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Unsure about EMDR - In need of an objective opinion

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SunnyWeather

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I have contacted a private therapist for a first session of EMDR, but I am unsure of whether this is a good idea or not

I have no social support network.

Do not take any medications.

And practice self-harm by repeating parts of my trauma when I am feeling bad.

I am also unsure of where my trauma begins and ends.

Is this a bad idea? How significant is the risk of retraumatization in EMDR? I don't know if I am just trying to avoid going to therapy or if my concerns about not being in a good place are justified.
 
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Is this a bad idea? How significant is the risk of retraumatization in EMDR?

EMDR works by facilitating neurogenesis through bilateral stimulation. If you are not physically and emotionally stable, neurogenesis can rapidly, unequivocally destabilize you. If the person around you is not trained correctly to administer the treatment or identify your readiness to engage in it, it can cause harm. Only you can determine your capacity to pursue this therapy.

Neurogenesis isn't really "retraumatizing" (when it happens - and it isn't guaranteed to happen, some people don't respond to EMDR at all) as much as it creates the necessity for you to learn how to operate completely differently to how you currently operate (since that is disordered). Having spent an entire lifetime in one state, even if that state is unpleasant, you are habituated to it and know "what you are like."

EMDR disrupts that process by introducing brand new information and ways of processing information that are totally novel to your brain, which can have any number of unpredictable results. This means you really need to take the time to find a therapist who is trained in this treatment, and who understands its ins and outs.
 
EMDR for me helped me “recreate” the last moments of my little girl’s life, into a different “memory” that I could choose to be the main “picture” versus the pain of losing her the way I did.

I had many years of talk therapy but nothing helped as drastically as EMDR. I hope you have a good experience with it. Everyone is different and the changes can be small, big, or subtle but it's worth checking out.
 
Be sure you are working with an experienced provider. Unfortunatly, many people who call themselves EMDR trained got their training at a hotel in the banquet room over a three day weekend. Bought the book, ordered the equipment, hung up the sign.
There are great people out there, there are experienced providers, and there is a lot to be gained from them.
I make it clear that if we are at a major point in the work, I don't want to hear "that's all, see you in two weeks". make sure there will be winddown time, and not in the parking lot with your head on overload. Take the whole intr/outro training as very serious and necessary.
remember, you have hired a guide. If it looks like they don't know where we are going, all I want now is a referral to a better guide.
 
Is this a bad idea? How significant is the risk of retraumatization in EMDR? I don't know if I am just trying to avoid going to therapy or if my concerns about not being in a good place are justified.
If your therapist is well trained at the beginning there’s no risk. You spend the first while stabilizing and building coping mechanisms. The reason you do this is because EMDR can make things a whole lot worse before they get better. So you’ll need all the tools in your tool bag and cutting shouldn’t be one of them (also this is me pot calling the kettle black).

The risk of being retraumatized can be mitigated by a good T and great communication with said T. If sh** gets real and you don’t tell your T they won’t be able to help so make sure you go into the experience ready to battle and communicate.

If you’re on the fence about therapy you can always go to the stabilizing part and see if you’re ready or if maybe you need to spend more time in talk therapy before you move to EMDR. A good T won’t put you in EMDR until your ready.
 
If your therapist is well trained at the beginning there’s no risk. You spend the first while stabilizing and building coping mechanisms. The reason you do this is because EMDR can make things a whole lot worse before they get better. So you’ll need all the tools in your tool bag and cutting shouldn’t be one of them (also this is me pot calling the kettle black).
As written in my post, I do not self-harm by cutting myself.

Thank you for your answer.
 
All of the trauma therapists I’ve worked with are certified to various levels of EMDR.

I haven’t done EMDR with any of them. As EMDR is only one part of their trauma-skill set.
 
All of the trauma therapists I’ve worked with are certified to various levels of EMDR.

I haven’t done EMDR with any of them. As EMDR is only one part of their trauma-skill set.
What she said 👆. My therapy has never been strictly the one discipline. Both my T's have been trauma therapists that do EMDR.

As you will find there is far more to unravelling PTSD than therapy with one discipline. Part of it being that you can only do so much EMDR at a time so....then what? If reprocessing takes months you need to do other things to keep moving forward. You need help dealing with things you recover because its like archaeology. Deal with whats on top and that uncovers the layer underneath, and whats underneath may not be trauma memories but you still need professional help to deal with it.

That and there are questions you need answers too that EMDR alone doesn't provide.
 
i agree with the whole “wide spectrum of treatment” approach, but if i find a tool that works i go with it, until we get to the diminishing returns point and then we start looking for another tool. When i first tried EMDR i rejoiced at finding something that worked and went looking for the best EMDR available. Even the best i found eventually slowed to a crawl and then no improvement, but i had come a long way and will eventually have a new layer of crap to reframe that i am ready to work on. Its a tool, it worked for me, probably will use it again.
 
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