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Unread February 20th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Anne-Marie Smith Anne-Marie Smith is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4
Default EMDR: sometimes it just clicks

I would like to pass along some of my experience as a client to those of you who are facilitators and those of you who are feeling EMDR may not be working. Along with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and a lot of patients from my psychologist, we have been using EMDR (hand taps) since August 2004 to process through childhood molestation by my father. I was hopeful, but doubtful, that my status was improving. In fact, my psychologist says "two steps forward, one step back" I say one step forward two steps back.
So many things have been confusing and not having a frame of referrence due to the abuse, I was beginning to wonder what therapy was all about. But one day recently, something he said three months ago just made sense. Then other things he said made sense. It's as though I finally found a foundation in which to stand upon.
I absolutely despise EMDR but, without it, I can't imagine having this oppertunity to actually EXPERIENCE life. Survival has been my experience for 36 years. Now, through a great facilitator/psychologist, new hope and belief in all those who work with adult children of sexual abuse, I am starting to live and understand what it means to be alive.
To those who are using EMDR, THANK YOU. I wonder if the world will ever know how much was taken, and how much you're giving back. I still have a ways to go, DID - what a weird concept that is to swallow. But, one day,I hope to awake to a new world. Thank you all for your research, support, belief.
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Unread February 21st, 2005, 01:00 PM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Posts: 207
Default Re: EMDR: sometimes it just clicks

Without commenting on your particular situation, I'll say generally that EMDR for some is more painful than for others. If functioning is improving, one is on the right track. If functioning is deteriorating, then the therapist should take a different tack, because there are ways to fractionate or pendulate the work to make it more tolerable.

To you specifically I say thanks for your support of EMDR clients, researchers and practitioners, and good luck to you in your healing path!

Warm regards, --Sandra Paulsen PhD
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Unread February 26th, 2005, 06:29 AM
littlethree littlethree is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 21
Question Re: EMDR: sometimes it just clicks AND A new question...

i can only speak for my experience...(and i get the feeling that EMDR is different for everyone, at least on some level)...but i too am dealing with sexual abuse in my EMDR and it is does feel like a two steps foward one step back and sometimes one foward and two back.

I was pushing foward in my EMDR, then something happened and I got stalled. And then an anniversary date (well actually an anniversary period) came up and i was stalled further and felt like i lost some ground. so i had to "get up the courage" to go in again to these images from EMDR.

So it seems my method is (1) going into these difficult images and "test" my strength and then (2) I have to "step back out" and "step into a safer image" to get properly equipped and strengthened emotionally with things I was missing, so I can (3) try again to go back into the difficult images--though with new tools.

Right now i'm once again in a mode of getting "new tools" or "tools i never knew existed" and will try later to go back in.

it is frustrating and sometimes seems slow...and part of my nature is to be frustration comes out of that. a lot of the difficulty comes from not believing I "deserve" healing and not being able to let myself put any "blame" to my family, to believe they could "allow" certain things to happen.

I have a question about this though....The place I'm getting my "new tools" is a very vivid world....with solid images and sensations that fill every is quite a "fantasy" world (with me and one other guiding "mother-like" person). Though this world and the mother-like person residing there does seem to be providing me with a place to see and experience what i've missed and lacked growing up and reminds me what every "child" needs growing up. Even while i'm immersed in this place in EMDR i have a sense that it is a fantasy world...for myself as a "child" in that place outright said to the "mother-like person": Is this a fantasy? And the mother-like person said, "Yes"...though she said it in a way to not make it feel like a "bad" thing.

Without commenting on my specific case (as I know you say here ALL the time)...could you answer this question. Are fantasy-scapes, or alternative worlds, in the mind a "normal" thing in the EMDR world to help deal with things?

thank you.
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Unread February 27th, 2005, 09:47 PM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
Forum Leader
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Posts: 207
Default Re: EMDR: sometimes it just clicks

Several comments (and you are quite right, they ARE general comments):

1) the going into difficult material and coming out to resource/positive material, and then back into the difficult material is a useful and necessary step for some people. Whether one calls it "fractionation" as in the hypnosis literature, or "pendulation" as in the somatic experiencing literature, it helps keeps things from being overwhelming.

2) seeing things in imagination is an important resource for many people. It helps supply experiences that were missed, so for example, nurturing in the minds eye supplies the experience of nurturing that may have been missed. The brain seems to enjoy the experience and benefit from it even though it is fictional.

3) On the other hand, one best not avoid the grieving that needs to occur for the lost years of not being nurtured, the loving parent one didn't have.

4) Finally, if someone knows that it is imagination and not reality, then the person is reality oriented. If someone spends a great deal of time in fantasy, to the exclusion of reality, it may be another form of dissociation. Ones therapist may be able to help sort that out.
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