Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster.
While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed.
In these circumstances, the support, guidance and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.
According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5
- Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
- Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt
- Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks
- Anger, irritability and hypervigilance
- Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
- Sleep disturbances
Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms
- Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
- Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
- Change in habits or behavior since the trauma
Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. Most commonly, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is used in treating trauma.
My approach to trauma through EMDR is based on how your brain heals trauma. How EMDR helps you to lessen the intensity of the emotion and then you are able to manage the emotion when you get triggered. Trauma gets locked in your nervous system with original picture, thoughts, feelings that is connected to old experience. When you get triggered in the present by a smell, sound or sensation in the body, you experience discomfort, fear and helplessness. When processing memories, you unlock the nervous system and allow your brain to process the experience and heal, just like REM dream sleep.