diagnosed in 2009, rejected therapy as thought it wouldn't work, recently succeeded with diy-emdr/resource tapping

Couldn't work during lockdown so started reading up on EMDR/BLS, NLP, resource tapping, picked a smallish trauma and had a go and managed to unpick trauma from the 70's ... Anyone else tried DIY therapy ...?
 
I think doing EMDR on yourself is a really bad idea. I'm glad it worked for you, but I think it's irresponsible to recommend it for anyone else.
... I think if you can access therapy then go and be healed ... But if you can't ..? Do you just sit it out ..? I'm in the UK and although generally we don't pay for health care we do still have to wait (longest I heard was 14 years) for therapy as we don't have the funding to cope with everyone's trauma. So instead of EMDR you might get meds or CBT which don't work in general ... Also I was careful to ask if anyone else had tried rather than recommend ...
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I was careful to ask if anyone else had tried rather than recommend ...
I've used EFT/Tapping on my own, though it was taught to me by my therapist. I agree with @somerandomguy that EMDR in the strictest sense isn't designed to be done on one's own. Tapping protocols allow for a do-at-home variation that is pretty benign, though I'd never recommend it to anyone who is feeling really emotionally overwhelmed. But, if you're generally functioning, and capable of calming yourself in case you start getting flooded, I personally don't see anything wrong with tapping.

Much of the straight-up narrative exposure therapy stuff can be done completely on one's own. It's emotionally brutal, but again - if you've got the stoicism for it, and are able to carve out the time and have a good personal support system (friends, or animals, or distractions, etc.), that's also an option. I've done some of that as well.
 
I've used EFT/Tapping on my own, though it was taught to me by my therapist. I agree with @somerandomguy that EMDR in the strictest sense isn't designed to be done on one's own. Tapping protocols allow for a do-at-home variation that is pretty benign, though I'd never recommend it to anyone who is feeling really emotionally overwhelmed. But, if you're generally functioning, and capable of calming yourself in case you start getting flooded, I personally don't see anything wrong with tapping.

Much of the straight-up narrative exposure therapy stuff can be done completely on one's own. It's emotionally brutal, but again - if you've got the stoicism for it, and are able to carve out the time and have a good personal support system (friends, or animals, or distractions, etc.), that's also an option. I've done some of that as well.
Nice to hear you were taught this by the therapist ... Absolutely agree about EMDR not being set up for DIY ... I self-studied NLP/counselling to help with the positive cognition ... I've been juggling for years and so pass a ball to create the bilaterals. As for calming myself I use bilaterals again ... I had the 'safe place' thing explained when I went for my first therapy session and rejected it straight away ... since then I've spoken with many who feel it's a) not possible for everyone to do the safe-place b) not as good as bilaterals for keeping the flooding at bay ... Just to clarify, I didn't just jump in and have a go, I'd been looking at the overlap between juggling and emdr and eventually started making a more realistic tool-kit for DIY sufferers ... I'd been reading scripted protocols/treatment protocols and had a good idea of where I was heading, I then had a weekend on my own when the wife was away and spent most of it in the kitchen passing a ball from hand to hand... the first attempt at the positive cognition was terrible so I kept going; it took me two days and didn't need a 'body-scan' or anything to know I'd cracked it ... The trauma incident dates back to 1979 so you can imagine how it feels to have it re-directed ... Once I'd done it I then reflected on other traumas and suddenly felt like they were wrapped presents that I could open when I want ... Great feeling ...
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I kept going; it took me two days and didn't need a 'body-scan' or anything to know I'd cracked it ...
I applaud your dedication at recovery and your courage to try alone. I think this quote touched me because at the end of every therapy - at body and mind, only the owner of the body knows when it cracks objectively speaking...so you did not need body-scan cause it is your body and you did not have the need to tell someone else what is happening in your body.
I have zero emdr knowledge, experience so cannot say what it is you are doing but I felt you strength in doing what you need to find your own healing journey.



Kudos and all the best.
 
I applaud your dedication at recovery and your courage to try alone. I think this quote touched me because at the end of every therapy - at body and mind, only the owner of the body knows when it cracks objectively speaking...so you did not need body-scan cause it is your body and you did not have the need to tell someone else what is happening in your body.
I have zero emdr knowledge, experience so cannot say what it is you are doing but I felt you strength in doing what you need to find your own healing journey.



Kudos and all the best.
Thanks for your reply, I'm from the UK, I'm 55 this year and have been getting worse not better, I couldn't afford to pay for therapy and so my choices were: a) continue to get worse b) try self healing ... I picked a trauma that was from my youth but deliberately chose that one as I thought it had less of the 'trigger-factor' that later ones had ... I hadn't realised how much it had affected me until I found the 'positive cognition' {the happier ending to what was previously a horror show} ...

Here is the background to the thing I resolved (inside a brief trauma history):

When I was young my Dad bought a piglet to fatten up for a year and then eat ... Mistake1: we named the pig - 'Bonzo', he was cute btw, Mistake2: I fed and socialised with the pig, he was a happy little soul and I'd play in the straw with him, he was the closest to a pet I'd ever had ... A year later my mum put a pork-chop on my plate and I cried as I ate him :

Fast forward past other traumas : My mum died suddenly in 2001 and that was the push that sent me over emotionally, I'd cry at a Disney ...

Motorbike accident in 2006 sent me over but nasty now, getting violent/aggressive thoughts etc ... 2009, by now I'm drinking every night, shouting at cars, failing at work, diagnosed with PTSD as part of the motorbike accident claim - (but not diagnosed by the therapist that I went on to see),

Went to first therapy (on my motorbike, after work, already filled with trigger rage) She explained how she would first desensitise the brain by stimulating one eye then the other in turn (Bilateral stimulation, the BLS part of EMDR) ... and I interrupted her and said "I juggle to calm down" ... She continued and talked about a 'safe place' - my immediate (internal) reaction was "In here ..?!? There is no safe place!" ... I went back for the first session but was even more triggered by now and told her on her doorstep that "This isn't going to work" ... left therapy and decided to "Juggle myself happy" ... :

Fast forward 11 years to Lockdown1(UK version): had time to study as was out of work due to covid, studied NLP to help with the positive-cognition, read up treatment protocols/scripted protocols but mainly looked at the overlap between EMDR and juggling via fMRI studies, hMTv5 etc- result: no longer believe in the 'Stimuli' bit of BLS "I ain't watching no dot/finger!" : so replaced 'safe place', body scan etc with active versions of BL (like Resource Tapping Therapy/Tapping In but I didn't know about them then)...

{Example: passing a ball from hand to hand, nose breathing in time if you can} ... Added: using active BL when recalling any trauma especially the "recalling Trauma history" part, using active BL in public (no ball, just tapping hand on leg, left then right) to cope with anxiety/trigger, using active BL to get to sleep, using active BL to squash negative thoughts ...

Back to the plot: Picked on the Bonzo story one weekend when my wife was away (first ease of lockdown1) and I worked out that the problem I'd had was that mum hadn't given me a choice, the pork chop was already on my plate, came up with a positive cognition that didn't work - tested it with reactive BL (more complex- usually fails on non-dominant hand/foot, replaces body scan), it took nearly two days of doing left right passing a ball to remember that during the War my mum had rabbits: "But we didn't name them because we had to eat them - we tried to make gloves from their skins but the fur fell out" ... She was 6 when this happened ... She told this story exactly the same way each time, just like me with TheBonzoSaga... This was it, the PosCog, this was enough for me to understand why mum had fed me Bonzo with no choice ... She had not healed, but I had the chance to ... Have been working on my SelfHeal toolkit ever since ...

Hope this wasn't TLDR ... There is tons of stuff online explaining about EMDR/BLS/ResourceTapping btw ... Personally I'd ignore the DIY ones until you understand where EMDR can take you and what it takes ... peace ...
 
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