Today is June 17th, 2011, and I have been with my present therapist now since April of last year.  As you know, if you have been reading the articles on this blog, I have been making good progress in therapy.  I can see the end of my present project, relieving my PTSD symptoms through ego state therapy (http://www.clinicalsocialwork.com/egostate.html), but as I noted on my website (www.jfairgrieve.com), I plan to continue in therapy because I never, ever want to slide back into the pit of PTSD again.  Because I am the sort of person who does a thorough job of whatever I do, I do not intend to rely on just one approach to do the job in therapy.  Of course, I know that my symptoms may not disappear completely, and I can accept that.  However, the symptoms will not disrupt my life to the degree that they have done in the past.  Of that, I am convinced.  How do I know? See my previous post of Tuesday, June 14th.

What’s my next step in therapy?  I need to complete ego state therapy, and then I hope to begin EMDR.  As I have said, I am not a mental health professional; I am just a writer who is trying to make the last years of her life better by relieving her PTSD.  Here is a link that will explain EMDR and give you a list of trained practitioners:  http://www.emdr.com/.  The information on this site is more complete than anything I could tell you.

Does EMDR work?  Officially, according to the above website, it does!  Unofficially, according to my personal experience, it does what it is supposed to do.  I have had two experiences with EMDR, and both times the painful emotional contents of the events have faded, leaving the memories of the events but taking away the intense emotional distress surrounding the memories.  This is what EMDR is supposed to do, so in my nonprofessional opinion, the modality WORKS!  However, there are many more traumatic events that I need to work on, so I intend to work as hard in the EMDR phase of therapy as I am in my present phase of therapy.  My big regret is that it took me so long to find the therapist I see now. However, I don’t want to spend time regretting; I want to live in the present without the shackles of PTSD symptoms and look forward to the future. 

Here is another link within the same site:  http://www.emdrnetwork.org/description.html.  On this page, you will find a step-by-step description of the EMDR process.  In my experience, when I understand something, I am not afraid of it.  Perhaps reading this information will demystify EMDR for you and lead you to take that first step toward finding a therapist and freeing yourself from PTSD’s symptoms.  I hope this helps you do that!

If you wish to find a clinician in your community who is certified to use EMDR therapy, there is a search engine on the “Find a Clinician” link.  To maximize your chances of finding a therapist who is competent in following the EMDR protocol, I would call one of the therapists on this list.  If that therapist cannot take you as a client, the therapist may give you names of other qualified people who might see you.  Keep at this project and don’t give up!  Follow the leads given to you by qualified therapists until you find somebody who can see you and who has been appropriately trained in the use of EMDR. 

Would you ask a dentist to operate on your brain?  I hope not!  Nor should you settle for an untrained therapist to apply EMDR therapy.  If you have been abused and are living with PTSD as a result, you deserve the best chance possible for recovery.  So find a person who has been trained in EMDR and is listed on the website.  Start there and follow leads until you find a therapist who is competent and with whom you feel comfortable.  You may have to try a few people until you find the right person for you, but if you find the right help and the right therapist, your efforts will pay off!

Remember:  The best revenge is a good life.  Find a competent therapist you are comfortable with, somebody you like, and your hard work in therapy will pay off! 

Advertisements