EMDR

What is trauma and do you have it? An Intro to EMDR

What is trauma and do you have it? An Intro to EMDR

by: Courtney Hollingsworth, LPC, EMDR Therapist

Do you have trauma in your past? Probably. It can be defined simply as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. any event that causes an unusually high level of emotional stress and has a long lasting negative effect on a person. More than the mind or body can bear. If nothing in your personal life story comes to mind when you read those lines, prepare yourself for the day it does, because that day will come. Why can I say this with certainty? Life. Life is filled with brokenness, loss, sorrow, and pain. No one gets a free pass from that.

Sometimes mental health professionals differentiate between “big ’T’ Trauma” and “little ’t’ trauma.” Big “T” Trauma is a sudden, big traumatic experience such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, combat, natural disaster, rape, a life-threatening event, unexpected death of loved one, and crime. But even more common is little “t” trauma, which tends to be a smaller event, is often chronic, or experienced over and over, such as verbal abuse, bullying, loss of a pet or job, divorce, betrayal, etc. Just because the trauma feels smaller does not mean the impact is smaller. A helpful metaphor for the difference might be the difference between having your body set on fire vs being burned all over your body by matches. Both cause painful and lasting damage; it just occurs differently.

EMDR is helpful with a variety of big “T” Traumatic experiences that have caused a person to suffer from PTSD. EMDR can has also been proven to be effective for clinical issues that can be the result of little “t” trauma, such as depression, addiction, anxiety, and self esteem.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based treatment for trauma. More than 27 studies (since 1989) have demonstrated EMDR’s effectiveness in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs, American Psychiatric Association, and the World Health Organization all recommend this treatment.

For more information about EMDR or to set up an appointment, please contact Courtney Hollingsworth​, LPC, EMDR Therapist at ​courtney@avenuescounselingcenter.org

EMDR and Trauma

 

By Judith Asner

EMDR and Trauma

By: Andy Gear, LPC, EMDR Trained Therapist

What is EMDR? 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based treatment for trauma. More than 27 studies (since 1989) have demonstrated EMDR’s effectiveness in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs, American Psychiatric Association, and the World Health Organization all recommend this treatment.

What are signs of Post-Traumatic Stress?  

  • Feel like you are reliving the event, have intrusive thoughts, memories, nightmares, or flashbacks.
  • Physical reactions to reminders of the event.
  • Avoid thoughts, feelings, people, places, reminders of the trauma, or can’t remember parts of it.
  • Feel detached, isolated, less emotion or interest in once pleasurable activities.
  • Problems with sleep, irritability, anger, concentration, hyper-vigilance, or are easily startled.

How does this happen?

PTSD occurs when a disturbing event overwhelms our brain in such a way that we are unable to effectively process it. This prevents us from being able to heal from the disturbing memory as we usually would. These memories do not properly fade into the background, but continue to impact us—most noticeably when we are faced with reminders of the event.

How does EMDR help? 

EMDR allows these memories to be processed effectively. By stimulating both sides of the brain (through eye movement, tapping, or sound), we are able to successfully reprocess the event. This allows the impact of disturbing memories to fade, so that we are no longer triggered and begin to feel safe once more.

For more information about EMDR or to set up an appointment, please contact Andy Gear, LPC, EMDR Trained Therapist at andy@avenuescounselingcenter.org.