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Has anyone tried EMDR therapy?

(51 Posts)
Chaoscarriesonagain Mon 29-Apr-13 13:00:45

Self explanatory, as above.

Having been through a difficult time and in moving forward (4months, yippee!) am finally beginning to feel like myself again and losing the feeling of hurt etc.

Background: ex DP was an emotional and physical an user that took over my better judgement for too long. I ended up a shall, scared and it left me with PTSD

I initially tried therapy, but it was too early, I've been reading up about EMDR, and wondered if anyone can offer any experience? Positive or negative!

I'd like to explore the root of the fear little things trigger inside me with relation to the PTSD.

There's a small cloud that still follows me!

Chaoscarriesonagain Mon 29-Apr-13 13:01:08

*abuser, not an user!

bobblehead Mon 29-Apr-13 14:25:05

Dh had it for PTSD following an abusive work/family friend relationship. It was hugely helpful and really helped him move his life forward. We'd tried a few therapists and he wasn't happy with any but would happily go and see this guy again. I think the lack of "talking about it" was what helped for himgrin

Chaoscarriesonagain Mon 29-Apr-13 14:37:03

Thank you so much bobblehead, I feel like am ready to take it on and deal with it properly now! Time out gives us objectivity!

Sorry to hear of DH situation, glad it helped him.

itsthequietones Mon 29-Apr-13 14:59:31

I haven't tried it myself but I have heard good things about it.

PTSD is horrible and debilitating. I had it last year and tried talking therapy but the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it! I just wanted it gone. Luckily I found a very good hypnotherapist who helped me get rid of it in one session (over Skype). I just told him I had PTSD and how that felt like and 35 minutes later it was gone. I had a further session to deal with other triggers a few months later, again just one session was needed. By then I was ready to deal with the root of the problem.

It's great that you're at the stage where you want to deal with it and want to move on, you've taken a big step on the path to healing. I wish you all the best xxx

kikiliki Mon 29-Apr-13 22:54:31

I have tried EMDR and found it useful for dealing with recent traumatic events.

The therapist I saw also offered sensorimotor therapy and mindfulness therapy, both also for trauma. I found these even more helpful. However I was after help for dealing with more than a decade of physical abuse, not for a more discrete set of incidents.

molly199 Tue 30-Apr-13 00:02:22

I have had EDMR also and it was the best thing i.could have done for my ptsd. it was also not very evasive as say councelling and the like. it worked quickly also

DionFortune Tue 30-Apr-13 01:22:22

EFT is brilliant for gently resolving trauma. I have a huge amount of experience of using EFT both personally and with clients (I'm a therapist) and it is very fast and effective. I have heard good things about EMDR too, though not used it myself.

Chaoscarriesonagain Tue 30-Apr-13 19:59:16

Thank you all so much for this.

Can any who have tried talk me through what exactly it is they do with the eye thing? Am finding some of the technical talk does not quite spell it out

bobblehead Wed 01-May-13 00:33:18

I was with dh for his sessions so saw it but didn't have it myself. The therapist asked dh to remember the feelings he felt when undergoing the abuse. He rated these on a scale of 1-5 for something (maybe how strong the feelings were while conjuring this? can't quite remember...) he then had to focus on the therapists fingers as he slowly moved them back and forth for maybe 30 secs while focusing on that feeling. He then rated the intensity of the feeling after. The idea was the intensity decreased after a few times.
There was some talk involved about whether you'd felt this way in other situations (e.g your abusive partner brought back the same feelings an abusive parent gave you). It was like peeling back layers of an onion to get to the root of some original feeling you may carry.
Sorry, that may not make a lot of sense but the therapist explained it beautifully!

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 01-May-13 00:37:28

i had something similar but called "rewind" therapy - for child hood trauma.
it worked in one session. 20 mins and 8 years of abuse put to bed.

google rewind as well as in a similar way.

imaginethat Wed 01-May-13 06:56:37

Yes I had EMDR and honestly I was transformed from traumatised to feeling normal, it was like magic. I was told I would need up to 6 sessions but only needed 3.
The psychiatrist moved her finger as i talked, i had to follow it. I can't remember all the ins and outs as it was great and I have never looked back.

Good luck

spencermoon Wed 01-May-13 07:15:18

Hiya. I'm trained in EMDR so shall do my best to give you a brief explanation.

The therapist should take a good history of your PTSD symptoms and your general emotional health. This should identify the area(s) to target. They should help u identify a safe place to go to and a signal so that u can stop if things get too distressing.

They'll ask u to identify a key image that's representative of this area, a negative thought associated with that image, they'll ask you to rate how much u believe it and the feelings associated with it.

Then they should ask u to focus on the image and concentrate in thr thought whilst you follow their fingers with your eyes for a brief period. This is when the processing of your trauma happens and hopefully the image should change in some way over time and the thoughts and distress associated with it should decrease.

There should then be a process of 'installing' positive thoughts.

It can often be a short process if ur focusing on one trauma for example but longer if its someone with complex issues.

Hope that helps a bit, more than happy to answer any questions. 😄

ExRatty Wed 01-May-13 07:46:45

I'm sorry to read that you are showing symptoms of PTSD.
Sometimes it's useful to see a therapist who is trained in trauma focussed CBT rather than in using purely EMDR techniques. EMDR can be very helpful but it can sometimes less effective when the PTSD has formed as a result of a series of cumulative events.
Trauma focussed CBT plus some work on mindfulness <as someone else has mentioned> is hugely successful in PTSD treatment.
Try to find a therapist who is an accredited member of BACP or BABCP.

IdesOfMarch Wed 01-May-13 16:13:18

My DH has seen four different kinds of therapists over 18 months for compulsive/addictive behaviour (from childhood trauma).

1. Non-specialist CBT - did not help, waste of money, stopped after 6 sessions.
2. Other highly-specialised CBT - did not help, massive waste of £3,000, and he told DH not to have EMDR. We stopped this therapist after months of getting nowhere when it became clear he had no idea how to deal with DH's problems and went instead to ...
3. EMDR - very very effective, working concurrently with ...
4. Hypnotherapist who is also qualified physc, very very effective

DH sees the EMDR person once a week and the Hypotherapist once a week and he is transformed. Happy, healthy, and working through 12-step and recovery. Would recommend either or both above types of therapies and I'm very sorry we listened to the CBT person who stopped us pursuing the EMDR path sooner.

DH found the EMDR person by recommendation, someone who knew the 12-step programme backwards, and he's been excellent.

youcancallme Wed 01-May-13 17:05:07

exratty It's a bit misleading to plug BACP and BACBP as if these were an acknowledged gold standard.. Particularly if you are member of these organisations.

There are many responsible therapists who have trained in EMDR, sensorimotor psychotherapy, mindfulness based therapy approaches and similar methods. They will include some doctors and specialist psychiatrists, clinical and counselling psychologists all of whom have professional registering bodies. There are also many more psychotherapists who are registered with their main registering bodies (UKCP and BCP) some of whom will have also have undertaken extra training in these specialised methods. All of these will have far exceeded the training requirements for BACP or BABCP registration.

There really isn't a substitute for looking at how much specialist training and experience a practitioner has, usually on their website or directory listings, going to meet with them with a view to see if you are likely to get on with them in a useful way, maybe meet with more than one to make some sort of comparison.

very best wishes OP

ItsYoniYappy Wed 01-May-13 17:20:29

Hi Chaos I was on your thread when you and your ex split and mentioned PTSD when you said you were constantly dreaming/having nightmares about him, sorry to see you to are suffering from it now.

I have been having CBT since November and can honestly say for me, it's utterly useless. We haven't even talked about my trauma, she is just managing my stress/anxiety levels just now. I hope you can find a good Therapist who can help you as PTSD is a nightmare in itself.

Salbertina Wed 01-May-13 18:02:51

Emdr sounds impressive, am tempted also.

CBT was hopeless for me also, in fact made me feel worse- ended up feeling hugely inadequate at not being able to think more positively after a few back-of-the-fag-packet patronizing exercises on ABC thinking and sleep hygiene, bollocks and truly for idiots i doubt how rigorous BACP is actually, my therapist was accredited but what does this mean? Proper psychotherapy far more helpful imho.

Chaoscarriesonagain Wed 01-May-13 20:35:24

Hi all

bobblehead thank you for sharing your DH's experience , it certainly does sound bizarre , but encouraging too that it's do effective

vicar I shall google that, thank you for the heads up

imagine so glad you finished treatment early and it helped you. The results I've read certainly seem incredible, hence I out it to the wise bunch here!

ides that's interesting, I too had one CBT related to a car accident many years ago, personally i didn't feel it was for me

itsyonihappy hello again! I don't recognise you, suspect the yoni is a name change! Thank you for support previous and for coming back. A series of events have re-triggered; horrid ex has moved on super quick (with someone I work with) and I hear he's humiliated and possibly cheated.. I've done so much to keep my dignity and distance I.e. No contact and deleting all social media and moving in other circles.. But it does still affect me. I've noticed the dreams that I thought had subsided have had a resurgence, I've always started having panic attacks. I know I need to deal with this now. Sorry to hear CBT hasn't helped you. Do you feel better now?

spencermoon Wed 01-May-13 22:20:30

Some interesting experiences on here. In my experience CBT can be helpful for dealing with 'here and now' experiences but doesn't really tackle and process the underlying causes of those issues.

I'd agree with youcancallme that bacp etc accreditation is by no means a gold standard for therapy. For example I'm not registered with them (although my qualifications would more than qualify me) but am instead registered with my other professional bodies.

You might find it helpful to look on the British psychological society and health care professions council websites as well as those already suggested as that should give you a better idea of your options for therapy locally.

ItsYoniYappy Thu 02-May-13 05:47:22

I had my Xmas name on it's WankingIAWinterWonderland blush

I don't like to scare you Chaos but I think I may worse than I was, or it could I have stopped drinking so feel a bit worse, very panicky all the time, hyper-arousal/vigilant constantly and my mind never switches off (hence being awake at stupid oclock), I'm a snappy miserable old cah most of the time!

Sorry to hear you're having panic attacks and sorry your ex has started afresh in your workplace, that must be awful.

Did you find the dreams came back more when he started his new relationship?

I don't dream about my STBXH anymore (yay) unless he contacts me, I was advised that the dreams do this if your brain is not working through whatever is on your mind, it usually comes back when you to sleep and you dream about it and this is our brains way of dealing with it.

Is he on your mind a lot just now with working in the same place etc?

stella1w Thu 02-May-13 06:03:38

I found emdr v helpful for ptsd... Took four sessions to cure me. Fwiw my emdr therapist told me talking cures made ptsd worse. I had had many counselling sessions to no avail. For me it was like the memory o the traumatic evet was stuck in a part of the brain that meant i was continually reliving the experience. Emdr moved the memory int the past part of my brain

Chaoscarriesonagain Thu 02-May-13 10:18:58

yoni hi, yes , I remember now! The workplace thing actually isn't so bad; I don't speak with him and although we are same organisation, different offices. I haven't bashed into him, although I've gone out of my way to avoid him. It just hurts when I go into our company headquarters I know his new gf is there, she has done some work for me in the past! Sounds silly what am about to say, but I just don't get it.. She's complete opposite of me! Quite overweight and not very attractive in a very normal job. I really don't mean that to sound as arrogant as it does, it's just another example of why? why do all this , and for what

I feel the dreams started when I actively thought about it again, but how could I not?

I have looked at other jobs, even had an interview. It wasnt right for me though. I feel I've managed so well to hide out and get on, and I don't want him to ruin this job for me. I worked incredibly hard to get here and I am really making a difference. I also feel my colleagues have respect for me and have offered me incredible support, support when I needed it the most!

ExRatty Fri 03-May-13 12:32:32


It feels as though my post caused a bit of confusion or ire. Apologies if that was the case.
I was trying to be supportive and helpful. I am not a cognitive therapist.

To clarify I said use an accredited BACP and BABCP therapist because that will show that a therapist is at least initially qualified in terms of study and supervised practice. UKCP and the BPC are the accrediting bodies for psychotherapy and BPS is the other gold standard.

I didn't recommend a psychiatrist as generally they aren't used for PTSD except in diagnosis. I actually do utterly apologise for not mentioning psychotherapy as of course people go down that route and as with all psychotherapy it's excellent and it's practitioners are highly trained and skilled. That is the only reason why I didn't recommend their governing bodies.

I recommended Trauma Focused CBT because as far as I was aware overall it was having better success rates than EMDR. I know that a number of people have had success with EMDR and I am pleased that it has helped them. I am not negating that or their progress but there are also many many people the therapy has not worked for. That's my only reason for recommending the other option.

As people on the thread have shown CBT has also not worked for them.
One of the reasons I always recommend getting a BABCP cognitive therapist is because you will at least know that they truly are cognitive therapists and highly trained in applying their cognitive therapies to your problem. I would doubt using an accredited BABCP therapist would ever leave anyone feeling that CBT was a patronising therapy.

I always recommended getting an accredited therapist as lot's of therapists work in the UK without any actual formal training. Also there are a lot of courses offering a certificate or diploma in a therapy that is perhaps less than worthwhile. To be honest I think it's important to recommend that anyone needing help at least try to get a therapist who is qualified by some sort of agreed standard.

I apologise for any mistaken information you may feel I gave in my earlier post

Weegiemum Fri 03-May-13 12:34:27

A friend of mine had EMDR for PTS after 2 very horrible cesaerians. It really helped her get over it.

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