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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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For people that dissasociate, not DID, is there any pre

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for people that dissasociate, not DID, is there any pre therapy to EMDR that will help with this problem?

Hi, and thank you for requesting my help.

The three disorders that are not DID in the category of dissociative disorders are Depersonalization disorder, Amnesia and it's four subtypes, and Dissociative Fugue. None of those disorders is treatable with EMDR unless a major trauma was associated with any of them. However, in this case, the diagnosis would be PTSD or ASD, and not a Dissociative disorder.

If you are receiving EMDR for Dissociative disorder, I would be curious as to the reasons why. This is not the protocol for treating these disorders. Treatment with EMDR is limited to PTSD and ASD.

As a result, there is no pre therapy to EMDR in your situation. Nor is there any pre therapy for any disorder. There is a therapy called PFA- Psychological First Aid, that is used by first responders in crisis situations and was designed by the United States Veterans Administration Psychologists. But all other disorders are treated with regular therapy.

EMDR is based on Cognative Behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and in some research is the reason why EMDR works, and not the eye movement itself.

I hope this helps you,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have ptsd from years of childhood abuse, I think this is when I started to dissociate, but have carried it on so when things are hard I check out. They say I do this to much for EMDR to work with me but there could be some things I can learn to do instead that it might be helpful enough to try it again. but I don't get it. Suppose to be something new. I guess I am just grasping at anything to get this stuff out of my head and have been in thearpy for years and just want to do what I can to get my life back. So I thought there might be something I could read or do first to be able to try again because I have heard some good things about EMDR.

I understand. One good step is to remember that you have lived through the abuse already and you have survived. You developed the coping mechanism of dissociation to deal with the pain you suffered. But you no longer need to protect yourself. So learning how let down your defenses and live without the need to protect yourself can help you reach your goal. I can recommend resources that will help you prepare for EMDR work and help you with the dissociation you experience. Here are some to get you started:

Healing from Trauma: A Survivor's Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life by Jasmin Lee Cori and Robert Scaer

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery, and Growth by Glenn R. Schiraldi

Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused by Steven Farmer

An Adult Child's Guide to What's 'Normal' by John C. Friel Ph.D. and Linda D. Friel M.A

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

Self help work can go a long way to augmenting your therapy experience. It can act as a pre therapy experience or as a way to increase the effectiveness of your therapy. Some people even find self help just as effective as therapy because of the number of resources available and the ability to find the answers you need.


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