Case Study: EMDR Treatment – Emily

Case Study: EMDR Treatment – Emily

Emily underwent EMDR treatment over Zoom to treat her PTSD following a trauma in her job as a Police Officer. Here, Emily explains more about her EMDR treatment, and how it changed her crippling flashbacks, to simple memories. 

I was diagnosed with PTSD in April 2019, after being hit by a car at work (Police Officer) in November 2018 where I broke my right leg, requiring surgery. The car was driven by fleeing burglars, who intentionally ran me over. 
 
At its worst, my PTSD manifested itself in panic attacks, crippling flashbacks and hyper vigilance. I didn’t trust anyone and became increasingly paranoid that the ‘burglars’ would find me and hurt me again, or attack family. I took photos of cars parked outside my house as ‘evidence’ in case they had found me. I had awful night terrors where I would wake up screaming as I felt like I was back lying on the road again. I had an awful fear of masks/ balaclavas/ face coverings and would avoid seeing these on television or if I did would trigger a panic attack.
 
I had some CBT therapy to begin with, which did ‘unpick’ a few things and helped to process some of it however when I was reviewed again by the occupational health doctor it was obvious I was still struggling. They suggested 6 sessions or EMDR which due to covid I had over zoom. Honestly, I was very sceptical beforehand. It all sounded a bit ‘hippy’ and I wrongly thought of it like being hypnotised. However, by that point I was willing to try whatever was offered to me as I just wanted the ‘old Em’ back. 
 
The therapist was lovely and made me feel at ease – she was nice to talk to and actually by the final session I asked her if it would be okay just to chat rather than continue the therapy as I felt so much better. I had to follow her hand on screen, whilst thinking about the incident. Interestingly, she drew out some thoughts of previous traumatic jobs I had attended that I hadn’t processed properly too.
 
I can honestly say that EMDR helped change my crippling ‘flashbacks’ to memories, which are so much more manageable and feel so much less real. I feel like she has given me the skills to overcome situations that make me anxious such as returning to work. Covid times, with face coverings, could have been such a triggering nightmare had it not been for EMDR therapy.
 
I would suggest it to anyone who is suffering with PTSD, especially those experiencing very real flashbacks. I am definitely more of an anxious person than I was before my diagnosis, however I feel more confident in overcoming those feelings now and understand why they occur. 
 

Image

Photo by alex starnes on Unsplash

Hello! Did you find this information useful?

Please consider supporting PTSD UK with a donation to enable us to provide more information & resources to help us to support everyone affected by PTSD, no matter the trauma that caused it

PTSD UK Blog

You’ll find up-to-date news, research and information here along with some great tips to ease your PTSD in our blog.

Rebellious Rebirth – Oran: Guest Blog

Rebellious Rebirth – Oran: Guest Blog In this moving guest blog, PTSD UK Supporter Oran shares her personal story after a traumatic event brought childhood traumas to the surface. Dealing with Complex PTSD, Oran found solace in grounding techniques and

Read More »

Ralph Fiennes – Trigger Warnings Response

Guest Blog: Response to Ralph Fiennes – Trigger warnings in theatres This thought-provoking article has been written for PTSD UK by one of our supporters, Alex C, and addresses Ralph Fiennes’ recent remarks on trigger warnings in Theatre. Alex sheds

Read More »

Please don’t tell me I’m brave

Guest Blog: Living With PTSD – Please don’t tell me I’m brave ‘Adapting to living in the wake of trauma can mean maybe you aren’t ready to hear positive affirmations, and that’s ok too.’ and at PTSD UK, we wholeheartedly

Read More »

Emotional Flashbacks – Rachel

Emotional Flashbacks: Putting Words to a Lifetime of Confusing Feelings PTSD UK was founded with the desire to do what was possible to make sure nobody ever felt as alone, isolated or helpless as our Founder did in the midst

Read More »

Morning Mile March Challenge

events | walk PTSD UK’s Morning Mile March Challenge Sign up now PTSD UK’s Morning Mile March Challenge The challenge We all know ‘exercise is good for you’, and even a small amount can make a big difference. There are

Read More »

Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.