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  1. #1
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    EMDR For Complex Trauma Cases

    I have never posted before but wanted to ask a question regarding the treatment of Complex PTSD and dissociation (not DID, though). I am in NY and recently began therapy with a therapist who, after several visits, indicated that he had never in his 15 years of practice, dealt with any patient with as traumatic a history as mine (severe childhood sexual trauma, suicide by several family members, rape and assault by a psychiatrist when I was inpatient at a hospital,etc.) and he said that he thought that I needed to see someone more specialized in treating trauma cases. He practices something called EMDR, but said that I was not a good candidate because of my history of dissociating and lack of a cohesive memory of many of the events described above. Does anyone know whether EMDR is effective in such cases, or at all? I am now looking for another therapist since I don't want to feel like I have to be worried about "scaring" any therapist with recounting my own life. It was bad enough that I had to live it, much less that I have to worry whether my telling it will scare someone. I am bipolar, and am trying to work while having just come out of a psychotic depression but it is getting harder every day. I have never had therapy that treated me for the trauma and am concerned that maybe it is too hard for someone to treat someone who has been through some of the scary things that I have been through. Not sure what to do next.

  2. #2
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    Re: EMDR For Complex Trauma Cases

    Sounds like you've had a really rough time of it, Texas. I don't think it was so much that you "scared" the therapist as that the therapist recognized that you need very specialized care, and did not feel capable of delivering that care as well as someone more versed in the field than he/she might be. It speaks highly of the therapist's integrity that he/she is willing to direct you to someone who can more effectively deal with your specific needs.

    From what I know of EMDR, and that's only what I've read here, I'd think you might need to approach things from a different direction first, and work through some of your issues before attempting EMDR. Those more familiar with this form of treatment than I may feel differently, though. We'll have to see what they have to offer on the subject.

    In the meantime, welcome to Psychlinks! We're very glad to have you here with us.

  3. #3
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    Re: EMDR For Complex Trauma Cases

    Hello Texasgirl,

    Sorry to hear about your extremely difficult and painful life and how much suffering you had to endure.

    I would think that the fastest route to a therapist who can help you would be through the referal of your current one. This way you will have someone that lives in your area and you can be fairly certain they will be able to address your problems. Easier then finding a therapist other ways.

    If that does not work out for you then try The National Centre for PTSD. It is getting a new website design but some information is here. These people would be able to direct you to professional help in your area.

    http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/index.html

    Their number was listed way at the bottom in very small print so I pasted the info below for you:
    For more information call the PTSD Information Line at (802) 296-6300 or send email to ncptsd@ncptsd.org.

    Hope you get connected with someone soon and wishing you the best!

  4. #4
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    Re: EMDR For Complex Trauma Cases

    Hi Texasgirl

    I'm not a therapist or anything, just a peer in here
    Your current therapist sounds good in that he figures he's recognizing his limits of knowledge and expertise to help you. Like others in here suggested, if I were in your shoes I'd ask him if he knows someone who he can refer me to that he thinks would have the expertise and experience better needed to help me.

    I also don't know much about EMDR, but I think a therapist well trained in PTSD, especially "COMPLEX PTSD and with dissociativeness", would come up with the best assessments, therapy approaches and techniques and plans individualized to your needs to help you.

    Complex PTSD is just that in my mind, COMPLEX, so in my mind that means that the best practical therapist would be someone who knows this stuff well and all the varieties of dealing with the different manifestations and problems of living with it and coping with it, including dissociativeness etc.

    You've experienced a lot of major trauma in your life starting from way back when and I empathize with you and how it all must still effect your quality of life now ... and hope you find a good therapist who knows their stuff and can help you towards experiencing better quality of life for yourself ... and that is definately possible and it's never too late

    By the way ... I still have some gaps in my childhood memories too and I've reached the phase in my life where I don't feel the need to go deliberately digging for any more of them to see what's in there, like I used to, as I know that if and when I need to "remember" something else, it'll come up whether I'd like it to or not, and if and when it does come up, I'll react, then I'll learn to understand what that experience did to me and my life and how it may still be effecting and/or blocking me now ... and go from there. Like you, I've had a lot of traumatic happenings starting since childhood.

    People like us, and the struggles we struggle with in ourselves, our relationships, in life in general, and the costs of it socially and financially, are the best argument for ending child abuse as prevention of the aftereffects... but then all the poor doctors and therapists would have to find new work (just had to end this on a humor note )

    K.

  5. #5
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    Re: EMDR For Complex Trauma Cases

    I appreciate everyone's responses. I recognize as well that my therapist was very ethical in letting me know his perception of his limitations and I appreciate it, as I said to him. I also agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that a person should try hard to uncover memories that a person's own body knows better than to uncover! Thank you all for your kind words of support.

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