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Serious sexual assault



When she was nineteen, she had experienced serious sexual assault from a partner. She had had to be hospitalised and almost died from loss of blood. Tricia was fortunate in that she had a large support system, including a family who visited and cared for her. Although she had received psychiatric help, various mainstream therapies and drugs, when we met, her symptoms of PTSD were getting worse. A new very intrusive symptom had appeared – she ‘saw blood’ in every red-coloured object, and she had taken several overdoses to end her life. Nothing seemed to help and life had become intolerable.

EMDR had not been tried with Tricia, but after two sessions with this treatment, things had changed dramatically. She looked a different woman – more responsive, smiling and well dressed. She reported that she felt like a new person. She is now taking two walks a day around her neighbourhood, is able to go into town using public transport, and is no longer startled at noises. ‘Red’ is now just a colour rather than blood.