WHAT IS TRAUMA?
Psychological trauma occurs as a result of one or more distressing events causing overwhelming amounts of stress that impacts a person’s ability to cope and process the emotions that surface as a result of the traumatic/adverse experience/s. When these events occur, negative thoughts, emotions and physical sensations associated with the memory, may get stuck in the body and mind and impact one’s ability to cope and cause significant acute and or chronic distress.
SYMPTOMS OF TRAUMA
Symptoms of trauma can be experienced both in the mind (psycho-emotional) & body and influence our behaviours.
- Anger, irritability, anxiety, fear, panic, hypervigilance
- Sad, hopeless, disconnected, emotionally numb
- Difficulty concentrating/focusing and staying present
- Self-blame, shame, guilt
- Denial, disbelief, difficulty discerning reality
- Flashbacks, intrusive memories, nightmares
- Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
- Memory impairment
- Intrusive thoughts, suicidal ideation
- Chronic fatigue
- Startle easily
- Chronic muscle tension, aches & pains
- Shallow/rapid breathing, or inability to take in full breaths
- Sensory sensitivities
- Self-harm & substance abuse
- Disordered eating
- Relational conflict patterns: inability to form close relationship, or poor boundaries with other
- Avoidance & isolation
HOW TO HEAL FROM TRAUMA
There are many different therapies that work from a top down and/or bottom up approaches for healing trauma. Some of these modalities include CBT, exposure, hypnotherapy, somatic experiencing, psychoanalysis.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is rapidly growing and powerful modaltiy for healing trauma. It is an integrative approach, as it re-processes the cognitive, emotional and somatic (physical) aspects of the self that have been distrubed as a result of the trauma/adverse experience/s. For example, a person who has experienced sexual trauma can shift from holding the belief “It was my fault” and feelings of shame to the belief “I am a survivor” and feelings of inner strength.
“More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy. Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study…found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions.” –EMDR.com
EMDR therapists use comprehensive protocols and procedures to help clients activate natural healing processes. An important aspect of this therapy is the eye movements (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) that help the client maintain dual awareness (attention in the past and present) to facilitate the healing process safely and effectively.
If you think EMDR therapy would support you in your healing journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a FREE 20 minute consultation.