found out that the EMDR therapist I planned to see charges $160 PER HOUR, which could be up to $320 per session. SO I had to cancel my appointment. There is no way I can afford that. WOW! Very disappointed.
     
  20. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    That's a lot. Anyone else you can try?
     

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