EMDR -Trauma Transformation & Becoming “Unstuck”
The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
Introduction to EMDR- Courtesy of EMDR International Association.
If talk therapy has not helped you achieve your goals, or if you are ready for more intensive work, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is another treatment approach to consider. EMDR is is an evidenced-based practice that has been proven as one of the most effective forms of treatment for trauma. It is highly effective for not only trauma/PTSD, but also provides a deeper level of healing and transformation for those with other emotional difficulties, including feeling “stuck.” Kimberly is an EMDR Certified Therapist through the EMDR International Association.
Trauma is experienced when one perceives threat or danger to safety…what is traumatic to one person may not be traumatic to another. If you are feeling overwhelmed and others do not understand, rest assured that you can find a way to function again. When someone experiences trauma, the memory often gets stuck in a part of the brain that is not accessible for the person to effectively process and overcome the event. Whenever the memory is triggered by anything that reminds the person of the trauma (for example, an anniversary date of the trauma, or seeing someone who reminds them of the event/s), the brain can become confused into believing the trauma is repeating. It feels like they are reliving the experience, with the same thoughts, feelings, sounds, tastes, body sensations, and visual images, as the real event.
EMDR allows the person to reprocess the trauma by accessing the right and left hemispheres of the brain through bilateral stimulation so that the effects are less detrimental and the past has less intrusion on the present. It helps the brain link together and make sense of memories, experiences, thoughts, images, emotions, and body sensations that one may not consciously be able to connect. Similar to puzzle pieces thrown across the floor, it facilitates the resolution of the internal puzzle, including finding missing or lost pieces and creating new ones to fill in the gaps. While it obviously cannot change the past or erase the memory, it allows the person to find a different perspective, with increased awareness, less self-defeating thoughts, a more positive belief system, and increased ability to accept what was in the past, release anxiety about the future, and stay in the present moment now.
Intensive Trauma Transformation is also an option based on availability. This includes a combination of EMDR, sand tray therapy, and other mindfulness-based techniques in longer blocks of time over a shorter period of time overall.