CSN Login
Members Online: 20

Anyone heard of this

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

There is a therapy out called EMDR. It stands for eye movement, therapy desensitization and reprocessing. Sounds far fetched but let me tell you IT WORKS. Please if you're having a rough time give this a try. It will allow you to release past trauma's and get past all the bad crap. I tried this yesterday and know it works.

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

What does "it works" mean? How were you feeling yesterday before the treatment versus after?

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

Before the treatment, angry about alot of issues in my past. Cancer is a big one. This session was on when I was diagnosed. I was able to release the fear, anger, sadness and pain that I felt. It felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. This was only one session. They are using this to treat our soldiers also. EMDR sounds very far fetched but Chris it works. There is a therapy that involves finger tapping on pressure points to eliminate pain and other symptoms. I have not tried this but I'm told it does work also. Regular sessions with a psychiatrist for however long it takes, sometimes years, don't achieve the results this therapy does. Next treatment will be for my actual remembering of my surgery treatment and reversal. The ileostomy reversal is what has caused me so much pain. I mean mental pain also that left me thinking about suicide. I'm ready to release this.

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

Chris do you have family that is supportive of you? My husband has been my main support in all ways. After my surgery, even when I had to have an ostomy bag, he said We will do whatever it takes to get her well. I have never forgotten that and he has stood by me and been there every step of the way.

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

tiny one, I do have a great wife and very supportive family. One thing I had done was abandon my friends. Before I was ready to release the darkness and still in denial I wanted to keep every conversation LIGHT. As my health declined I contacted less and less friends, fearing that there would be no way I could face them or talk to them without bursting into tears. See, my buddies knew I was a cancer survivor, but I never vented to them about anything related to that. But since creating the site and making the decision to "come out" as a survivor I've reconnected with friends and have been pleasantly (but not unexpectedly) surprised.
I'm realizing (and it feels good as it's happening) that everyone around me has grown and matured and I feel as though now we can all be on the same playing field. Once I was able to relate to my friends that I'm in pain and that it hasn't been easy all these years, there WERE some tears, but the massive unending teary flood of DOOM never happened like I had feared. I'm seeing that my honesty is bringing out THEIR honesty...relationships are building, conversations are way deeper. It's something very interesting and amazing. Still far from peachy, though, overall...but a sea change has begun.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

It totally worked for me too and I wouldn't certainly recommend those with PTSD talk to your psychologists about this treatment. I doesn't work for everyone but all I have heard of who tried it have had wonderful long lasting results. As with any other treatments it's important to find a certified EMDR practitioner and for my I stuck with psychologists who were trained in EMDR. They have successfully used this treatment on many vietnam vets to help them become able to handle the many horrendous trauma scenes that ruin their lives.

Here are 2 links to give you more insight into EMDR:

http://www.emdr.com/

http://www.emdrnetwork.org/

On both those links follow the various links on those pages to other pages in each document for full info on EMDR including where to find good EMDR practitioners.

Bluerose

liveformiracles's picture
liveformiracles
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

I have heard of EMDR..a psychologist I started seeing last year attempted it with me. I am a long term survivor (20 years)..but am challenged with a lot of emotional issues. I become depressed, upset and anxious easily. I also have low self esteem. It was theorized that I may have a type of PTSD as a result of being very young (3yrs old) and experiencing cancer. It is an odd experience, first one major issue is focused on and then you are asked to wear headphones and listen to a low beeping tone that alternates from left to right. First in the left ear, then the right. You are asked to focus on the sound and visualize what the issue is. Personally, I couldn't do it. I actually became unable to speak at all and very overwhelmed. But I did research on it and the method is very well supported. I am sure it works well for some people, after seeking proper psychological services of course.

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

EMDR does sound interesting. Alas, my insurance doesn't cover mental health...*SIGH*

Why the heck is mental health considered any less worthy than physical?! Grrr...

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

A note from your doctor would it cover it then under Therapy of some sort? It's nuts that they separate mind from body in insurance. Nuts. Take care Chris. Bluerose

SonSon's picture
SonSon
Posts: 186
Joined: Jul 2009

If your insurance does not cover mental health you can receive treatment from public health - different states give it different names. I think in Maryland they call it the Department of Mental Hygeine (what do they do, give you mental floss and tell you to run it between your ears after each meal? - that's a JOKE).
Anyway, many years ago I was going through a crisis and that's what I did - I paid $3 per visit and they helped me fill out a scripts assistance request so that I got medicine for $5 each time.
Good luck.
Fatima

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi liveformiracles. Yes I have heard that EMDR doesn't work for everyone but my method was different than yours. I didn' have headphones used, just had to think of the trauma scene in my mind and then follow the psychologists hand as he moved it slowly side to side, that was it. We did cognitive therapy inbetween but it was very simple, the way I was given it and was successful in only a few sessions. Was your psychologist actually trained in EMDR? There are alot of emotional issues left over for most people after surviving long term. I developed anxiety issues, who wouldn't after some of those invasive interventions eh? Do you have any physical side effects from the treatments?

Take care, Bluerose

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I had headphones on and music was playing moving from one ear to the other. It is like a door in my mind opened and threw out all the junk that had piled up in there. I felt like a weight was lifted off of me. This is supposed to simulate REM sleep where we process thoughts. My therapist is trained in this. For me it's working.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Could be all kinds of different ways of doing EMDR I suppose with subtle differences, I just figured what I had was how it was always done but obviously not. That's great your treatments worked as well for you as it did for me. Great to hear. Take care. Bluerose

liveformiracles's picture
liveformiracles
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi bluerose. I am not sure if my psychologist is trained in EMDR, but she is very knowledgeable about it. I think that for me, right now in my life, it is difficult for me to even talk about my feelings regarding my cancer experience. I have suppressed them for so long that it's overwhelming in even one conversation.I am usually very verbal, but at times I get so overtaken by emotion that I can't speak. I am working through it and I think we are going to try EMDR again and see if it works. I think I'll talk to my doctor about different methods to see if they are more effective.

I do have some significant physical side effects from treatments (chemo and cranial radiation). I cope, but it can be hard sometimes. I have found ways to resolve my feelings about some of them, or simply make light of the situation. Some are a bit more challenging.

Thanks for the post, I was surprised to hear that other people had experienced EMDR.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

sooner or later we have to deal with our issues outright. What I mean by that is that I too had alot of overwhelming issues and side effects from all the treatments I have had, still do, and at points I would just compartmentalize new problems - put them in separate boxes on an imaginary shelf to 'deal with later' as there were too many issues going on all at once. Sometimes, like you I would just make light of things and that's okay for a bit but after awhile too many compartmentalized issues in their little boxes start to pile up and if not dealt with, one by one, they could come crashing down on you and you wouldn't want that. Same problem with making light of things - we are sending a bad message to our bodies and minds that 'yup this is no big deal' so our body believes us and the truth is that they are big deals and they too have to be dealt with.

I am glad you are seeing a counsellor, first great move, and I am sure that if this is a good counsellor and one you can relate to, you will be able to knock the issues off one by one. You can talk to her about EMDR and maybe for that therapy she can recommend someone who is trained in it specifically. I had a psychologist who was trained in it and it erased trauma memories in no time. You still remember the memory but it's filed differently in your mind - like any other memory and so doesn't bother you and affect your life like a trauma memory does.

Like any other therapy it doesn't work for everyone but I know enough people, including me, who it helped tremendously. Even Vietnam Vets with their horrendous flashbacks have been helped through EMDR.

When I first had EMDR, hmmm it was about 10 years ago now I guess, it was still looked at as weird therapy but my psychologist was a believer and it sure worked on me as I said. Today docs are more opened to it but there are still some around - mostly the old school shrinks and counsellors - who discount it for all kinds of reasons. Do your research and talk to your counsellor and see what he/she thinks.

All the best, let us know how it goes if you do undertake EMDR or some other therapy. Would be interesting to hear. Take care. Blessings, Bluerose

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I have had 3 EMDR treatments. After each session I feel free, just like a weight has been lifted off of me. I remember these issues but no longer have the intense feelings attached to the issues. No amount of talk therapy with psychiatrists has ever achieved this. And no medication either.

chrisguy's picture
chrisguy
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2009

EMDR sounds a bit like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Anyone seen that movie?

SonSon's picture
SonSon
Posts: 186
Joined: Jul 2009

I have not seen that movie but will make a note to see it if you say it is worth it.
Reading these posts it just occurred to me that there is a thing called a singing bowl...comes with a sort of mallet that is shaped like a mortar (mortar & pestle for grinding) which you strike against the bowl then run slowly around the rim to make it "sing". It is Asian (I think). Anyway, the tones created are supposed to have a spiritual healing effect. I wonder if it operates on the same premise as this EMDR stuff.
Just a thought.
I went into this cool store in Woodstock, NY that had them and the lady there demonstrated it - it was really cool - - - and soothing. My husband thought it was crazy - but who cares what he thinks.
Fatima

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

This is how it was explained to me by a pyschologist. He said that when you have a traumatic event/scene take place you go into this slow motion kind of thing and EVERYTHING else around you - sounds, movements etc go away. It is just you and that one traumatic scene - no distractions. This state causes the memory to be filed in the brainn as a 'trauma memory' which is not like a regular memory and it is disturbing to the person as there is just the trauma memory - no distrations to water it down and make it easier to live with.

What EMDR does is to create a distraction to the patient, while they are thinking about that trauma moment, oftentimes the distraction is just following the psychologists hand as it slowly moves side to side while thinking about the trauma. That one little distraction of following his hand coupled with the trauma memory then frees it and it is then filed as a regular memory - free of the intensity of the trauma with no distractions at all. I hope that was clear.

Like I said before, it worked for me and many many others but there are some who it doesn't work for, like any other therapy or medication for that matter. Sometimes certain diagnosis do not lend themselves to EMDR therapy but only a trained psychiatrist or psychologist would be able to determine that of course. Personally I would stick with psychiatrists or better yet psychologists who have been trained in EMDR for your treatments, be careful of those who are simply 'counsellors' with no medical training.

Like tiny one said, it can save years and years of regular talk therapy. This EMDR should be done in conjunction with cognitive behavioral counselling or some other treatment plan.

All the best. Bluerose

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Chris,

Are you referring to the film where Mark Ruffallo and Kirsten Dunst wash Jim Carrey's mind of memories of his relationship with Kate Winslett and remove all objects connected with her from his apartment so its like she never existed in his life? The thing about THAT film, was that Carey meets Winslett again and they fall in love, not realizing that they are wrong for each other. The moral of the story is that you can't postpone the inevitable and the heart wants what it wants, like an alcoholic wants another shot of bourbon. Dealing with feelings is rough and painful and true peace of mind is a rare commodity.

Love and Courage!

Rick

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network