Might you be suffering a psychological injury
from a traumatic event?
Have events in your past changed the way you see yourself, altered your view of the world, made you more negative, distrustful, insecure, angry or anxious today?
Were you coping well enough for a period, but find that coping is getting more difficult with time? Do you find that coping becomes more difficult at stressful times?
Do you find yourself saying things like, I know that this isn't rational, but.....?
What is Trauma
Trauma occurs when an experience overwhelms your brain's ability to cope, whether that be a big catastrophic event or an accumulation of smaller distressing events.
Trauma events include emotional or sexual abuse, war, car accidents, bullying, family conflict, death of a loved one, neglect, illness, experiencing or witnessing violence to name a few.
All trauma events, big and small, activate the stress chemicals in your nervous system, altering the way your brain encodes the memory of the event.
During a traumatic event your brain cannot process information properly. Traumatic memories remain stored raw and unprocessed deep in your brain's limbic system, an isolated memory network, disconnected from your brain's cortex.
You can continue to experience distressing symptoms even years after trauma because your limbic system is triggered by ordinary daily stress, reactivating these stored sensations of overwhelming fear, despair and powerlessness again and again. This explains why you may notice that your ability to cope has reduced over time.
What to Expect
Your therapist will take a history to help you identify the cause of your current symptoms, and determine what memories are associated with your feelings and beliefs. You and your therapist will then identify the key memories to target for EMDR processing.
You will not have to describe in detail what has happened to you. EMDR is not like talking therapies, as it not working with the conscious thinking part of your brain, but rather your brain's limbic system and deep subconscious processing.
Your therapist will guide you through very brief episodes of recalling the distress, whilst introducing a sensory task that taxes your working memory. This may involve bilateral eye movements, tapping or sounds.
Your brain's limbic system can then access new sensory information while processing the distressing information, facilitating effective encoding and storage of the memory in your cortex.
You can expect to experience some difficult emotions and sensations during EMDR processing, however this distress passes quickly and more importantly.... permanently.
Targeted Trauma Treatment - EMDR
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective, brief, clinical treatment for trauma related disorders.
The World Health Organisation recommends EMDR for the treatment of PTSD, and it is also used effectively in treating Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Phobia, Addiction, Eating Disorders and Depression.
With repeated sets of eye movements – similar to those when you dream, a traumatic memory is processed from the limbic system to the cortex, where it loses its painful intensity and becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. In the same way, EMDR can also be used to process worries, that is, pictures in your mind about the future.
Patients report that at the end of EMDR processing the image is more distant and difficult to recall, and can be brought to mind without distress. They report reduced symptoms, increased positive thinking and confidence in stressful situations.
EMDR can accelerate your talking therapy by resolving the impact of your past trauma.
The Benefits of EMDR Treatment for Trauma
EMDR is a faster more effective treatment for trauma than regular talking therapies with a psychologist.
Clients feel almost immediate benefits without the need to practice strategies or do homework in between sessions.
EMDR changes the way traumatic memories are encoded in your brain, therefore the gains made in treatment are permanent.