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EMDR.... what’s your views/opinions/experiences.....

Community Member

I’ve read a bit about EMDR lately and wondered if others have used it or heard about it with dealing with complex trauma?

My issue I’d be worried about is focusing on one key moment because there were lots of ‘moments’ for me...

curious to know peoples experiences....

20 Replies 20

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Idkme,

Thank you for asking about EMDR therapy. I must admit that I haven’t personally used it or know too much about it.

You sound rather overwhelmed at the moment...that must be hard for you...dealing with all those moments sounds very draining...

Hopefully the other lovely people here will chime in with their EMDR experiences.

In the mean time, i would gently suggest, and only if you want to, that you might like to look up “EMDR therapy” in the BeyondBlue search bar.

Quite a few threads will pop up, such as:


EMDR for Intrusive thoughts


So if you’re interested, maybe give he BeyondBlue search option a go 🙂

Plus of course you’re most welcome to talk here about EMDR plus anything else that you would like to discuss here. Any time you like...

kind and caring thoughts,


Thanks Pepper,

So I took your advice and read some of the information on here, mostly the information was in the forums so was a challenge to dig through but I think I'm more informed.

There are heaps of conflicting and supporting things on the internet too but not a lot of information about "how" it works.

I purchased a book and am in the process of reading that... I'm not sure if I can give out titles of books here but it is a VERY good read and has helped me examine a lot of associated memories and try to make sense of them. I still recommend that people see their psychologists as it can dig a lot of connected, or buried, memories. Obviously an EMDR therapist would be best but they aren't so prominent in country areas but there are websites that advertise their locations or identify the closest practitioners.

So for me, so far, it sounds promising... the hope that I can deal with my memories and file them away in a "solved" box will hopefully mean I will get less "flashbacks" and less "connected emotions" to my daily activities.

Now I just have to wait the 4 months to get in to one.... (sad face).... but in the mean time (hopeful face), I can read the book....

Still looking for anyone who has had experience in this therapy and let me know what the process was like and how successful it was for you.


I don't know me (idkme), but I'm getting closer.

Hi Idkme,

Basically when serious trauma happens there are high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) flooding the brain. This traps the trauma memory in the amygdala. When memories are stored in the amygdala they are stored as a current event rather than as a past event. That is why when that memory is triggered it manifests as a flashback, as you are reliving it as a current event.

Articulating and talking about and externalising the trauma over an extended time can help shift trauma memories stuck in your amygdala, over to your frontal lobes in your brain where they are stored as a Past event and are much less traumatic to access and be reminded about.

EMDR greatly speeds up this process of shifting trauma memories stored in the amygdala as a current event over to the frontal lobes where they're stored as a past event and are much less painful to access and don't cause flashbacks from.

This is done by repeatedly stimulating both sides of your brain through watching the EMDR therapist's finger waving back and forth or having the EMDR therapist tapping the backs of your hands or tops of your knees, or even through wearing headphones which emit sounds in your left ear then right then left, etc, as you approach a memory in your amygdala however close you are able to safely get to that memory with the support of a well trained EMDR therapist.

I have seen this have amazing, excellent results for people. It has a Very high success rate for PTSD treatment.

If you have multiple traumas, usually the first worked on in EMDR would be those which are most intrusive in flashbacks for you in your present life. By shifting even a handful of the most intrusive traumas from your day to day reliving of them in flashbacks, this can make a huge positive difference in people's day to day lives who have had many traumas which combine to create their PTSD. By decreasing flashbacks it can help people be much more functional with what they want to do and focus on more, even if all flashbacks aren't eliminated. People can go back and do further EMDR as one layer of central flashbacks settle and another layer become more central in their absence.

If you already have a trusted therapist or doctor I'd maybe ask them about it and share your concerns. By knowing you personally they'd be likely to have a more complete idea of how it might work for you, or they could refer you to someone trained to answer any of your qs about EMDR.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Pandora's Locksmith.

Hi Idkme,

I’m so sorry for my late reply. I’m glad reading some of the other threads here helped a little. I’m also glad Pandora’s Locksmith has joined this thread with such an informative and helpful post 🙂

That book sounds fantastic! I really hope EMDR works for you too.

Is it okay if I ask how have things been for you since your latest post here?

Kind and caring thoughts,


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Idkme. We spoke before on your other thread where we spoke briefly about emdr, among other things.

I only just spotted this thread this morning and wanted to post here so I can keep up with any further info on the subject.

Pandora - what a fantastic reply and explanation of how EMDR works, why and how it is impemented. Thank you.

Idkme - how are you getting along since we last heard from you?

Amanda 🌸

Thank you peppermintbach and Mandy8!

Echoing these two, how are you doing, Idkme? Thinking of you!

~Pandora's Locksmith

Hi Mandy, peppermintbach and Pandora.

Thanks for your replies.

Pandora your description has been the clearest explanation I have had to date, thank you.

As to ‘how I’ve been?’... it’s hard to describe.... I just want to get this out of my life and back into the box it came from.... but I also don’t want to ‘know’ it’s in the box either.... ignorance IS bliss.... it’s the weight of all the worries that weighs me down.... but hey.... I only have a few months to wait right......?

Anyway, the best thing is I have ‘the book’ that I’m workinv through and I write in my other blog from time to time.... time will tell.

thanks again for your replies, I hope this thread can offer others encouragement that there is hope....

kind regards

Hi Idkme (and a wave to all),

It’s always great to hear from you. I’m glad some other lovely people here have jumped on board with their thoughts, compassion and knowledge 🙂

It sounds like that book has been enormously helpful. I’m sure this wonderful thread here will be helpful to many, in particular, those are are interested or are currently undergoing EMDR therapy.

kind and caring thoughts,


Hi guys...

I thought I'd post some info I've been reading from Francine Shapiro's Book "Getting past your past".....

She starts off by mentioning the phrase " "Roses are red....." most of you unconsciously can finish the sentence in your head without know how or where you heard it... and yet we have trained ourselves to believe that it is true... however not all roses are red, nor are all violets blue so we have learned something that isn't exactly true in all circumstances.

"Basically, many of the feelings and actions that undermine our happiness are symptoms that stem from this memory system that forms the unconscious".p4

"... when negative reactions and behaviors in the present can be tracked directly back to an earlier memory, we define those memories as "unprocessed" - meaning that they are stored in the brain in a way that still holds the emotions, physical sensations and beliefs that were experienced earlier in life". p5

"...identifying the memory connections is just the first step in changing how we think, act or feel. ... also knowing what to do about it that's important". p5.

"EMDR therapy targets the unprocessed memories that contain the negative emotions, sensations and beliefs. By activating the brain's information processing system, ... the old memories can then be "digested." Meaning what is useful is learned, what's useless is discarded, and the memory is now stored in a way that is no longer damaging." p6.

These are just small excerpts from the start of the book that I have read... I'm about half way through now and it reads more like a "self-help" book but still requires the a therapist to "process" the memories... It's an easy read but can be a little "triggering" at times so it's really important to follow the instructions where it tells you that if you are not coping then you need to STOP.

I've had to stop for breaks for a couple of days at times but I've found my "Safe/calm place" and word association "harmony", as well as other coping strategies that can work... there are heaps in the first section.

After that is established you find some touchstone memories and identify negative cognitions that associate with those memories.

There is heaps more but just thought I'd give you a taster for where I'm up to...

sorry for the long read.... I'm not promoting the book just sharing some discoveries.