Just another EMDR thread. With added scepticism

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
Hey,

So new T suggested EMDR which I'm meant to start on Monday (or start the start of EMDR like practice tapping (cos video) and safety stuff), and I'm up for it, and that's not really my issue. I'm mostly like "huh" about what the big deal is. She says it can sometimes bypass avoidance stuff, which awesome, let's do it. People here have said it's awful and shouldn't be done alone, which has obviously made me attempt it alone and I found it.. boring. So I guess my question isn't so much "what was your experience?" cos I have heard loads of experiences that haven't been *my* experience, cos majority of experiences I've heard have been like "omg if you do it alone it can go so wrong and the world will explode and you'll die".

I guess my question is more, what makes EMDR so difficult for some people? Or make them think it can't be done alone? Or yeah, basically, what's the big deal?

And whatever answers won't really change the part where I'm willing to do it, cos like yeah, options are low, and nobody has successfully bypassed my avoidance yet, including myself so nowt much to lose. Just curiosity.
 
I mean, you CAN do it alone. There's nothing stopping anyone from doing it by themselves. But some of us have pretty bad freakouts during and after EMDR and I would really hate to not have someone else there to help me when I freak out.

As to why people freak out ... It's 40 to 50 minutes of intense concentration on something incredibly unpleasant to recall or think about. If I did that even without the bilateral stimulation, I'd probably freak out.

Some people theorize that walking can be a form of EMDR, which may be one reason why nature walks do a lot of good for some people.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
If it was no big deal when you did it, I question where your SUDS rating was before you began. When the rating is below five, doing it alone probably wouldn’t be so bad. My T has sometimes encouraged me to continue emdr on my own during the week, but tells me that I should stop if it isn’t helping me or making things worse. It usually does. However, the positive tapping stuff has helped me.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
"

I guess my question is more, what makes EMDR so difficult for some people? Or make them think it can't be done alone? Or yeah, basically, what's the big deal?

And whatever answers won't really change the part where I'm willing to do it, cos like yeah, options are low, and nobody has successfully bypassed my avoidance yet, including myself so nowt much to lose. Just curiosity.

I think your approach to do what’s right for YOU is spot on.

I have not attempted EDMR because i was advised when I was seriously looking at it and wanting it that it was contraindicated in people with strong suicidal ideation and with a recent history of attempts. Furthermore my T suggested it’s contraindicated where people disassociate easily. I ‘drift off’ during normal therapy sessions and she feels strongly EDMR would not be a good blend with my symptoms but also my personality and history - that the in its own right and it would perpetuate the defensive protocols established in damaging childhood and adult relationships.

I love the idea of EDMR in the same way as I love the idea of … say … some breeds of dog - I’d want to have one in my life but I’m just not a good candidate and the result could be detrimental.


I hope this is really successful for you!
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
It's 40 to 50 minutes of intense concentration on something incredibly unpleasant to recall or think about.
So is exposure therapy though. So I'm still unsure on what the difference is.
I question where your SUDS rating was before you began.
Zero. Like it always is. 95% of the time my SUDS is zero. But that's no different ever. I'm basically always at baseline.
I think your approach to do what’s right for YOU is spot on.
Yeah. Nobody replies are gonna influence my choices in my own mental health. But people really get their melodrama on talking about emdr which confuses me.
I hope this is really successful for you!
Thanks
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
@Chris-duck I am curious…. If your SUDS is 0, why do you need therapy in the first place? Or more specifically, Emdr therapy. We work on things that are bothering me and affecting my ability to function in my day to day life. If things weren’t bothering me, I’d be living my life fully. I doubt I’d be digging around to find some.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
If your SUDS is 0, why do you need therapy in the first place?
Because my main issue is cognitive distortions based on my no shits given approach to trauma. So it's been suggested as a way to break through my avoidance.

And as for digging around to find issues, I am not. And I find the implication judgemental, even though I assume it's from a lack of knowledge about my situation. My issues exist, I can't get past my defence mechanisms. So emdr was suggested
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
I also don't think 1-10 scales are useful for me tbh. Actively suicidal is something I'd rate as a 7, 10 is worst I can imagine, I can imagine a 10 n I've never hit it. 0 is my baseline.

EMDR is a type of exposure therapy
That's kinda my point. Like why the melodrama surrounding it about brain damage and losing your mind? That doesn't exist around conventional exposure.
 

Friday

Moderator
Because my main issue is cognitive distortions based on my no shits given approach to trauma
My (limited!) understanding from talking with a mate who does EMDR (as in they’re a therapist, and train others) is that one would work on the cognitive distortion backwards. Rather than specific events forward. That’s under the complex trauma advanced EMDR set, however, and that’s only a few years old / there are very very few EMDR certified therapists -percentage wise- who are trained in complex trauma.
That's kinda my point. Like why the melodrama surrounding it about brain damage and losing your mind? That doesn't exist around conventional exposure.
Because in the early days of EMDR, decades ago, therapists pushed trauma clients too far, too fast.... and the same thing happened then that happens in all other kinds of therapy when a trauma client is pushed too far, too fast; rapid decompensation, psychosis, suicide.

It’s like how doctors used to kill hypothermic patients by warming them too quickly, or declaring them dead still cold, when really? You’re not dead until you’re warm and dead. ((This is one of my weird things about being a rescue swimmer, and SAR in the mountains. Water with 15 minute survival times, and less, -or finding someone “dead” of exposure- means it can be hours later that we find someone, and the ER brings them back. It’s creepy. Awesome. And totally logical, given slowed metabolic function. But still creepy. If awesome.)) People just simply didn’t know to look for slowed metabolic function, nor if it was found on accident -like the one heartbeat for the next few minutes just happening at the exact right moment- how to revive them effectively.

Because -in the early early days- therapists didn’t realize the delayed reaction inherent with EMDR compared to other types of exposure therapy when the reaction is immediate; they’d send clients home, only to have the reaction spike laaaaaater, and boom. Dead or psychotic client. As soon as that was realized? Steps were taken to avoid that, by both slowing down the process / not pushing too far too fast, & not taking apparent calm or mild distress at face value... as well as major emphasis on stabilization & symptoms management in advance of starting, so clients were better able to manage symptom spikes and self aware enough to reach for help in the early part of the reaction.

^^^ That’s the inherent danger with doing EMDR without a therapist, as well. Rapid decompensation, psychosis, & suicide. It’s not that having a compentent therapist prevents that by some kind of voodoo, but by acting as an impartial observer; someone who can both direct towards things a client is avoiding without even realizing, shape things as they’re being processed, and referee when the client themselves is pushing too far, too fast, and needs to be slowed down. <<< The advanced trainings (childhood trauma, multiple traumas, complex traumas, are just three amongst a couple dozen, last time I read the curriculum) for EMDR reflect how subtle & varied client reactions get, with different kinds of trauma history.
 

Freida

Sponsor
I wouldn't do it without a t because the rebound effect can be a bitch and you need to build the skills to handle it. That's a big part of the emdr process...new grounding skills.

A simple one and done trauma could probably be done as self emdr but anything complicated? Nope. Way to risky because what you think you are going to work on may not be where your brain wants to go....then you get blindsided and need help to get back on track
 
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