PTSD, EMDR, and EFT

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been used to effectively overcome the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD has traditionally been diagnosed with people who have experienced severe trauma, like severe childhood abuse, and trauma experienced soldiers, police officers, paramedics, and firefighters. Complex PTSD is a new diagnosis, which has not yet been accepted into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5). Honestly, I know very little about EMDR, yet I use self-administered EMDR several days a week for a little while now.

Here is an NBC 3 minute video that explains EMDR, and here is a 60-minute video demonstrating an EMDR session. A couple of friends have recommended the book The Body Keeps Score, which according to them, is a good explanation of how a person gets PTSD. While I own this book, I have not yet started reading it. I decided to write this blog now because of the COVID-19 event, rather than research this topic more thoroughly as I have planned.

My method of self-administered EMDR (detailed below), is to first do a session of Emotional Freedom Technique, and then continue with the specific issue I have used for EFT while watching an EMDR Android app and holding onto the palm-sized paddles of the Thera Tapper. I do not recommend this for people who have more severe trauma. If this method causes psychological distress, rather than relieving it, I recommend you stop using my method, and see a qualified EMDR therapist if you can.

I have done EFT in the past and found it helpful for relieving complex emotional problems. I learned how to do it from the information on Gary Craig’s website, the creator of EFT, and the book Emotional Freedom Technique for Dummies. I have never read or heard of people reacting to EFT in a strongly negative way like I have heard can happen for people who self-administer EMDR. EFT seems to be more suited to do oneself or be self-administered. EMDR is more likely to be helpful and quick if you can afford a therapist.

I first identify an issue, step 1 of the EFT recipe outlined on Gary Craig’s website. I follow the tapping sequence as prescribed. Then I continue thinking, or saying out loud, this issue while following the light move back and forth on my Android Tablet EMDR app (EyeMove X EMDR Trauma Therapy) while holding the Thera Tapper paddles. The EFT procedure I use I got from the book and website mentioned above, but how I use the EMDR Android app and Thera Tapper is pretty well my invention.

This youtube video convinced me that the Thera Tapper was worth investing in. I don’t have money for an EMDR therapist, so this was something I came up with, that does seem to work somewhat. I haven’t had enough experience with my method of EMDR yet to be convinced it is helping me. My policy, if it makes a little difference, and doesn’t take too much time, I’ll try to find time to do it regularly.

Please comment, especially if you know more about this topic than I do, and I will add your comments to this blog.

2 Comments

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