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8-16-2021

We all have things happen that turn our lives upside down. What is important is that we recognize what the problem is and pick ourselves back up and move forward.

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EMDR

EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It’s growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents.

Although research continues, EMDR remains controversial among some health care professionals.

At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.

What Can You Expect From EMDR?

An EMDR treatment session can last up to 90 minutes. Your therapist will move their fingers back and forth in front of your face and ask you to follow these hand motions with your eyes. At the same time, the EMDR therapist will have you recall a disturbing event. This will include the emotions and body sensations that go along with it.

Gradually, the therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more pleasant ones. Some therapists use alternatives to finger movements, such as hand or toe tapping or musical tones.

People who use the technique argue that EMDR can weaken the effect of negative emotions. Before and after each EMDR treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate your level of distress. The hope is that your disturbing memories will become less disabling.

Although most research into EMDR has examined its use in people with PTSD, EMDR is sometimes used experimentally to treat many other psychological problems. They include:

How Effective Is EMDR?

More than 20,000 practitioners have been trained to use EMDR since psychologist Francine Shapiro developed the technique in 1989. While walking through the woods one day, Shapiro happened to notice that her own negative emotions lessened as her eyes darted from side to side. Then, she found the same positive effect in patients.

EMDR appears to be a safe therapy, with no negative side effects. Still, despite its increasing use, mental health practitioners debate EMDR’s effectiveness. Critics note that most EMDR studies have involved only small numbers of participants. Other researchers, though, have shown the treatment’s effectiveness in published reports that consolidated data from several studies.

What Do the Guidelines Recommend?

Guidelines issued by more than one professional organization have recently boosted the credibility of EMDR. These guidelines define who may benefit from the treatment. For example:

  • The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has noted that EMDR is effective for treating symptoms of acute and chronic PTSD. According to the APA, EMDR may be particularly useful for people who have trouble talking about the traumatic events they’ve experienced. The APA guidelines note that other research is needed to tell whether improvements from EMDR can be sustained over time.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have jointly issued clinical practice guidelines. These guidelines “strongly recommended” EMDR for the treatment of PTSD in both military and non-military populations. They also note that this approach has been as effective as other psychological treatments in some studies, and less effective in others.

How Does EMDR Work?

Even the most enthusiastic supporters of EMDR have not agreed on how the therapy works. At this point, only theories exist. By inducing the recall of distressing events and diverting attention from their emotional consequences, EMDR in some respects borrows basic principles used in prolonged exposure therapy, the gold standard behavioral psychotherapeutic treatment of PTSD. Some therapists believe that EMDR reduces anxiety. This allows patients to better take control of their upsetting thoughts. Others simply say that we don’t yet understand how EMDR works. According to the APA guidelines, EMDR needs further study to more fully understand it.WebMD Medical Reference

Sources 

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THE FAMILY

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IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION, SUICIDE, ADDICTION, OR OTHER MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. PLEASE REACH OUT. ASK FOR HELP. CALL A HELPLINE. ATTEND A SUPPORT GROUP. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR, THERAPIST, COUNSELOR, FRIEND, OR FAMILY MEMBER. NATIONAL HOPELINE NETWORK, SUICIDE & CRISIS HelpLINE  1-800-442-HOPE(4673)

NEED A MEETING, THERE ARE SUPPORT GROUPS OF ALL KINDS ONLINE. CLICK BELOW AND FIND OUT MORE!

Alcoholics Anonymous-Daily Reflections 8/16 “I HAD DROPPED OUT”

We might next ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have “harmed” other people. What kinds of “harm” do people do one another, anyway? To define the word “harm” in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual damage to people.— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 80

I had been to Eighth Step meetings, always thinking, “I really haven’t harmed many people, mostly myself.” But the time came when I wrote my list out and it was not as short as I thought it would be. I either liked you, disliked you, or needed something from you—it was that simple. People hadn’t done what I wanted them to do and intimate relationships were out of hand because of my partners’ unreasonable demands. Were these “sins of omission”? Because of my drinking, I had “dropped out”—never sending cards, returning calls, being there for other people, or taking part in their lives. What a grace it has been to look at these relationships, to make my inventories in quiet, alone with the God of my understanding, and to go forth daily, with a willingness to be honest and forthright in my relationships.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Just For Today * Daily Meditation * provided by NA world service.

8/16 Up or down

Page 238
This is our road to spiritual growth. We change every day…This growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer.
Basic Text, p. 37
Our spiritual condition is never static; if it’s not growing, it’s decaying. If we stand still, our spiritual progress will lose its upward momentum. Gradually, our growth will slow, then halt, then reverse itself. Our tolerance will wear thin; our willingness to serve others will wane; our minds will narrow and close. Before long, we’ll be right back where we started: in conflict with everyone and everything around us, unable to bear even ourselves.

Our only option is to actively participate in our program of spiritual growth. We pray, seeking knowledge greater than our own from a Power greater than ourselves. We open our minds and keep them open, becoming teachable and taking advantage of what others have to share with us. We demonstrate our willingness to try new ideas and new ways of doing things, experiencing life in a whole new way. Our spiritual progress picks up speed and momentum, driven by the Higher Power we are coming to understand better each day.

Up or down-it’s one or the other, with very little in between, where spiritual growth is concerned. Recovery is not fueled by wishing and dreaming, we’ve discovered, but by prayer and action.
Just for Today: The only constant in my spiritual condition is change. I cannot rely on yesterday’s program. Today, I seek new spiritual growth through prayer and action.

Copyright (c) 2007-2021,  NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved 

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