Trauma & EMDR

Have you had traumatic experiences that cause such emotional distress that they continue to prevent you from moving on with life? Do you reexperience traumatic memories as though they were real? Do you experience distress that goes beyond that expected (e.g. distress, fears, anxiety, phobias) with or without an understanding of their originating event? Are these experiences so traumatic that your not ready to to disclose them yet but would like help? Then EMDR Trauma therapy is a recognized option for Trauma therapy.

When your sense of safety and trust are shattered by a traumatic event, it’s normal for the mind and body to be in shock. It’s common to have bad dreams, feel fearful, and find it difficult to stop thinking about what happened. For most people, these symptoms gradually lift over time. But this normal response to trauma becomes PTSD when the symptoms don’t ease up and your nervous system gets “stuck” and fails to recover its equilibrium.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a NHS (NICE) approved psychotherapy that emphasizes disturbing memories as the cause of these symptoms of PTSD. When a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal coping mechanisms. The memory and associated stimuli are inadequately processed and stored in an isolated memory network. EMDR therapy is a NICE Government approved treatment (i.e. has substantial evidence) to resolve these memories and recover from PTSD.

The goal of EMDR is to reduce the long-lasting effects of distressing memories by developing more adaptive coping mechanisms. The therapy uses an eight-phase approach that includes having the patient recall distressing images while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input, such as side to side eye movements. Although EMDR was originally developed to treat adults with PTSD; however, it is also used to treat other conditions involving fears e.g. Phobias.

Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include:

  • War
  • Natural disasters
  • Car or plane crashes
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Childhood neglect

PTSD develops differently from person to person. While the symptoms of PTSD most commonly develop in the hours or days following the traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear. There are three main types of symptoms and they can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time:

  1. Re-experiencing the traumatic event
  2. Avoiding reminders of the trauma
  3. Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

What if your not ready to talk about the events?

Sometimes clients may not be ready to talk about traumatic events and are simply not ready, in which can “content free” EMDR allows desensitization of the events. Here clients are asked go through the EMDR protocol to process emotions, images, fears and events safely without having to verbally describe the traumatic events.



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