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Quotes from Clients

Whether you're a newcomer to this site, currently a client, or a graduate of EMDR, we think you'll find the following quotes interesting. These are clients from our center as well as people on the internet discussing their Therapeutic EMDR. As you will see, these quotes are testimonials to its effectiveness, but they also capture what the experience is like, including the struggles and challenges that come up along the way. Most importantly, they reveal the power of the mind's natural healing mechanisms which EMDR is designed to tap.

The EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program is a non-profit organization committed to relieving human suffering and breaking the cycle of violence by providing mental health intervention using EMDR and professional training in EMDR techniques to traumatized communities worldwide. Teams of HAP volunteers have worked around the world (Bangladesh, Bosnia, Croatia, Turkey, El Salvador) as well as in the U.S. (Oklahoma City, inner city, prisons). To support these efforts or get more informationt:
- A defining moment
"EMDR is the best thing I've ever done for myself. It's been a defining moment in my life."

- EMDR wipes out pain
"I would like to share something that I feel about EMDR versus regular talk therapy, and I sum it up like this: I think that conventional therapy is about 'managing' internal pain and finding different behaviors to 'cope' with that pain, whereas EMDR essentially wipes it out."

"When I saw the last posting about EMDR getting more rapidly to a person's core issues, I do agree with that. However, I would go further and say that it actually did, at least in my case, seem to wipe them out. In my previous experience in talk therapy, I would talk about them, yes, and it was nice to discuss them, but they were always still there, talk or no talk."

- Developing a new self
"Sometimes now I can wake up occasionally and feel that I don't even quite know who I am. Almost like a traumatic amnesia of sorts. Maybe it showed just how much my image of me was tied up in my traumas. Yet I am more 'me' than I ever remember being, and I also sense that in many ways I am starting over from scratch. Building up new 'programs', so to speak. I find that very different from 'managing' the ones I have always known, lived, and operated under."

- Becoming free
"The haze or fog that I see through has diminished. I don't know how clear my description is but maybe this will help. When I look around it is like everything I see is being filtered. Now today I can look and see whatever it is without a filter. Everything is clearer, sharper, more vivid. It's sort of like cleaning the fingerprints off my glasses. I feel free."

- Fear about starting
"As my therapist and I put, EMDR can be like magic sometimes. Certain issues take longer to deal with than others, but I've had about 8 sessions now dealing with 3 extremely traumatic stiuations and my disturbance levels have dropped dramatically. I was scared to death to start the process, but once I did it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself."

- The importance of positive resources
"One of the things that was very frustrating to me in the beginning is that my therapist insisted we spend all of this time working on safe places, calming techniques, etc. before actually doing emdr. That said, it was absolutely the right thing to do. My first couple of emdr sessions was very overwhelming and even though we had prepared I really didn't realize the intensity of emotions that emdr would bring up for me. Since we had worked so hard on the safe place and other things to deal with these emotions I was able to deal with these things - notice the feelings, then take it back to therapy."

"EMDR can be tough at times but the key to getting through those times is the work you do with your therapist ahead of time in establishing a safe place and protocol on what to do if things get rough. It also means you need to have a trusting and open relationship with your therapist."

- Getting to the root
"Based on what I have learned, it is that first accident that you need to process to find your peace. Like a sick tree with diseased roots, if you treat the leaves, it will help on the surface, but if you treat the roots, you will cure the tree."

- Slow processor
"At my first real EMDR session we decided to focus on my feeling of unworthiness. We started the tones and several scenes came to mind where my father made me feel unworthy of his love and attention. I did not know what they meant and even when the session was over I doubted if anything had really happened. What I discovered is that I am a slow processor. In the days to come I came to an understanding of the scenes and calmness overcame me."

- Healing multiple traumas
"When we work on one trauma and sort of get that out of the way, it tends to uncover other traumas. However, the cool thing about EMDR is when we address core issues with the technique, similar traumas are often healed automatically. The danger with EMDR is working with therapists who are unqualified to use it or don't fully understand it themselves."

- Ongoing work
"EMDR was the key to unlocking many unhealthy patterns. I have found it very useful. I also believe for those that have unresolved issues from childhood it can be a longer process. I have been going to my counselor for 1 year and I have seen incredible change. However, I have also discovered there are the 'stuck' times as with any counseling and I need to respect these times as well. I am planning on going back because new issues have come on the horizon for me. Once wonderful thing about EMDR is that months later you process something you had no idea you were working on."

- At peace
"Remember that you are not alone on this journey. You are, however, in control of your journey... I began EMDR about 6 months ago. I do not feel alone at all, if anything I feel more open and receptive to people. There are even days when I feel peaceful."

- Committment
"This process doesn't take 18 years. What it does take is a commitment, to yourself and to opening up yourself to old hurts you may not be too thrilled about feeling again. This is one of the things that had blocked me from progressing with my EMDR therapy once I had unblocked a lot that I didn't even realize bothered me (consciously that is). ......All that to say you need a good therapist, one you can trust and who won't leave you at a crisis point unsupported (literally or figuratively) and the will to bring up old hurts, feel them completely, work through the pain, heal and move on to the next one. It is as easy and as hard as that."

- Worries about getting worse
"I am about to try EMDR with my therapist, who seems to think I am the ideal candidate for EMDR. I am concerned, however, that in recalling past events in my childhood I may feel worse about some of these events. I understand how EMDR works, and see it's merits, but I really don't want to make anything worse, and that appears to at least be a possibility. If anyone else shared these fears prior to EMDR treatment and could give me some advice I would really appreciate it."

"I know for myself, when I was doing may feel worse about the events, but after one or two EMDR sessions your pain associated with that memory should be at a 1 or 0. I spent many years in talk therapy...and never achieved the results that a year of EMDR was able to accomplish."

"I would encourage you to try EMDR. While the feelings, and physical sensations can be strong they pass quickly. Even now I would repeat the process. Formerly, I was stuck in a long term low grade depression, with flashbacks from early abuse, and other PTSD symptoms. I didn't know what I was missing because I had never experienced real happiness. I thought I had. Anyway, I could go on for a long time about the benefits. Sufice it to say it has been worth working through the fear. Remember, if you chose the same, you get the same."

"I agree - it can be scary to face the past, but with a good therapist you will be safe. The relief you will feel after reprocessing the events will be well worth the little bit of discomfort."

- Worth the struggle
"Nothing has to date ever changed my original statement, that this therapy has literally changeid my life. It just seems to be more reinforced with every passing day. I can honestly say I have never been more happy or centered. But I can also say it didn't all come easy. Sometimes I may sound like one big commercial for emdr, and I do see this, but maybe it's just that I'm still so amazed. However, I don't want to give a false impression that this whole thing was one big cake walk - because it isn't. I just figure if you have the guts, the honesty, and the determination, it's amazing what can be found. It's that easy, and it's that hard. But I suppose I still do sound a little over the top. But I am also telling the truth of my experience. So good luck!