EXPERIENCING EMDR

A client agreed to answer questions about their personal experience with EMDR therapy as a way to help reduce anxiety about the process for other potential clients. Their answers have not been altered in any way. We are not sharing any details about this client to protect their privacy. 

1. Had you tried any other type of therapy prior to EMDR and did you experience any improvements?

"Prior to EMDR I had experienced psychotherapy, also referred to as "talk
therapy". I've found some improvements with it, but for my particular needs,
talk therapy was not really enough.  I suffered from severe anxiety and PTSD
related to childhood abuse and talk therapy was great for more day-to-day
problems, but it didn't help the way EMDR has."

2. What did you know about EMDR before your first session and what did you
think it would be like?


"I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and had reached out to a therapist that
I had previously seen for psychotherapy. After I explained my symptoms and
the issues I was having, she immediately recommended that I reach out to an
EMDR specialist. At that point I had no idea what EMDR was and she gave a
brief overview and recommended a book to explain how the process worked
(Getting Past Your Past). I did some research on it and knew I needed to do
something to help myself and I booked an appointment.  When I arrived, I
honestly wasn't sure what EMDR was, I was walked through the process pretty
quickly and it was very easy to understand."

3. Briefly summarize your experience with EMDR including the overall
progress you experienced.


"I have been working with EMDR for two years now and have seen dramatic
improvements. I have used both the light bar and I have had light tapping on
my knees. When I started EMDR, I was struggling with the abuse and neglect
that I had experienced as a child, coming back to affect me as an adult. On
a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst), my daily anxiety was roughly a 7. I
was very afraid of being alone and living a normal day-to-day life was a
huge struggle. I was very unhappy and was struggling to cope.  It got so bad
that I literally would have to be around a friend or family member at all
times in order to get through the day.

Since working with EMDR, I have gained control over my anxiety and my life.
Prior to EMDR, I was having anxiety attacks and I wasn't sure why. My body
would start responding to something that my brain wasn't connecting to. I
would be sitting watching TV and the next thing I knew I was having a panic
attack. EMDR allowed my mind and my body to connect. I have been able to
release about 80% of my bodily tension.  I still have anxious thoughts
occasionally, but for the first time, my body doesn't react. I can think
about something negative without the bodily sensations of a panic attack.

Since my time at DCTC I have made huge strides in my life. I have accepted a
new job, moved cities, and regained my independence.  EMDR and the
counselors have literally helped me get my freedom back. I've never been
happier and I feel like myself again. I still have my random anxious
thoughts, but now I have the power to decide how I want to feel and can
quickly move those thoughts away without fear or struggle."

4. What is the greatest thing you took away from your EMDR experience?

"The greatest thing I took away from my EMDR experience is to be able to
separate my anxiety. What I mean by that is- a lot of my anxious thoughts
come from early childhood experiences. EMDR has allowed me to recognize the
difference between then and now and to process these feelings and memories
in a healthy way. I have been able to literally feel a bodily release of
tension and it's been amazing. Whenever an anxious thought comes up I can
quickly determine if it's rational and if not let it go."

5. What type of client do you think would benefit from this therapy?

"I think clients that have traumatic pasts that need more than just
psychotherapy. I found I could talk all day about what I experienced but if
my brain and body weren't connecting than I wasn't getting anywhere. EMDR is
great for people who need that connection to be made to be able to use their
minds to calm and control their bodies."

6. What is one thing you would want new clients to know about EMDR that
would've been helpful to you in the beginning?


"Be open to the process. It isn't scary at all and it can really help. If you
listen to your body and your mind and allow yourself to let go, you will
make progress."

7. Is there anything else you would like to add?

"This has changed my life and I hope that others will be open to trying it. I
am so grateful for EMDR and the counselors at DCTC."

-Anonymous