Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster.
While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed.
In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.
According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5
- Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
- Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt
- Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks
- Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
- Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
- Sleep disturbances
Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms
- Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
- Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
- Change in habits or behavior since the trauma
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
I provide safe and sensitive treatment for traumas and post-traumatic stress. I am pleased to be certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). When something disturbing happens it gets stored in the brain in a way that our mind/body system believes that event is either going to happen again at any moment or is still happening. Now when an event happens that may be similar or just has an element that reminds the system of that disturbing event, the body reacts as if the original disturbing event is happening.
EMDR helps to move the storage of that memory to a more functional part of the brain that can experience the event as actually being in the past. It is important to know that there is a real physical change happening with EMDR. The events that used to trigger the brain into over-reaction no longer have that effect. The person can now react to the present without the past interfering.
The goal of EMDR is to make the mind/body system less reactive. If we are able to be less reactive then we can live in the present and we can respond to present stimuli. This has both internal and external benefits. When one is less reactive they are better able to relate to others in appropriate and beneficial ways. Relationships improve as reactivity diminishes.
Like any other treatment model, EMDR is not the end all treatment. For some, it does not work or is not the right answer at the moment. Over the years, as I have practiced EMDR, I have adopted many strategies from trauma treatment models to aid in making my trauma work more effective. I primarily use EMDR to treat trauma. However, it is not the only model that I use, meaning that if EMDR is not for you, hope is not lost. I will work with you to find treatment modalities and techniques that will benefit you.
All that said, I have seen many people who have had the hope of healthy/happy living restored through EMDR/trauma treatment. Where once there was distress related to traumatic experiences, they now have a calm. It is impossible to quantify the effect that a reduction or extinction of trauma-related suffering can have on one’s day-to-day functioning, interactions with others, their environment, and their close relationships. When we reach a state of diminished distress, then we can be less reactive and more focused on the positive aspects of our lives.
I have seen this take place in the lives of many of the clients that I have worked with through the years. I have come to feel confident in the EMDR model of treatment. I have hope that you can feel better. To learn more, please contact me.
If you or someone you know matches the trauma symptoms listed above, I am confident that I can help and invite you to contact me today for a free consultation.