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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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Trauma and EMDR

May 2001

 

I have been listening to Senator Bob Kerrey and other Vietnam vets talk about the trauma of being in that war and how it has impacted their entire lives. I get very upset when I listen to the vets talk. I get upset, not because of their actions. War is traumatic, and unless you have been in their situation you do not know what you would do in the same circumstances. No, I get upset because these people are still suffering flashbacks and disruptions in their daily life due to the trauma that they were involved in almost 40 years ago.

There is now a very effective treatment option available for victims of trauma, whether that trauma was war, rape, earthquake, a crime, childhood abuse or any other thing that humans or nature can throw at us. It is called EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing. EMDR has been researched for the last eleven years and it has been found to be very effective for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. One of the studies that touched me the most was one that they did with Viet Nam vets. After 12 sessions, all of the flashbacks and nightmares and all of those issues that stopped them from living were all gone. The researchers then did a 15-month follow-up and all of those symptoms were still gone.

 

EMDR is a very powerful and can be a very rapid therapy. It is not a cure-all. Nor is it appropriate for everyone. It is extremely important that if you should choose to seek out this treatment that you find a therapist that has been trained in this therapy. A therapist cannot learn it just from reading a book.

 

So, please be aware, if you or anyone you know is still suffering from an old trauma, there is help. Please reach out and take care of yourself. You have a choice on how you are living your life.

 

If you want more information, look at my bookstore page. There is a wonderful book there that explains more thoroughly what EMDR is.

 

 

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