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Unread November 27th, 2010, 12:31 PM
Jettrav Jettrav is offline
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Default When EMDR Goes Wrong--A Patient's Perspective

When I began EMDR, I had some relationship issues that I was talking to my therapist about, and I thought the therapy was going well. I was feeling stress but not experiencing any serious trauma. My therapist felt EMDR would help clear things up rather quickly, and I agreed.

But things did not go well. Quite frankly I wish I had never heard of EMDR.

Undergoing this therapy I re-experienced painful memories from many years in the past. This led to a period of sleepless nights (something that almost never happens with me) as I endured a parade of terrible flashbacks. These negative experiences did not occur just during sessions, but relentlessly throughout a number of months in which I felt I was constantly engaged in an ongoing medley of horrible moments of reignited trauma from all those years ago.

I so much wanted to believe in EMDR, and I gave it my very best effort over eight or 10 sessions, but ultimately I can't begin to describe how incredibly painful that time of my life was.

The worse I felt the more progress my therapist said I was making. I didn't start feeling better again 'til I said enough is enough and quit EMDR and therapy altogether.

I seem to be having much more success by hanging out with friends, playing music, riding my bike, trying to make a positive difference doing decent work, eating healthy and focussing on the positive achievable good thing in life.

I know some people swear by EMDR and I've read enough to know that it can be a remarkably successful treatment option.

I'm writing this, however, to remind therapists that there is no one-size-fits all therapy, that no therapy is a magic bullet. Most of all, I'm writing all therapist to take a full history before starting EMDR with a patient. There may be some long dormant issues that you need to know about. I don't want another person to go through with EMDR what I went through.
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