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|Thu, 07-01-2010 - 2:53am|
Has anyone else tried EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for overcoming anxiety, phobias and panic?
I started it about 12 weeks ago and I'm greatly improving. If anyone has used it, I would love to hear your stories.
In case anyone is not familiar... EMDR is a series of therapy sessions where eye movements are used to link the past emotional "trauma" to the logical side of the brain (a right-left brain connection).
(from the website)
"We do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people."
I am learning that my anxieties and phobias have a very clear link to many childhood experiences that I assumed I had dealt with. Or experiences I thought had no emotion attached to them.
Often times, my sessions will bring up emotions that I have tried for 40+ years to deny (but alive and buried deep). A few of the sessions left me reeling- (imagine stirring a bucket of water with sediment at the bottom).
Sometimes during a session tears will be streaming down my face and I'll say, "I don't know why I'm crying because I'm not sad but I can't stop myself" -- they are the tears the 8 year old little (me!) girl never cried.
Over the years I have tried herbal formulas, tapes and CD's, vitamin combinations, self-help books and workbooks, self-hypnosis, religion, uplifting religious messages, self-affirmations.....and felt like such a failure when these things offered little or no improvement.
If you're like me and have tried "everything" to overcome anxiety and phobias, EMDR might be helpful.
12 weeks ago I had not left the house without my husband-- my safe person-- for a few YEARS and was rather agoraphobic. Now I am going to the park alone, driving a bit around town, going to the store alone, walking alone, and I even enrolled in an exercise class alone and went to a craft class with a friend.
I still have work to do and issues to get through. I'm not fully healed yet but I feel very positive and am proud of how far I've come.