Trauma & EMDR

Trauma and EMDR Therapy

We often don't realize the impact of upsetting events. The first time a therapist labeled my own upsetting events as trauma it felt freeing. I suddenly realized why I experienced anxiety and other residual effects. When the effects of an upsetting event weave themselves in to your life many of us believe the effects are something we just have to deal with. This is not so. It is possible to heal from trauma. 

When an unexpected upsetting event occurs, it is a shock to our nervous system. Trauma is an event that is threatening to one’s life, mind, or body. The event may be experienced firsthand by experiencing the event or secondhand by witnessing or hearing about the event. Trauma causes a mental and physiological reaction as the brain and body go in to fight, flight, or freeze mode. The mental and physical reaction that occurred during the event, or a similar reaction, may occur when sensory triggers of the traumatic event occur. These sensory triggers include sights, sounds, smells, and replaying the event in one’s head. Many don't realize that due to the body and brain trying to protect themselves from danger, the traumatic memory does not process like other memories. Instead, it gets stuck, and may cause physical and mental symptoms such as panic attacks, when triggered.

At the extreme end of the spectrum, unprocessed trauma may cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While we often hear of PTSD in relation to soldiers, any type of traumatic event may bring it on. This could include the trauma of sexual assault or a major car accident.

EMDR

Though there are different interventions to reduce trauma symptoms, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, or EMDR, has been shown to be one of the most effective. This technique uses back and forth eye movements to process unresolved trauma in the brain. EMDR helps to resolve negative beliefs so you can begin living life without negative symptoms.

This technique is useful for both adults and children. I will practice EMDR with children as young as 5. In working with children, I implement play therapy along with EMDR in the form of board games, sandtray, drawing, and more.

Along with treating PTSD, EMDR has shown to be effective in treating panic attacks, complicated grief, phobias, stress, physical/mental abuse, body dysmorphic disorder, and more.

For more information on EMDR, visit EMDRIA.

EMDR Child Specialist

 Like adults, children can experience life events that have a large impact on them. As we know, these life events can be carried in to adulthood and through the rest of their lives. With innovative forms of therapy, we can help children get past life events that might otherwise keep them stuck in patterns of anxiety, depression, aggression, and have other adverse affects that may carry in to adulthood.  As I mentioned above, EMDR helps to relieve negative symptoms of unpleasant and/or traumatic memories that may otherwise become stuck in the brain. EMDR helps process these memories in the mind, heart, and body. Whether your child has recently been in a car accident, has developed anxiety due to a parent's difficulty to bond with the child as an infant, is struggling with severe bullying in school, or has experienced sexual abuse, EMDR can help.  I completed my EMDR Child Specialist Training with Ana Gomez. Her innovative program adapts EMDR for children and teenagers by implementing play therapy and other creative ways to process memories. In this program I learned to take special care with children, to insure their systems do not get overwhelmed by processing difficult memories. EMDR is a process that includes building resources for kids before processing difficult memories. This process can be difficult for parent as well as child so it is of great importance for me to be open with you and your child each step of the way.  I love working with children and appreciate when you, as parents, can be involved in their journey as well. While the EMDR process will include an extensive session to learn more about your relationship with your child as well as the family history, it is helpful for you to be a part of your child's journey. Having the parent involved in the EMDR process can help to strengthen your bond with your child and minimize your child's symptoms by feeling a felt sense of safety.

Like adults, children can experience life events that have a large impact on them. As we know, these life events can be carried in to adulthood and through the rest of their lives. With innovative forms of therapy, we can help children get past life events that might otherwise keep them stuck in patterns of anxiety, depression, aggression, and have other adverse affects that may carry in to adulthood.

As I mentioned above, EMDR helps to relieve negative symptoms of unpleasant and/or traumatic memories that may otherwise become stuck in the brain. EMDR helps process these memories in the mind, heart, and body. Whether your child has recently been in a car accident, has developed anxiety due to a parent's difficulty to bond with the child as an infant, is struggling with severe bullying in school, or has experienced sexual abuse, EMDR can help.

I completed my EMDR Child Specialist Training with Ana Gomez. Her innovative program adapts EMDR for children and teenagers by implementing play therapy and other creative ways to process memories. In this program I learned to take special care with children, to insure their systems do not get overwhelmed by processing difficult memories. EMDR is a process that includes building resources for kids before processing difficult memories. This process can be difficult for parent as well as child so it is of great importance for me to be open with you and your child each step of the way.

I love working with children and appreciate when you, as parents, can be involved in their journey as well. While the EMDR process will include an extensive session to learn more about your relationship with your child as well as the family history, it is helpful for you to be a part of your child's journey. Having the parent involved in the EMDR process can help to strengthen your bond with your child and minimize your child's symptoms by feeling a felt sense of safety.