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EMDR & Neurofeedback for PTSD / Childhood Sexual Abuse - Tic Disorder - anyone tried this?

Community Member

Hi guys,

Long story short, when I finally told my family about my childhood sexual abuse from a family relative at the age of 24, which unravelled a bunch of negative/seriously stressful outcomes and a few weeks on, my top right lip (and right lip and right eye) started to twitch and spasm. This was 5 years ago (and many tests/therapies later) and since then the spasm has moved into my neck and back and now foot (with pain from the tightness/spasm!)....dystonia, tourettes...who knows. The spasms also come with a feeling of intense panic and chest tightness.

I've recently tried EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) for past trauma which has helped me cognitively reframe memories with new empowering narratives however the tic/spasm is still there (pain with this is the biggest issue).

Next week I have my first Neurofeedback session which I'm pretty hopeful about. I definitely have issues focusing and regulating mood/emotions so am hoping this will help to calm the nervous system and therefore help to resolve the tic...maybe. To note, I also had seizures as a child which I now know are related to the trauma.

Does anyone have similar issues with facial pain/tics? Has anyone tried neurofeedback for PTSD / tics and if so, have you seen any benefit?

I'm also looking to document this experience so let me know if you have any questions!



4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi AnnaL and warm welcome to our community

I am so pleased you've found your way here. My heart goes out to you as you take such inspiring steps to help yourself move forward in your life. It's terrible to hear that the outcome to your saying something about your childhood abuse unravelled negative and seriously stressful outcomes. You're safe here and will find people very supportive and caring.

PTSD, anxiety and depression can have some very debilitating physical symptoms that I can relate to as I was abused as a child. I understand how you must feel having a twitch and facial spasm. While I haven't had your type of symptoms, mine are more around - stomach upsets, fatigue, muscular pain. It took me years to find out that it was associated with my mental health as opposed to any physical illness.

While I haven't used EDMR and neurofeedback, I have used similar types of treatment, i.e. EFT and trauma focussed cognitive behaviour therapy. These therapies helped me tremendously to help shift my neuropathways that had been damaged through trauma to new neuropathways. I can't explain the difference it's made in my life. There are times when I still have stomach upsets, fatigue and muscular pain - it's so much easier for me now to recognise what's happening and where it's come from.

So I imagine that EDMR and neurofeedback ought have a positive outcome for you. One thing I'd like to let you know (which is probably painful, but I need to let you know) - sometimes you may feel worse, e.g. the twitch may increase for a little while. This occurs I think because all the trauma is being brought to the surface and it's almost like reliving the trauma. I found talking to my psychologist about other options to help me deal with what is coming to the surface, e.g. mindfulness, reiki, acupuncture. I found these to be very effective to help sooth my very sensitive skin and nerves. The journey takes time, and patience.

From what you've written I believe you have the resilience to take the journey, to recover and to heal. Remember our forums are here for you.

Kind regards


Community Member
Hello, Anna! I've been under psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care for the last year owing to PTSD and depression, and today I begin my first EMDR. I'm really excited about it, and the therapist is a wonderful lady. After I've done this, I can give you feedback. I really hope your tic problems resolve!

Community Member
Hello, Anna L. I hope that tic goes away! I don't know if EMDR would help it, but I do know that it's worked amazingly for me in integrating memories of trauma and experiences, and being able to view them from other perspectives. Best wishes for your continued recovery!!

Community Member
I'm not sure if it's too late to respond. But yes! I actually get all of this too.

I read a book called ' waking the tiger' Peter Levine that explained this. I also have experience Somatic experiencing and Tre where there responses are considered completely natural.

I did hypnosis for a while and I realized that my body wasn't discharging memories, so whilst the distortions changed the 'charge' was still there. It made me a bit sceptical because everyone had a miracle cure. But there has been times where I thought I had gone over the memory with EMDR too and then randomly a somatic experiencing episode would pop in a year or so later for the same event. I tend to Vomit or shake now when I did EMDR but I had to train my body to automatically discharge the nervous energy first of a 'shock' trauma. This is why there still could be traumatic residue left. But its completely normal if you've experienced any of the above in what you've written. My cat does the same things as me when he sleeps. He twitches all of the place. He also does the same if he sees a bird ahead for some reason. Very very natural instinct towards fear.