Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but it can also be an experience that didn’t include physical harm. Trauma can be any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated. Trauma is subjective and what may be considered traumatic for one person may not be traumatic for another person. If something was traumatic for you, then it was trauma. It is your subjective emotional experience to the event that determines if it is traumatic. The more frightened and helpless you feel the more likely you have experienced a traumatic event. Trauma can result from a one-time event, something that was on-going for a period of time, or could be something like a sudden death of someone close to you, a significant break-up, a humiliating experience, etc. If you discover that you are unable to move on from the event and your symptoms continue to grow in severity you may be experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Sometimes in life, bad things happen and it takes a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. You may even feel like you may never escape the pain you feel and no one will ever understand what you are experiencing. We want to help you mend from whatever experience you may have encountered and feel like you can feel safe again. You may have even adopted some negative core beliefs that you identify with and allow them to define you. We want you to know that there is the ability to heal and find freedom. We want you to know you are not alone and there is healing for you.
There are a number of different therapies that have been found to be successful in the healing of Trauma and PTSD. Although there are a number of trauma-informed approaches, there are two that we would like to highlight for you to consider.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
EMDR Therapy was first discovered in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro, a psychologist and student of mind-body medicine. EMDR activates how the brain stores and processes information. The memory of the trauma or adverse life experience may become frozen in time in the brain and remembering the experience (and others associated with it) may feel as bad as when you went through it the first time. This is because the images, sounds, smells, emotions, and possibly the body sensations remain the same and are “stuck” in the brain. The trauma may have a lasting negative effect on a person that interferes with the way they see the world and the way they relate to other people.
Therefore, in EMDR we are using bilateral stimulation to activate the brain similar to what happens in REM sleep. Eye movements are no longer the only modality for EMDR (however they are the most effective). Bilateral stimulation can include auditory tones, tactile taps, or the original eye movements. The choice of stimulation used in EMDR Therapy is completely based on each individual client’s choice, comfort, and safety. This is something that we are finding is effective in online therapy as well as in-person.
EMDR goes beyond changing the narrative or developing better-coping strategies. Its benefits go beyond meditation and mindfulness—working more quickly to make changes that are permanent and life-changing. That’s why EMDR Therapy can be transformative for both clients and clinicians.
What to know more? Visit https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
This is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that has been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD. In this modality, we will learn how to challenge and modify unhelpful beliefs related to trauma. This allows a new understanding and view of the traumatic event that reduces its negative effect on your current life.
Contact us today to learn more about how we might be able to help you with your challenges around anxiety, trauma and PTSD.