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EMDR trauma therapy DOES NOT involve "re-living" or "re-hashing" traumatic events!

Many people fear that trauma therapy for abuse or PTSD will bring up horrible flashbacks, or that it will just be a lot of useless, painful talk. This keeps a lot of people out of therapy.

The good news: EMDR is not only more effective than other trauma therapies, it does not involve re-living the past, or de-sensitizing you by describing the event in detail! Even when some details must be given (such as what and when), EMDR therapists like me use a host of tools to make sure that any disturbance is easily tolerable (see the blog post, "The mystery of the Flash Technique").

Some trauma therapies I don't like, including several that are actually effective, unfortunately work by making the client listen to, or write out, what happened in horrible detail, time and time again, until the client is just so sick of it that he or she is numb. I don't think that can be described as "therapy"--it's like brainwashing at best, if it works. Long before I learned EMDR, I was trained in TFCBT for children, and I used it once. I just couldn't keep making a little girl hurt like that. The most popular and "effective" cognitive desensitization therapy has a 60% "success" rate--but "success" only means that PTSD symptoms were reduced below a certain level, not eliminated. End result: life sucks, just less. And what happens to that other 40% of clients it didn't work on? Terrifying. I have to say that some of these therapies are now being combined with EMDR and are producing great results, but I just use EMDR.

With EMDR, I see the elimination of symptoms (very often total elimination), but I also see the elimination of triggers for symptoms--as well as the healing of multiple traumatic events at once, and in relatively few sessions.

Additionally, EMDR goes beyond healing trauma, and is a true "therapy." That is, EMDR also initiates a radical change in self-belief toward the positive, toward freedom and a new outlook. This isn't hard. It happens when clients simply "show up" each week for therapy, and "just let what happens, happen" with an open mind. Sometimes clients have a special case in which there are other disorders present complicating the issue--but with years of experience, and as an EMDRIA Certified EMDR therapist and Approved Consultant (that's the highest level of training), it's likely nothing I haven't seen before.

Please scroll through my previous posts to read more about EMDR and trauma. You may want to start with blog entries that have "EMDR" in the title, and if you are using a computer, you can choose to only see blog entries related to EMDR and trauma by selecting the "hashtag" on the right-hand side of the blog-page called "#trauma/abuse/EMDR." You may have to scroll down to see that.

Nothing can make a bad memory a good memory, but it doesn't have to disturb you anymore. It can be in the past, over, with no disturbance. You have lots of bad memories--like when they got your order wrong at Wendy's, and you got really mad. But you don't think about memories like that, or get triggered, and you may even have trouble remembering details, because it's just some old stuff that happened in the past. What if your childhood sexual abuse were like that? Name the trauma. That's what EMDR does. And if I were stretching the truth about this, I'd be out of business!

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