Are you tired of suffering from something that happened to you?
- Are memories from past events interfering with your relationships today?
- Do you keep reliving things that happened long ago?
- Do you feel edgy and on guard, unable to relax?
If so, therapy may be helpful for you to reprocess the past in order to move into the future. And the good news is, therapy with EMDR for trauma is typically faster and less upsetting than therapy for trauma was in the past.
With this type of therapy, you do not have to talk about everything that happened in great detail. In fact, you can say very little. You simply notice what happened in the past while staying aware of the present moment. And, before you even think about the past, I help you look at how you are coping now and equip you with more strategies to feel better and stronger right away.
What is EMDR?
EMDR stand for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a therapy with much support from research for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, and anxiety. It can help people with childhood trauma and neglect, medical trauma, a rape, car accident, or another situation that left you feeling powerless or scared for your life.
Symptoms that EMDR may help improve include, but are not limited to:
- Avoiding reminders of the past
- Trouble trusting people
- Staying emotionally distant in relationships
- Being easily startled
- Having a hard time concentrating
- And many more
The good news is there is no need to suffer with these symptoms forever. People who do EMDR therapy to deal with past events often report feeling freedom from memories or body sensations that used to cause them great distress. They also notice their thinking becomes more positive and hopeful. They tend to see new solutions for problems that used to seem unbearable. And, they are frequently able to walk away from beliefs that were holding them back.
Although you can see the benefits of EMDR therapy, you may still have some concerns about how it applies to you, such as…
The thing that happened to me was so awful I thought I was going to die. Why would I want to think about it all over again?
Unfortunately, the way our bodies store memories of the extreme things that happen to us feels like it is happening all over again in the present. This often happens when something in the environment reminds a part of us about the situation that hurt. It could be a smell, the weather, or the anniversary of the event on the calendar. We call these events triggers.
None of this is within your conscious control. When you are triggered, you probably begin thinking about what happened or feeling bad, whether you want to or not.
The beautiful thing about therapy such as EMDR is that you can help your brain process the memory so the old triggers lose their power. When you do think about memories after you have processed them with EMDR, they will most likely feel further removed from you. You will notice them and remember them, but they won’t leave you feeling trapped and powerless. Plus, as mentioned above, EMDR moves quickly and keeps you fully present in the moment while noticing the past, so you know you are safe during therapy.
I feel responsible for what happened. I am afraid you will judge me or that you won’t be able to handle what happened to me.
It is common after trauma to feel responsible for what happened. As a therapist, I feel proud of my clients for being willing to seek change. I am not a judge trying to determine right and wrong, I am someone helping your body facilitate the natural healing you are designed for. I am used to hearing about all sorts of things that have happened to others, and take good care of myself so I can be present for you.
I thought I already dealt with the past. Why do I feel worse again? Why would I need more therapy now?
There could be a few reasons why things from the past, that you thought you processed, are still impacting you:
- As people grow and change, entering one stage of life and leaving another, our bodies and minds often need to explore the impact of trauma on the new stage of life. For example, a child or adolescent can understand at their age-appropriate level of brain development that something painful happened, but when they are adults, they may still need to come to terms with how that event impacts their marriage or adult work and life experiences.
- Trauma therapies from the past often encouraged the client to re-experience and talk about the traumatic incident in great detail. While that may have helped some, for many people the talking only stored the memory more deeply in the emotional center of the brain. Newer therapies, such as EMDR, are gentler. They do not require you to talk about what happened in great detail. The EMDR process helps the upsetting memories literally move to a new place in the brain where they are stored with other, everyday memories. You can still remember what happened, but the emotional impact of the memory will become more tolerable.
- Our bodies are designed to heal, but if often happens in stages. Sometimes we heal up to a certain level and depth, but sense that going deeper would overwhelm us. That is OK. At that point, people often take breaks from treatment, or even think they are totally done with the impact of the trauma. But, as the days go by, people continue to mature. Many come to a place of readiness to tackle issues that once seemed insurmountable. Symptoms may come back as a sign that you are prepared for more healing. It’s like your body’s way of asking for some care and help. If this rings true with you, take it as a sign that more healing can happen. Therapy can help you enjoy more freedom for the stage of life you are in now.
Taking the Next Step Toward Healing
If even a part of this is connecting with your hope for a more peaceful live, please take the brave step of calling at 678-381-3493 or emailing me with this form. I am happy to answer any questions you have about treatment or make an appointment to get started.