Trauma and EMDR Therapy
What is trauma and PTSD? Symptoms fit into 3 main categories:
(1) Re-experiencing the traumatic event. This may occur through nightmares, flashbacks, reliving the event, or having a great deal of distress when in a situation like the trauma
(2) Avoidance. This occurs through avoiding having particular thoughts or feelings. The person with PTSD may avoid activities or having conversations related to the trauma. He or she may feel withdrawn, disinterested, or numb to emotions.
(3) Arousal. This may come in the form of feeling “on edge”, having difficulty concentrating, or sleep problems. You may also experience feelings of guilt, inability to feel joy or happiness, feel the world is not safe, have an exaggerated startle response and become hyper-vigilant.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that helps people to heal from the symptoms and emotional pain that result from traumatic life experiences. Severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal; however, EMDR therapy shows that the mind can heal from psychological trauma as well as the body heals from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If there is repeated injury that irritates the wound, it causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing can take place. EMDR therapy helps remove these blocks and desensitize your mind to the traumatic events. If the brain is blocked by trauma, the emotional wound keeps getting triggered, and this leads to pain and distress. Once the block is removed by doing EMDR therapy, then healing can take place.
There has been a lot of research on EMDR therapy. It is now known as an effective form of treatment for physical, emotional and sexual trauma, in addition to other events such as car accident victims, surgery trauma, birth trauma, war trauma and several other types of mental health issues. It is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense as an effective treatment for trauma.
EMDR therapy is effective in treating the memories and pain of trauma. This helps with low self-esteem, anger, feelings of helplessness, troubles in relationships, depression and anxiety, and many other things that are related to past trauma issues.