Intensive EMDR

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I have PTSD (and I actually think it should be C-PTSD) and have been through a great deal of childhood trauma. My therapist and I started doing EMDR in January but after 3 sessions of EMDR we stopped because life got a lot more intense. He said that when he read the room, it wasn't the right time to do it and that he's waiting until things in my life are calmer again to resume. He also stated that he thinks I did really well with EMDR and that we were taking things slow and starting with more medium type traumas and he knows that there is definitely more work to be done with EMDR.

Here's the problem: I have an HMO for my insurance. My therapist works for the HMO and, although I do feel like he's a great therapist, the HMO cranks patients through the great machine. My T must have over 100 patients. It's very competitive to get appointments. When doing EMDR, we do every other week because that's the most he can justify seeing me and I'm only allowed so much EMDR due to their policies.

I feel like it was helping me and I genuinely want to get better. If I could afford to pay for a private therapist I could see every week, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I thought that maybe I could afford to do some EMDR with a private therapist during the summer. I'm a teacher, so I have the summer off and have the time to really work on things without having to worry about balancing my stressful demanding job with trauma processing. I was poking around the internet and found a trauma counseling center that offers an intensive EMDR program where you do a lot of work in a short period of time. I can afford the price and I can definitely find the time.

So I'm wondering if anyone else has done EMDR this way or if anyone has any advice about how to proceed in general. I'm not dead set on this course of action but I do want to find a way to move forward and deal with my trauma. Any advice at all is welcome and appreciated.
 

Freida

Sponsor
I'd be really careful with the intensive ones because they are generally pointed towards people with one or two traumas, who can go thru the memory and recover from the session in just a few hours.

I've been doing emdr for about 3 years and still nowhere near done, mostly because I can only handle bits of memories at a time. Trying to do it all sounded great when I first saw those centers but my t shot it down immediately. Because it's not just the emdr session...its what happens afterwards that is the challenge. As you get into harder memories that part is going to be really important because you keep processing after the session is done.

I know it sucks but staying with your t, especially if you trust him, and doing it slowly might be a better option even if it takes longer than you would like.
 

David1959

Confident
I have PTSD (and I actually think it should be C-PTSD) and have been through a great deal of childhood trauma. My therapist and I started doing EMDR in January but after 3 sessions of EMDR we stopped because life got a lot more intense. He said that when he read the room, it wasn't the right time to do it and that he's waiting until things in my life are calmer again to resume. He also stated that he thinks I did really well with EMDR and that we were taking things slow and starting with more medium type traumas and he knows that there is definitely more work to be done with EMDR.

Here's the problem: I have an HMO for my insurance. My therapist works for the HMO and, although I do feel like he's a great therapist, the HMO cranks patients through the great machine. My T must have over 100 patients. It's very competitive to get appointments. When doing EMDR, we do every other week because that's the most he can justify seeing me and I'm only allowed so much EMDR due to their policies.

I feel like it was helping me and I genuinely want to get better. If I could afford to pay for a private therapist I could see every week, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I thought thatng EMDR for 30 years maybe I could afford to do some EMDR with a private therapist during the summer. I'm a teacher, so I have the summer off and have the time to really work on things without having to worry about balancing my stressful demanding job with trauma processing. I was poking around the internet and found a trauma counseling center that offers an intensive EMDR program where you do a lot of work in a short period of time. I can afford the price and I can definitely find the time.

So I'm wondering if anyone else has done EMDR this way or if anyone has any advice about how to proceed in general. I'm not dead set on this course of action but I do want to find a way to move forward and deal with my trauma. Any advice at all is welcome and appreciated.
I have read that EMDR can be very effective. My initial T 5 years ago who had been practicing EMDR for 30 years tried 4 times with me, could not even scratch the surface of the steel wall surrounding my Traumas
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I'd be really careful with the intensive ones because they are generally pointed towards people with one or two traumas, who can go thru the memory and recover from the session in just a few hours.

I've been doing emdr for about 3 years and still nowhere near done, mostly because I can only handle bits of memories at a time. Trying to do it all sounded great when I first saw those centers but my t shot it down immediately. Because it's not just the emdr session...its what happens afterwards that is the challenge. As you get into harder memories that part is going to be really important because you keep processing after the session is done.

I know it sucks but staying with your t, especially if you trust him, and doing it slowly might be a better option even if it takes longer than you would like.

It's not even that I want to get through it all and heal really quickly. That would be nice, of course (and I think virtually everyone here wishes they could spend a week dealing with their traumas and be done with it). It's more that appointments with my T are hard to get and eventually I won't be allowed to continue with EMDR with my T because the HMO will cut me off due to their structure for therapy. The HMO has things structured to where I'm only normally allowed one appointment per month for individual therapy but can attend group therapies for additional support. I'm currently in three different group therapies and find them great for support. Honestly the group therapies keep me stable. But I don't want to just be stable and stumbling through my life, getting through it. There's got to be more to life than just making it through more rotations of the earth or revolutions around the sun.

If working with my T could be long term EMDR or if we could go through some processing cycles and go back to talk therapy and then do more processing, I would be able to be patient with that. We started EMDR around the belief that I am unlovable. Once we have done all we can do with that belief, that's it, no more EMDR. I'm worried that there will come a point with talk therapy where I will stop improving and just remain stable. I know that there will come a point where I am as healthy as I will ever get, no matter what type of therapy I do, but I don't think talk therapy is the type of therapy that will get me there. So many of my traumas are difficult, if not impossible, to talk about so I doubt we'd really ever address them through traditional talk therapy. Also once per month therapy in a machine where I'm just a number to my T isn't likely to yield a whole lot. I have actually had to get my teacher voice out with him and make him go look at the notes from previous sessions when he forgets what we're doing. I'm not talking about him forgetting an incident I told him about or someone's name that I mentioned. He would actually forget the plan we discussed and decided on in the last session. Due to the structure of everything, he can never really be my partner in the healing process and in the days between sessions, which are weeks at times, I'm on my own to deal with my stuff. I used to think he hates me but now I truly believe he is indifferent to me. I honestly believe that if I just ghosted out of therapy that he wouldn't notice or if he did notice, wouldn't actually care. But he does seem to really get me and actually understand the things I'm trying to tell him. I think if he was a private therapist that I could see once per week, he would be a lot more with me in this whole thing because he wouldn't be so overwhelmed. Unfortunately, things are what they are.

What was happening in the fall is that I'd get a backlog of important things I wanted/needed to talk about and would have to choose what one or two things to discuss with him. This led to me almost committing suicide in December because I was so overwhelmed and felt so alone in this journey. The start of EMDR gave me hope and I felt some things start slightly shifting. I've explained this to my T and he gets it. I've never told him about the incident in December (although I probably should). The truth is that I'm not getting what I need to heal out of my current arrangement and I know it. I'm trying to find something to make things different so that I can heal and do it more safely than clawing and scratching for just basic survival. I'm just honestly not sure what direction to go in but I feel like something needs to change.
 

Freida

Sponsor
ahhh -- yep that makes sense.

I was on an hmo also and a year or so into therapy they changed their providers and they wanted to move me to someone new. Luckily my T was awesome about it and is now seeing me on a sliding scale. It's still spendy, but it's doable.

Can you check with your local crisis centers and see if they have people who are willing to do that? I guess it's pretty common because most of them try to have at least one or two pro-bono or close to it clients, but they don't advertise it.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I don't need pro-bono. If I saw someone once per week, I could probably afford about 50 dollars a week. Maybe slightly more. I know that therapy costs more than that typically so I guess I would need a sliding scale sort of thing. If my T could do that on the side, I'd take up a side gig to pay him if I had to. I do really like him. Since the pandemic started, he's just been overwhelmed. He's a human surviving the pandemic too. I've worked with a number of counselors/therapists and he's been the only one I've ever really clicked with. It's a scary thought to leave the person who gets me, something I've been looking for for years, but I'm also really struggling because he just can't be with me on this journey in any real way. He was a great therapist who was really paying attention when I started seeing him before the pandemic. I know his overload of work is definitely part of this. I'm hoping with the vaccines rolling out pretty steadily in my state and school buildings reopening that some of the people might leave therapy with life returning somewhat back to normal. That's the biggest challenge these days- finding someone who even has an opening.

I filled out the form that I was interested in the intensive EMDR program but I think when they call I might see if I could do regular EMDR once a week for the summer instead. It doesn't hurt to have a discussion and I could afford weekly therapy for the summer, just not long term.
 
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