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Comprehensive Q&A With Francine Shapiro, Inventor Of Emdr


I came across this series of questions and answers on EMDR, and found it touched on a lot of very interesting and useful topics.

Francine Shapiro is the person who created EMDR. Like most good research scientists, she doesn't have particular reason to 'push' EMDR on anyone, she just believes in it's efficacy and knows probably the most about what it can/cannot do, how it is meant to work, etc. She does mention her self-support book a few times, but it's not obnoxious.


I'd encourage anyone with EMDR questions to give it a read. It's long, because she answers many different questions - most along the lines of "this is my problem, can EMDR help?"
I can't wait to get back to EMDR on Tuesday after a break. It is the ONLY therapy that helped advance beyond the "stuck" thinking that controlled my life.

I know what I want to focus on. Completion of one incident at a time is crucial I discovered, as is the expertise of the therapist. Talk therapy is not for me.
Thank you! I'm finding that diving right into EMDR with a very complex trauma history has not been very...
I got caught up trying to find the starting point of all my problems, and lost focus. I was so frustrated I had to quit a couple of times over a seven year period.

Now I realize that the single completed healing of a relatively benign incident (used just to learn the method) made so much difference in my ability to progress in overall understanding, that I will work on another relatively small incident just to get through the whole process again and gain that healing change in the brain that affects so many other areas.

In other words I realize it will work if I choose a topic that isn't the basis of all evil in my life and I won't waver by letting every current problem interfere.
I can't wait to get back to EMDR on Tuesday after a break. It is the ONLY therapy that helped advance beyon...
@Knak How long of a time-out (break) did you take from emdr? And how many sessions have you already had, please? emdr is hard and I both am so grateful for getting to go through emdr and I can wait to go to next session - for sessions hurt like Hell! Like Hell! And I can see difference after 8th emdr session in my brain's processing and it (brain is starting to give positive messaging right in the middle of brain giving a negative messaging! Whoa! Mind-blowing. Therapy is hard as Hell! Again, I said it. I like what you said on focusing on one trauma event at a time - and not rushing through - I need to be mindful of this myself. Thank you for your post (hug). JadesJewel
Thanks Joey! I've recently picked up her book 'Getting past your past' and I have found it to be such an informative read. I have been in and out of therapy since I was 13-14 (im 36) and while talk therapy has helped me gain an intellectual understanding of my trauma, the symptoms of my trauma still persist, and I too, feel stuck even after so much therapy. I feel like EMDR is the next step in my recovery process and I am hopeful for positive results based on all the positive things I've read about it. Fingers crossed!
@Knak How long of a time-out (break) did you take from emdr? And how many sessions...
Sorry I haven't been online to see your question. I went every week unless she was on vacation for over 5 years. I t took a 2 year break and just had another 1 year break.

It wasn't as hard for me as you or others describe (like being wiped out the rest of the day), except I cried continuously every session when doing EMDR so was embarrassed afterward in public with a red face and swollen eyes. I never believed the neglect, abuse, violence in my family affected me. I blamed myself but the EMDR made it real. You can know things intellectually without feeling the pain, and keep second guessing yourself.

I did EMDR on one incident each on my mom, dad and husband but didn't feel peace. I couldn't understand why I wasn't getting more relief. There is so much trauma in my life I couldn't pin down the worst. Then the therapist kept changing the EMDR focus or just had me talk without EMDR which was very destructive. I would dissociate, became dangerous to others and myself so I quit, but I kept getting worse.

My husband is a narcissist and gaslights me and is toxic and I won't get better until I get away from him. I don't want to kill someone with my driving, but I wouldn't mind dying to get out of this life.

I began antagonizing people. I lost my short term memory one day, so knew I had to do something. That triggered realizing that completion of any EMDR is better than nothing. I am going to go two hours instead of one. Maybe I will find a breaking point that I forgot about.