Anyone tried EMDR?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by minimonkey, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    I'm curious about the possible treatment applications for EMDR in chronic pain. Has anyone tried this, and care to share any positive/negative experiences with it?????
  2. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    Thanks for the responses. Yes, EMDR was originally used mostly for PTSD, but recent explorations have led to a lot of other uses -- performance enhancement, removing creative blocks, etc.

    We all have trauma in our histories -- whether it is something severe like abuse, or simply the things that happen to one getting through childhood (falls, illnesses, taunting by peers, medical tests, etc).

    There is some promising (but inconclusive) research on EMDR for chronic pain -- isolate the pain as a starting point, process the neural pathway, etc. This is particularly promising for folks who have severe trauma histories, since so many of the after-effects of trauma have neurological effects that reside in the pain pathways, and can be one cause of chronic pain and illness (certainly not the only cause, and it is a physical after-effect, not a "psychological" one).

    I'm a clinician trained in EMDR, and a chronic pain sufferer -- I use it for trauma, and have seen it work wonders with that. I've also had it done on me, and found it pretty amazing overall.

    Anyways, it is fascinating (both for me as a clinician and potential patient) as one avenue for pain, so I thought I'd ask...

  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    EMDR helped me tremendously with sexual abuse issues, I can't recommend it highly enough. I think all therapists should be trained in it. I think it is good for any kind of emotional trauma, even "small" ones.

    I have no idea if it works for chronic pain issues, but that would be interesting to explore.

    Mary
  4. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I've only vaguely heard of it.

    How do you find someone who does it, and what would the approx. cost be? For those who've had some success, how many sessions did it take, and can you sum up what is involved?


    Jeanne
  5. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

  6. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    What is involved depends on what you are treating, actually. For a much more detailed account, look up EMDR on the internet -- there is an information page with the EMDR association.

    Briefly:

    The process itself involves the patient identifying a disturbing thought or image (and the negative thoughts about the self that come with the image) and then being guided through a series of eye movements (some clinicians use bi-lateral sounds or tapping, but I prefer the eye movements) -- there are pauses between sets of movements, where the patient focuses on what he/she is feeling in the moment -- sometimes it is an image, sometimes a feeling, sometimes a bodily sensation, etc. It can bring up a lot of old memories, feelings, etc. The general idea is that you are following a neural pathway that is associated with the way the trauma is stored, and processing it with both hemispheres of the brain. (Trauma memories are stored very differently in the brain and nervous system than normal memories)

    If you have had a single traumatic episode that you want to work on (say, a car accident) -- then it may literally only take one or two sessions to process most (or all) of the trauma. For folks with severe histories of repeated trauma, it may take months or even years of treatments, but generally the results are still much faster than with talk therapy alone. Often, PTSD symptoms will lessen or disappear quite rapidly after beginning treatment.

    Very commonly, someone will seek treatment for a recent traumatic event, and it will uncover older traumas that also need processing.

    Generally, a session will last about an hour and a half. I have no idea what the prices are by geographic area -- generally about the same as therapy, in my experience. EMDR is done by trained clinicians, most of them therapists or social workers. I think in some cases non-therapists can also get training -- for emergency relief and the like.

    I would do an internet search for EMDR and your geographic location -- I think there is a referrals page on the main EMDR website, too.

    Hope that helps a little.