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AJW
i am interested to know if anyone has found EMDR helpful for anorexia sufferers. 
My daughter is currently seeing a CAMHS psychologist weekly but progress is slow. Appointments often make her more anxious. 
A friend has recommended EMDR for anxiety and I wondered if it’s worth a try. CAMHS not keen as they say there needs to be a key traumatic event to work on. 
any experience/advice welcome 
thanks 
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Human
Hello, yes my 10 year old daughter had emdr to help her with ptsd which was triggered by severe bullying in school, which in turn triggered anorexia. She began throwing her school lunches away in school this time last year and everything spiralled out of control from there. I had to really push cahms to provide her with emdr, as my gut instinct was that the trauma of the bullying needed eradicating before the anorexia could be tackled. It really helped her, along with lots of food and cbt, tackling fear foods etc.

She didn't find emdr distressing at all. I have had emdr too as i have found this situation extremely traumatic and i have found it very useful too. 
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teecee

Hello my D has just started seeing a consultant who is about to do EMDR with her. I was recommended it by a well respected professional I met at a work conference who had used it successfully. She stated it was historically used to treat PTSD with success and had not been used specifically for EDs but there was no reason why not as it’s not harmful. She had used it in the treatment of ED with success. Unfortunately she lives at the opposite end of the country to us. 

The professional I have found locally has been honest that she has not used it to treat ED but is willing to try and has reiterated it is not harmful to try and can understand why it’s been recommended. 

Fingers crossed for success and I will report back. The result was that my D left the initial appointment very motivated which is different to her reaction when we went to see a counsellor.... she came out of that stating she would not be returning! 

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Human
Teecee i really hope it helps your daughter! Fingers crossed!!
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AJW
Thank you for your reply. 
I’m going to wait until after Xmas now but think it’s worth a try. Anything that might help her to get unstuck. 
Please let me know how you get on too. It’s so good to hear from other parents in a similar position. Feel so lonely and isolated much of the time. 
Thank you 
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Human
AJW I think it's worth a try for your daughter too. The EMDR helped my daughter become unstuck from the trauma of the bullying and all the horrible feelings that came with that. I personally think EMDR is amazing, but that is just my opinion. It helped me with the trauma of this year, caring single handedly for my sick daughter. I can cope much better now, sure i have a little cry now and again, but mostly i remain positive. Good luck to you and your daughter and family with everything.
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teamcha
Could you recommend an Emdr practitioner. My D's Ran was almost certainly triggered by a trauma. We are in London, but would be willing to travel.
Team Cha
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teecee

Hi Teamcha 

Unfortunately I’m unable to recommend anyone as it’s very early days for us with the professional we are using (in Yorkshire).

Have a look at Zoe LODRICK’s information I think she’s based around you Hampshire?? I’ve seen her talk at a couple of safeguarding type conferences I’ve attended. Everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen her speak were very impressed. I see she is qualified in EMDR. 

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teecee

The first session seems to have gone well but a definite increase in anxiety and dip in mood, which was to be expected. 

Just trying to navigate Xmas and then the second session in the new year. D seems committed to working with the Pschologist and taking the ‘homework’ seriously. Fingers crossed it gives her more impetuous to push further forward. 

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teecee

POSITIVE UPDATE!!
So third session in D reported seeing positive results from the start of the session to the end. She is looking forward to this weeks session. 

For the first time ever she reports true free eating without negative feelings and thoughts afterwards. She is able to reject the thoughts before eating (which encourage her to deny the food she fancies) and she chooses to eat it anyway. 

She’s tried new foods (as did we!) at a friends house party and we had an all you can eat buffet for her 18th birthday recently which went really well. 


We did have a couple of rocky weeks prior to this session in preparation for the EMDR which took us back to the dark days in terms of suicidal feelings but we got through them. I did expect this so we hopefully managed to provide her with enough support to overcome it. 

Will post further updates down the line for those of you that may be interested. 

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ValentinaGermania
Wow, great news, Teecee!!!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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AJW

That sounds very positive. I am really pleased and excited for you and your d.

Can I ask what was the focus of the sessions. Someone I spoke to said that there usually needs to be a specific traumatic event to act as focus for EMDR? 

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teecee

Yes the therapist got her to remember the earliest time she ‘felt fat’ and feelings around it. She was able to state a time when she was stood on a court (10yrs old maybe ??) playing her sport and her coach and performance talent coordinator person were whispering and discussing how she was ‘too unathletic’ and ‘too weighty’ (I promise she was neither of these!!)  
There were other memories too which they are going to be going through I think.  

By the end of the session she remembered the memory but had very little emotion towards it....say from a 9/10 (involuntary crying and distress)to a 3/10 (the mood felt dampened but not upset)The therapist is working towards 0/10. 

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Torie
So pleased to read this happy report!  xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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EmC
I am going to try this!  will let you know how i get on.  Thank you
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jobe
This is really helpful, and I'm so happy for you and your daughter. I had EMDR and it made a remarkable difference in a short period of time over my grief at losing my father suddenly at age 8. I did EMDR 30 years later and the hole in my heart closed up in something like 2 or 3 sessions. And I had tried lots of therapy and written in a hundred journals with no effect. So I'm an EMDR proponent.

I want my D to do EMDR for her sexual abuse but everyone tells me she must be stable first (she's having flashbacks and nightmares, etc.) because they have to recall the details of the trauma and when they've been refusing to think about it and repressing the memories, taking those memories out makes things 10x worse, at first. So we can't even get to the EMDR, and now they are telling us we have to get the ED under control first, so EMDR keeps getting pushed back. 

I think it's interesting that it might be used like this and look forward to hearing others' experiences.
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teecee

Thank you all for your well wishes. Yes I was surprised at how quickly it worked but you are right jobe they do have to recall the worst memories and for her it gives her symptoms of a panic attack...closing of the throat and being unable to breathe scary feelings. We had a rocky xmas but the improvement has been enormous in such a short period of time so well worth it. 

yes she also writes lots of journals and has seen a couple of therapists to no avail. I have high hopes that this will set her in her path in life. 

Im really pleased to hear that it helped you deal with the grief of losing your father. I’m not sure if your D should wait. It’s more accident rather than design that we are doing this now and not at the stage you are at. Perhaps she may have given up after the first session if we had tried this earlier as it does set them back. 

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teecee

Thank you all for your well wishes. Yes I was surprised at how quickly it worked but you are right jobe they do have to recall the worst memories and for her it gives her symptoms of a panic attack...closing of the throat and being unable to breathe scary feelings. We had a rocky xmas but the improvement has been enormous in such a short period of time so well worth it. 

yes she also writes lots of journals and has seen a couple of therapists to no avail. I have high hopes that this will set her in her path in life. 

Im really pleased to hear that it helped you deal with the grief of losing your father. I’m not sure if your D should wait. It’s more accident rather than design that we are doing this now and not at the stage you are at. Perhaps she may have given up after the first session if we had tried this earlier as it does set them back. 

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KLB
Teecee, do you feel your D was motivated to try it before going or was she quite reluctant/sceptical? Do you think they need to “want” to go to this type of treatment or would it work equally as well in someone who didn’t want it, but you just kind of threw them into it? 
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teecee

I’d heard about EMDR approx 12 months ago and had told her about it but it wasn’t until she had a big blip last Sept that she said to me she needed to see a professional but not anyone in CAMHS and not a traditional therapist as she had only lasted one session with them.

 I researched a few clinical psychologists and spoke with a few but fell upon this one by chance. My friend’s sister over sees CAMHS in a professional capacity and mentioned this Dr. At the time I immediately knew I was confortable with her but she did not have any space. She explained it would probably be after Xmas but just before Xmas she got in touch. My D was not 100% about it but said she would give it a go....probably because I had had a few months to lay the ground and prepare. She had probably researched it herself as well in the meantime.

I certainly believe if we had tried this in the first year she would have given up as it really knocks them back initially. If you get over that hurdle then the progress is quite amazing. 

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teecee
I think now in our journey was probably the right time to try it....she was doing well but needed that extra support to get her over the line....to help her make sense of her thoughts and understand how her body and brain works. 
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teecee
Just been to another session tonight and again lots of positivity from my D. She’s announced that she’s extremely determined to overcome this and she WILL be having fish and chips on Saturday. 😊👍🏻
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KLB
That is amazing teecee! How wonderful that must be to hear her saying that. Thank-you for sharing your experience. It’s something we might consider later on down the line. Be sure to come and update on Saturday re the fish and chips. 😊
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teecee

I will update you - warts and all ! 

At the moment it has surpassed my expectations. Don’t get me wrong the setback was horrific it seems to have been worthwhile. 

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AJW
That sounds fantastic. I haven't yet organised for my d but after reading your messages think its definitely worth a go. I have had someone recommended to us. However when I spoke to our psychiatrist at CAMHS she didn't seem keen on the idea. I have reached the point where I think something different to what we are currently doing is worth a go.
My d has slightly increased her calories but only be around 70 per day extra. I feel as though she wants to get better and reach a healthy weight but the guilt is holding her back. Staying positive. there are signs of improvement but still a way to go.
Keep us posted.
Fish and chips!!!!!
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