What types of pain can EMDR help with?
Research and experience suggests EMDR can help with the following kinds of pain;
- Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome
- Headache pain
- Burn pain
- Phantom Limb Pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Post-operative pain
- Interstitial Cystitis
What kind of results can I expect?
Results vary. Where the pain is driven primarily by emotional factors (eg; trauma,) significant even total pain cessation is possible. Where the pain is associated with physical pathology associated with illness or injury, the best that may be hoped for is improved pain control, reduced overall pain experience, improved sleep and reduced anxiety and depression.
The most important factor in EMDR treatment of chronic pain is not so much the type of pain as your psychological resources. The greater your ability to concentrate and experience decreased emotional distress in response to the Dual Attention Stimulus/Bilateral Stimulus, the greater your ability to benefit from this treatment.
How much research is there regarding EMDR treatment of chronic pain
As of 2012 there are over 10 peer-reviewed research articles reporting positive results in EMDR treatment of chronic pain. MarkGrant is conducting a randomized study in 2012/13 which should lead to wider professional acceptance of the method as a treatment for pain.
How many sessions does it take?
This depends on each individual case and the extent of other medical and psychological problems associated with the pain. You should be able to tell whether the method helps within two or three sessions, and its then just a matter of integrating self-use of Bls/DAS into your pain-management routine.
How can I use this method to help myself?
One of the core treatment elements of EMDR involves focusing on the pain whilst stimultaneously attending the bilateral auditory tones. In most people this results in decreased pain, feeling as though the pain is further away (distancing effect), reduced anxiety and stress and sometimes drowsiness. You can learn to use this process through purchasing Mark Grant’s ÇD’s incorporating DAS/Bls and/or seeking help from an EMDR-trained therapist. Because of the concentration and memory problems, and emotional disconnection experienced by many chronic pain sufferers it is probably worthwhile having at least a few sessions with an EMDR therapist – this will enhance your use of the DAS/Bls. Because of the methods potential to trigger traumatic material associated with pain.
Self-use of DAS/Bls is not recommended in people with severe unresolved trauma, dissociative disorders or epilepsy without professional supervision.