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A Recipe For Self-EMDR

Discussion in 'Therapy' started by seaworthy, Dec 27, 2009.

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  1. seaworthy

    seaworthy Active Member

    A Recipe for Self-EMDR

    Below I’ve pasted a crude recipe of a self-EMDR technique that I’ve used in the past and I’m getting it out, dusting it off, practicing it and practicing it, until it becomes tailored for me.

    4 Phases: Assessment, Desensitization, Reprogramming, Body Scanning

    1. Assessment:

    Select disturbing target incident(experience) and form into a mental picture

    Associate words that go with the picture that express a negative belief about oneself in the present time

    Decide what you like to believe about self in place of the negative thought

    Assess the validity of the positive thought in relation to the target experience on a 7 point scale


    On an 11 point scale describe and scale the emotions associated with the target experience

    Body Feeling/Sensation--Describe

    2. Densensitization:
    Hold in focus the picture of the target experience, a negative belief or thought, and a body feeling related to the disturbing event

    Focus on bilateral stimulus while holding target incident in mind for 30 secs to 3 mins. (With, eyes closed, I tap bilaterally on my chest underneath collarbones and/or I move my eyes in a figure eight pattern.)

    Stop, clear mind, let whatever come into awareness and describe what thought or feeling comes up

    Do another set of tapping, stop, clear mind, describe what thought or feeling comes up and continue sets until no further feelings or thoughts come to awareness or the emotions that were scaled on an 11 point scale come down to zero

    3. Reprogram for Positive Cognition:

    Revisit the positive thought that was scaled from 0-7 in the Assessment phase and rescale it in the presence of the densensitized experience of the target incident

    Apply sets of bilateral stimulus until the positive thought is experienced as totally valid

    4. Body Scan:

    With eyes closed, concentrate on the target experience and mentally scan entire body. If sensations or lack of sensations are noted, apply short sets of bilateral stimulation until the sensation subsides or a positive feeling is experienced
    Whispering_Truth and dharmaBum like this.
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  3. dharmaBum

    dharmaBum Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Thank you for sharing this. Just today I was researching self-administered EMDR for intrusive memories that strike me at night when I'm trying to relax or when I am intimate w/my husband. I made an audio file of tones switching from left to right speaker to use with headphones for bilateral stimulation. I'm not sure that self-administered is a good idea, but when I don't have access to my practitioner, it seems like it is better than the alternative of paralyzing re-experiencing.
  4. dharmaBum

    dharmaBum Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Parts of the book
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Scripted Protocols: Special Populations
    by Marilyn Luber are available as a limited preview for free at Google books.
  5. seaworthy

    seaworthy Active Member

    Thanks dharma... " I made an audio file of tones switching from left to right speaker to use with headphones for bilateral stimulation." I would love to try this with the tones.
    How does one get this set up. I use the self-EMDR, like this morning when I wake up a state of terror. I don't know of an event that goes with the terror, so I just make the 'target incident' the experience of terror and select some picture, sometimes just a symbol that represents the terror to me.

    It IS a lot easier to do this with a practitioner and I wish I had someone to work with to help me get some form and discipline to what seems like free-floating madness at this point.
    For now, I'm using every resource possible to keep moving forward on getting out of this PTSD prison. I'll check out the scripted protocols book. I wish I had some direction on sorting out my dissociated aspects.

  6. dharmaBum

    dharmaBum Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Audio Tones For Bilateral Stimulation

    There is a zip file attached with the tones on a loop. I made it with the free digital audio program Audacity that can be downloaded from the web. I couldn't upload two other files which are 42 and 30 seconds long and of varying speed. The loop file has a glitch sound in it.

    Best of luck! I'm going to talk to my practitioner today about self-administration for desensitization re: intrusive imagery & memories.

    Attached Files:

  7. dharmaBum

    dharmaBum Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    I talked w/my practitioner who recommended using quickly alternating short sets for desensitizing oneself during trauma flooding and slowly alternating long sets for developing positive imagery. She did not recommended engaging in trauma processing without a practitioner as it is unknown where one's mind will go and how capable one is and grounding oneself afterward.
  8. Grainne

    Grainne Well-Known Member

    My therapist said the same dharmaBum. I only see her once every two weeks (expense is the root cause of that, sad to say) and I was interested in self administering EMDR in between visits. Was strongly discouraged, and my therapist is not one to push for 'extra' visits...she is all for me working on as much as I can from home.
  9. seaworthy

    seaworthy Active Member

    I found articles on this site, "Working with Fear" and "Getting Started with Exposure therapy" as resources to know how to proceed
    on working with myself on Trauma resolution.
  10. Gloria

    Gloria I'm taking those lemons and making lemonaide!


    I was looking for the instructions for EMDR and you wrote them. Very impressive. I am going to try it.

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