Have you heard of EMDR? I have heard it is proven to work. However, to me, “proven” means nothing. Many things are claimed to be proven, such as ECT, but are actually very harmful.

My concern is the risk. I’m sure it can help some people. I have heard that if it’s not done right, it can harm people. This is why we choose the right dentist, the right surgeon, etc, even the person to repair our shoes and do our dry cleaning. We might check out review sites or ask our friends.

How many people do this when choosing a therapist? They likely will choose anyone that their insurance covers, or take the only one available. This may, or may not, end up in a disaster. Even choosing wisely, or what we think is wisely, can end up not working out.

Back around 2012, I called 200 therapists (not all at once) and almost all turned me down. Mostly it was insurance, likely valid. Some claimed their schedules were full. (I think a couple of them  lied about that.) One of them had me talk to her billing person and the billing person claimed the visit would be 100% covered.  Getting there involved an extensive number of bus transfers. I think the total commute was well over an hour. Then, the therapist kicked me out of her office after about ten minutes, likely less, when I told her I have an ED. She said she did not treat that.

Imagine my surprise when I received a bill for an “initial visit” for the full amount, in the mail. I had to fight to keep that one from going into collections. I won.

I couldn’t find anyone after all those calls. Then I settled for a guy who said he would only charge me $30, despite the fact that he seemed unprofessional over the phone. This was David Alpert, who STILL practices in Arlington and a few other places around that area. I found him weird, and totally incompetent. I was able to quit after his “therapy” included asking me out on a date.

After that, my psychiatrist called me psychotic when I tried to tell her. I couldn’t get anyone at all to believe me. They all assumed I was psychotic. I hated that. This was how I lived back then.

I don’t know how I could possibly trust any of them again. I don’t think I could trust an EMDR practitioner because they control the therapy.

The other reason is that it really sounds like hocus-pocus to me.

I have a friend who tried it. I have no clue why, or how, the therapist managed to coerce her into long-term EMDR. This sounds fishy to me.


9 thoughts on “EMDR”

  1. Hi Julie,

    I did EMDR with someone separate from Wendy, as I wanted desperately for something to help me with trauma…we used little vibrating balls that I held in my palms. Whether it worked or not, hard to say. I a, most definitely better in terms of trauma responses than I was…but time and talking help a lot. However, the person the client controls this procedure absolutely not the therapist or EMDR practitioner. I never went faster or further than I wanted and in fact I was absolutely the one in control. The therapist is much more of a guide along the way than controller of the therapy. You can do it by yourself, too…you can obtain the vibrating balls to hold, or do it some way without a therapist. There is no need for one if you don’t find anyone you trust. For me, it took a lot of screaming and not being yelled back at, or dismissed as borderline etc for me to start feeling safe again…


  2. I’d never heard of it, but looked it up on wikipedia, and you’re right. Sounds like hocus-pocus. I have PTSD from a home invasion in 1974, when a couple druggie knuckleheads I was associated with kicked my door in, beat the crap out of me and forced me to beg for my life. I still get flashbacks, and the idea that any quack would ask me to re-experience it as any sort of therapy is beyond ridiculous. “The best revenge is living well.” is my philosophy. Stay sober and achieve stuff. The hell with those a**holes.

    1. I have thought up some ideas, things I can do on my own. I definitely do not want to “get over it” in any way. Actually, because of the culture I grew up in, and the way I see the world, I am totally convinced that getting an apology will help me the most, an apology and a promise they’ll never do it again to anyone. This means stepping up the activism. I can imagine getting my story into a paper like the New York Times or the Boston Globe. And I can see it now, “MGH representatives refused to comment, citing HIPAA laws that protect them.”

      1. I hope you succeed but for me it was too heartbreaking each and every impasse and obstacle they presented me. I realized that I had to let it go, not forget but just let them “win” in order to stay sane . This is not the solution for everybody at all but I could just no longer take how bad I felt … choosing to move on has opened my life up to new and better miracles — like my falling in love with French etc. my rage and hurt were too much for ME to take tho Wendy was there thru it all… as that book says, The Hospital Always Wins…. and I fear that they will NEVER apologize … instead, as with me they will just cook the records in ways that only further discredit you. I support your efforts but I also fear it won’t make you happy in the end


        1. We will see. If they make my records public then the public will also know it’s a HIPAA violation. They might do it underhandedly, but I think if there’s enough pressure on them, they will indeed apologize.

          It helps to know the right people, I think.

      2. “Actually, because of the culture I grew up in, and the way I see the world, I am totally convinced that getting an apology will help me the most, an apology and a promise they’ll never do it again to anyone.”

        I did think like this for a very long time. I have to tell you, however, that it’s most unlikely that this will happen.

        The best I got was a sincere and polite apology from one MD. However, the abuse didn’t exactly stop despite the apology.

        1. That is what I am hearing from people. That is why I must approach this very carefully.

        2. There was a gal that died due to hospital oversight at a nearby hospital, same city. Both she and her husband worked for a major paper. The paper blasted stories about her death, reaching its entire readership. Yes, the hospital apologized and it was very public. I can’t even begin to hope for something like that because of the status I had there, and because I am not married to a prominent journalist. Still, occasionally, it happens.

Feedback and comments welcome!