A quick note on my therapist’s opinion about EMDR

Freasha had asked me about using EMDR in my therapy and I decided to ask my therapist about it because it couldn’t hurt to get her viewpoint. I just wanted to briefly give her thoughts on it in case someone found it helpful. Personally, I don’t do hypnosis, that’s just me and she said that even though some people say EMDR isn’t hypnosis, there is an element of it in there because of the eye movement stuff etc. Again this is a personal preference thing and I don’t have a problem with people using it if they wish.

She said a couple of things that I thought might be useful. She has a client who does EMDR with another therapist as she herself does not do it. My therapist believes that EMDR is more useful for a person who has a solid single-event memory to deal with ie: a combat situation where they witnessed a violent death, or perhaps one assault. She doesn’t think that EMDR works when you’re dealing with chronic abuse at an early age that was ongoing and where memories aren’t the same as with a single event that is fixed in mind already.

She actually thinks that EMDR is drawing out her client’s therapy instead of helping but because it’s not her decision she sees the person and helps them through the aftereffects.

It sounded like the basic reasoning she has deals with the matter of EMDR taking something bad that happened and helping the person to change how they manage the memory doesn’t work for her with childhood sexual abuse. The memories can be fragmented because of the age etc. Many things were repressed so the memories aren’t solid and fixed, and it’s more than one even in these circumstances. She said that you can’t hurry through the healing process, (which I guess she thinks is what some people think EMDR does, I don’t know) and that doing it the way I’m doing it is the best way.

I just wanted to share her opinion that’s all. If someone is using it and it works I would never say don’t do it. This was more about a point of view and possible information.

Freasha: I’m glad you brought it up because I wouldn’t have thought to ask about it on my own and it was interesting conversation. 🙂


About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in Child Molestation, Sexual Abuse, Therapy, Trauma and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A quick note on my therapist’s opinion about EMDR

  1. Freasha1964 says:

    Tai, this is good information. Your therapist knows much more in general about these things than I do, and it kind of makes sense considering my own experience with EMDR. Basically, for me, I was unable to really bring up any trauma to work on. I don’t get flashbacks.

    If anything, I am feeling a little miffed – not at ALL your fault- that I was lead this way and have suggested it to others for whom it might not be so appropriate. I can surely see, because I had the feeling myself now that you have phrased it this way, that I didn’t really want to just put my trauma behind me. I had this instinct that there was a logical procession that needed to be traveled.

    I am glad at least that it was interesting, as you spent your precious therapy time on discussing it. Thank you so much for sharing what you learned.

    • CimmerianInk says:

      It didn’t take long to talk about. I brought it up towards the end of the session and she had her thoughts on it in order. Like I said, I’m glad that we talked about it. I think it’s important to consider anything that may help the healing process and if it doesn’t work then so be it. It never hurts to ask right and you’re doing what you can to take care of yourself, which is great.

  2. Candycan says:

    This is very interesting as I have been discussing EMDR in clinical psychology with my therapist these last few weeks. She thinks it is a good thing and could be very helpful and I’m open minded, but I’m yet to find one person, let alone one person with DID who has been through EMDR and found it to be a good thing, which is disconcerting! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Female PTSD says:

    Thanks for bringing this up – from what I can tell there are a lot of conflicting views on EMDR in the psychiatric community. A psychiatrist I saw (not my usual one) kind of sniggered when it was mentioned that I was on the waiting list for both that and CBT. He told me there was no evidence that it worked better or worse than CBT.

    I then asked him if this meant he sniggered at CBT as well – he said each to their own. I kind of think that if you have a decent therapist and a good relationship with them, then that is just as important (if not more) than the actual type of therapy used. I hope so anyway as I have reservations on both CBT & EMDR!!

    • CimmerianInk says:

      That doesn’t sound very nice or professional of him. I think people have to do what they feel they need to because feeling like you have no options is bad too. I just go with what is comfortable in this situation and I try to hear my therapist when she reminds me that this is a process and it can’t be rushed. It’s difficult to be patient but I think that people can re-traumatize themselves sometimes if the wrong method is used.

  4. Alice says:

    ive had this mentioned to me too, good luck if you do go for it, im still thinking, itd be good to hear what you think =]
    take care,

  5. castorgirl says:

    Hi tb,

    It’s good that you were open to, and explored different options available to you.

    If anyone is interested, Lothlorien has blogged about her experiences with EMDR (this link might work – EMDR search). She seemed to find it helpful, but I’m not totally sure of the parameters within which she used the technique, only what she describes in her blog.

    I’m not sure what I think of EMDR. I’m more than a little cautious because it seems to have a hypnotic element to it. There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of scientific backing for it, but that could be because it’s still fairly new. Another of the things that worries me, its that it’s often referred to as a “quick fix” or “miracle cure”… which is a warning flag for me. But then, maybe it is, and I’m being too cautious 🙂

    Take care,

    • CimmerianInk says:

      CG You hit on the two issues I have with EMDR personally: the hypnotic element and the “Faster way to heal” element. My personal issue is that I have enough trouble doubting my own mind without introducing something related to hypnosis into the mix. I know myslef and I know that I would oubt anything that came out of that because I wouldn’t trust it. That’s a “me” thing and not remotely aimed at anyone who uses hypnosis. The other part is labeling EMDR as a faster way to heal. I think that trying to rsh through something like this can be damaging. Again, I go back to what my therapist said about the types of trauma that she thought EMDR could help, which were things like trauma from war or a single assault etc. and I can see how dealing with a sinclge event might work better than something that was so on-going. Lothlorien’s article was interesting and it’s also interesting that there’s no consensus across the board yet. I don’t think the medical field fully understands the human brain so they don’t get how everything works. People are also individuals and that plays a part. I have to wonder how DID factors into something like EMDR since the memories can be held by alters, not the host. I saw that in the article, they used some sort of dissociative experience scale, but I don’t know what that is.

      My therapist tried to assure me last week that I am making good progress even if I don’t see it. I always think that I go in repeating stuff that we’ve already gone over and that it means that I’m stuck. She said that it’s part of the process because there are so many layers to the same issues and you have to deal with each layer. I’ll try to keep that in mind.

      My thoughts are very much with you CG now that this horrible season of sport is over, even though I see that the All Blacks won which means celebrations for New Zealand. Agh! I know it may seem like it’s never ending but I want you to know how proud I am of you for fighting through this no matter what coping skills you used, including staying to yourself when needed. Really proud of you.

  6. MTeresa Lopez says:

    I suggest the books of Dr.David Servan-Schreiber, and of Dr. F. Shapiro, as well as research available in the web. There is also a Journal of EMDR Practice and Research. EMDR is a therapy that has been in place for more than 20 years now and is used in many countries. I agree that it is not a replacement to the traditional schools of therapy, but it is wonderful tool to take some stones from your path. I have seen it done with a group of therapists in training, who dealt again with issues dealt for many years in analytical settings and had a very good result with it – I was impressed – it includes my own experience.

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