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I am a trauma EMDR practitioner and trauma specialist. I work with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other trauma issues. EMDR is particularly useful in trauma work but also has other useful applications in other areas such as dealing with phobias, grief and somatic disorders. I have provided EMDR online very sucessfully.
When a traumatic event occurs, there are changes that occur in the brain. Traumatic experiences often involve life threatening situations or a threat to safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed, alone and frightened can be traumatic.
In trauma these memories are not fully processed by the brain due to the imbalance in the nervous system and biochemical changes in the brain. The original memories, emotions, sights, sounds or smells associated with the trauma remain in their disturbing state, stored as present-day memories by the brain.
Memory of that trauma is held in your body and brain and it’s possible to develop illness, tensions, or find that breathing is restricted which can cause other problems .
There may be psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual symptoms in response to trauma
In order to manage trauma you may have found ways of surviving which might include depression or anxiety, addiction, phobias, relationship issues. These survival strategies keep the trauma at bay but they can become restricting and even life threatening over time. Trauma can change the brain and by developing an awareness of what is going on in your brain, with the right treatment, you can address these symptoms and learn skills that will help reset your brain for health. The brain is “plastic,” and it is possible to change it.
If you are traumatised, you may experience chronic stress, vigilance, fear, and irritation. You may also have difficulty feeling safe, calming down, and sleeping.
Feelings of stress or anxiety
Avoiding trauma memories
Feeling like you have to keep busy
Emotionally numb or cut off from your feelingsfeeling Physically numb or detached from your body
Using alcohol or drugs to avoid memories.
Feeling like you can't trust anyone
Feeling like nowhere is safe
Blaming yourself for what happened
Overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness, guilt or shame
I have been working with EMDR since 2008 when I completed my EMDR training with Alexander Richman. It is the NICE approved treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR has been developed through clinical research over the past 20 years to treat PTSD and traumatic memories. It is now often also used to work with phobias and anxiety disorders.
EMDR uses eye movement or tapping, to enable the brain to begin to process memories that have become "stuck". EMDR appears to facilitate the accessing of the traumatic memory and the information is processed with new associations being made between the disturbing memory and new associations, leading to information processing, alleviation of emotional distress and development of insights.
There is an assessment which can take one or two sessions and then some preliminary work. If EMDR is suitable then there may be 10 to 16 sessions. This is an illustration of how it could work and not everyone fits the same pattern. EMDR often resolves emotional disturbances and trauma where other therapies have failed. EMDR is effective for most anxiety based disorders. EMDR should not be confused with hypnotherapy. EMDR is a client led therapy and always remains within the control of the client. EMDR is capable of rapid results
PTSD is the name given when someone's trauma symptoms persist for longer than 3 months after the traumatic event. Not everyone will go on to develop PTSD and many find that their symptoms will fade over the first three months. About 30% of people who experience traumatic events will go on to develop PTSD.
Counselling and therapy can help with these symptoms and experiences and EMDR can be particularly helpful.
©2021 Joanna Goodfellow
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