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Author Topic: any views on EMDR?  (Read 197 times)

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Offline beccaboo

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any views on EMDR?
« on: April 02, 2014, 07:25:24 AM »
Just wanted to find out if anyone else has experience with EMDR treatment? I've been doing this treatment with my Doc for several months now and have found it helpful. Anyone have any views, good or bad. 

How is it with dealing with GAD, I've been suffering over 10yrs and would love to know if this is a treatment that works, if there are any other treatments people can recommend?
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Offline Christophe

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Re: any views on EMDR?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 12:45:18 PM »
I've tried it a few times before and have read up on it many times.  Interesting and strange little thing they have you do with the eye movements.

I actually did for my first therapy session a few days ago and I did feel better yesterday then previous days but that could also be due to the right dose of Xanax I seem to have nailed as well.  We are going to try a few more sessions but I'm skeptical with this and hypnotic techniques in general.

Always worth a try and definitely keep doing it if it's helping.
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Offline pjl

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Re: any views on EMDR?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 07:58:47 AM »
I'm a psychologist who uses 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 role as a facilitator who trains 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 has a ton of excellent research behind it validating its efficacy.
 
One of the initial phases (Phase 2) in EMDR therapy 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) 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.
 
In addition to my therapy practice, I roam the web looking for EMDR therapy discussions, try to answer questions about it posted by clients/patients, and respond to the critics out there. It's not a cure-all therapy, however, it really is an extraordinary psychotherapy and its results last. In the hands of a really experienced EMDR therapist, it's the most gentle way of working through disturbing experiences.
 
And, BTW, The World Health Organization has published Guidelines for the management of conditions that are specifically related to stress. Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR are the only psychotherapies 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. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): This therapy is based on the idea that negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours are the result of unprocessed memories. The treatment involves standardized procedures that include focusing simultaneously on (a) spontaneous associations of traumatic images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations and (b) bilateral stimulation that is most commonly in the form of repeated eye movements. Like CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive beliefs 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.”  (p.1) (Geneva, WHO, 2013)
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: any views on EMDR?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2014, 08:50:33 PM »
If you've tried EMDR for several months, and have gotten some benefit, then appreciate what benefit it has given you, and move on.   EMDR is not a panacea for anxiety disorders.  It can help somewhat in reducing negative emotion, however it will not change the structure of a damaged brain, tarnished by an anxiety disorder.

There is a lot of data, especially on the internet, that falsely hypes the benefits of this therapy.  Much of that hype will be shrouded in a lot of excessive, psychiatric jargon, but this technique is just moving one's eyes back and forth, or tapping both sides of the body, in order to assist in the balance of both halves of the brain, while processing negative emotion.  This type of rebalance can also be found in exercise and meditation, but likewise, the benefits of those therapies are only short term as well.

So yes, EMDR can somewhat help with negative emotion, but with an anxiety disorder, it will never be a cure all, otherwise you may be rolling your eyes back and forth for the rest of your life in the hope to handle all your negative emotions.   For most people this life long technique is not reasonable.  The continued attempt only funds the therapist's pocket book, under your false belief that EMDR can exceed more what it can actually accomplish.   Not to mention, if you do the eye rolling of EMDR regularly in public, when you get anxious, you will appear strange, and more than likely scare off onlookers.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17284128

A randomized trial on EMDR, done by scientific researchers, on control groups, showed EMDR had some benefit, but it was not a cure all for anxiety disorders, and neither was it deemed a replacement for those who are recommended to be on SSRI medications.
 
Also there are many overhyped claims that EMDR cures PTSD, however be weary of what is termed PTSD.  Some may call PTSD when feeling fear for having to speak to public audiences, which is also normal due to performance anxiety, however this is not the same anxiety a war veteran experienced in the Middle East, when seeing fellow soldiers shot to death, or living in terror their platoon maybe bombed later by local terrorists.

Both examples do not diminish the anxiety either party feels, however to make a comparison that both cases are equal, with how EMDR works, as part of a scientific mean, is criminally misleading. 
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Quacks prey on us Anxiety Disorder sufferers as part of the Mental Health community, since we can be desperate for healing.  Don't be victimized, instead be EDUCATED about  QUACKERY!!!!! http://www.quackwatch.com/ 

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