Traumatic events can include things from a person’s childhood such as abuse or an event from adulthood such as a violent encounter, a medical experience such as traumatic birth, or military combat.
What Does Trauma Treatment Look Like?
Having a safe and unbiased environment to be able to emotionally process the trauma is critical. Our trauma specialists make sure that a person feels safe, comfortable and in control before we even touch on traumatic experiences. There are a number of different ways to emotionally process traumatic events including cognitive and emotional reprocessing and EMDR.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a structured treatment method that employs specific physical movements to reprocess traumatic or frightening events. Sometimes the re-telling of a painful story can be re-traumatizing if it is not done in an environment where you know you are safe and in control. When you re-tell a story using EMDR it will often feel very different because you are in the “driver’s seat,” and can stop or slow down at any time. EMDR reworks how trauma memories are stored in the brain so that the event can finally be processed successfully and in a new way.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that your brain processes information.
When you are highly distressed, your brain cannon process information and create memories as it typically would. Instead, when you experience something that is highly distressing or feels traumatic to you, the memory of this even can become “frozen in time” and when remembering the event, you can feel just as bad as when you went through it the first time.
During a successful EMDR session, your brain is able to resume normal information processing. After reprocessing the painful memory you still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting to think about.