Did EMDR largely resolve your CPTSD and if so, how long did it take?

A

Actualise

I have started EMDR and thought it would be a quick duration if effective. But now I am not sure and wondering the range of times it has taken others, or if you’re still doing it, how long you’ve been doing it for so far.
 
It takes a long time to resolve (C)PTSD. EMDR is not and should not be seen as a quick fix.

There are many aspects to PTSD. You use EMDR to fix them, one target at a time, over the course of many reprocessing sessions. It doesn't take forever, but it can and does take years.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
Five years and counting.
There's a lot of info out there on how emdr can work in 8 to 12 sessions, which is correct.
But.
That's generally for one trauma.
CPTSD? Has lots of traumas to take into consideration.
Sometimes you have to do them one at a time, sometimes you can do them by "groups" but either way it's going take a while.

And it's going to suck
Big time.
But -- when it works it is totally amazing, so it's worth it
 
A

Actualise

Thanks. I fear years ahead of me…

I am thinking of reading EMDR and Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro so I can do EMDR on my own as well as with the T.

Has anyone here tried to do EMDR to themselves? I googled how often can you do EMDR and someone wrote as much as you want! But so far I have found after a session the changes keep coming through my head for maybe a week-10 days. So I wonder if doing it daily like meditation would screw things up?

Or did you do any other therapies in conjunction with the EMDR? I am thinking of neurofeedback, maybe tapping.

How to fix things as fast as possible?!
 
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Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I actually did an emdr session on my fear of failing at Emdr and therapy. Lol. It helped. We are actually doing it a new way that is a combo of flash emdr and emd. That process seems to be most successful for me. The traditional emdr was too intense. We are working on getting my SUDS lower before we go back to that. (4 years in)
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
I think some people have mentioned on other threads about doing emdr for themselves, but personally there is no way in hell I’m trying it without T.

Even after lots of hard work over the last two years there are way too many dark corners and monsters hiding out there for me to go it alone!

But some people are fine.

Maybe worth talking to your T to se what they think? Mine has said there are certain things I can do, especially with inner child type work and tapping, but I’m not pushing any further than that.
 
Self-EMDR is absolutely not recommended. You need a support person with you as it can bring up a lot of issues that might be impossible to resolve in the moment.

Tapping is a good replacement as @osiris said. Ask your T about it.

Trying to resolve your CPTSD as quickly as possible isn't going to work. You acquired it over years, so it's unrealistic to expect that it won't take years to heal from. Sorry.

The more you push, the more PTSD pushes back.
 

Friday

Moderator
I am thinking of reading EMDR and Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro so I can do EMDR on my own as well as with the T.
It’s been awhile since I read it (LOVE Francine Shapiro, she’s the tops) but I don’t recall any self-EMDR in the book. Rather? Fawking USEFUL skill sets, coping mechanisms, and other things that EMDR therapists are supposed to be teaching their clients in order to help manage life, the universe, everything, whilst going through EMDR or “just life” itself.

So whilst I very highly recommend the book, I would set your expectations away from magic wand, and more toward plain English science / neuroscience, & skills building.

There's a lot of info out there on how emdr can work in 8 to 12 sessions, which is correct.
But.
That's generally for one trauma.
CPTSD? Has lots of traumas to take into consideration.
Sometimes you have to do them one at a time, sometimes you can do them by "groups" but either way it's going take a while.

And it's going to suck
Big time.
But -- when it works it is totally amazing, so it's worth it
This. @ actualise

EMDR for complex trauma is very very “new”. Meaning both a few years out, now, and based on decades of dealing with clients for whom 1 trauma EMDR isn’t gonna even dent. Because one isn’t talking about abuse, or rape, or a car crash… BUT… complex trauma. Multiple types. Over years. It’s only been in the last decade that there are advanced classes for complex trauma (whether a person has CPTSD from complex trauma, or PTSD from complex trauma).

Consider a single rape or car crash. That’s most likely less than an hour. Still takes months (8-12 sessions) to process that single trauma.

But whether one is looking at months to process an hour, or years to process decades of trauma? Both are still wicked fast compared to a lifetime.
 
B

Bodhi☆

Hi,

I just started with EMDR after 6 months of phase 1 stabilizing therapy in which my father die of glioblastoma. Which is a relief for me, because he was just a monster.

I have PTSD and CPTSD which makes healing quite the challenge. :)

The EMDR therapist explained to me how with CPTSD there almost always links between all of the traumatic events over the years, decades that I was exposed. Which is a good thing, she said, because often when focussing on one Traumatic event, even when repeated over decades, with EMDR and succesfully treating it, this case an unlinking with other traumatuc events that are linked with the initial traumatic event treated during the EMDR sessions.

Fingers crossed ey. 😉
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
I disagree with the taking years thing. I think that is including the amount of time it took to get someone to want to engage, or to be able to engage with therapy. Not the actual amount of time it takes to process stuff.

Like arguably, I've had a T on and off for 17 years, and it's about 2 since I started giving a shit and about 7 months since I found a T that worked enough for me to actually process anything. But in that time I have done EMDR and theres a set of memories that don't bother me any more after like 3 sessions. Like I have others, so whatever, I can't give a final timeline.

But let's not scare people off with saying shit *has* to take years, it's dependent on the person, where they're at, how much T they've already done etc etc. Just the people who don't take years don't post here for years. And the people who engage fully aren't still processing the same thing years later. And that happens for *a million* different reasons, and I include myself there. Just aye. Don't scare the newbs kids.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
so I can do EMDR on my own as well as with the T.
nope.nope.nope
Don't scare the newbs kids.
Not trying to scare them off -- just clarifying that for me it is taking a lot longer than I thought it would when I was doing my own research and kept hearing "8 to 12 sessions and you're done." What I didn't understand is that can also be 8 to 12 sessions per trauma. So as I chip at my iceberg and new crap pops up I have to do more sessions.

Not knowing that was a possibility at the beginning made it much, much harder for me because I kept thinking I was "failing"somehow rather than understanding that the complex stuff is way more complicated than the one-and-done type of trauma and could take much longer than I "thought' it should.
 

Renly

Learning
I definitely wouldn’t recommend trying EMDR on your own if you have an extensive trauma history…you could activate some heavy or or repressed stuff and have an abreaction and re-traumatize yourself. This can even happen while doing EMDR with your T, but they are trained to help minimize any potential harm to your and support you through it. I definitely think having the support of your T is necessary for safety.

I agree that the timeline is going to be unique to each individual and there are many factors as to why that is. The therapeutic relationship with your T has been shown to be hugely important and (obviously) it’s important they really know what they are doing. I have asked my T a few times if my healing process is going to take a long time, and she simply can’t say one way or another. I guess it depends on my brains networks.

For me, it’s gotten a lot worse before feeling better. So many channels in my brain were torn open that I had suppressed/repressed and my PTSD has been intensified in many ways…so taking time for me has been important. I was trying to rush it in the beginning, but sometimes more gets accomplished when you slow down. And I’ve had to ride the “roller coaster.” Using my coping tools has been important, but can be hard in the moment when triggered, so practicing those when calm so they are easier to use when you are triggered has been important for me.

Despite the “it gets worse before it gets better,” it’s working. I’ve noticed many of my old triggers are gone or at least my stress response is significantly reduced to them. I can now face some ugly memories and they are truly in the past. Many of my negative cognitions don’t feel so strong. It’s been a huge blessing. It’s so hard, but I love EMDR. I agree, even it if takes many years, that’s better than a lifetime. And maybe it won’t take too long at all.

I have never done Neurofeedback, but 100% can attest to its effectiveness based on its use on clients in my clinical practice. It’s so “magical” to me!! I’m considering doing Neuro at some point if EMDR doesn’t clear it all up for me.
 
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