When we think of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), oftentimes, we think of war veterans; however, PTSD is associated with all types of trauma. Trauma can be defined as a deeply disturbing even in someone’s life. Trauma can result from physical abuse (assault), car accidents, rape, a loved one dying, kidnapping or any other major negative event. Important to note, seemingly small things can cause trauma as well, such as, a child being made fun of on a playground. The incident may never be spoken of, but that person remembers the incident and has made major life decisions based on that one incident.
Symptoms of trauma include:
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Flashbacks of the incident
- Severe or unnatural fears or paranoia (sometimes not related to the incident)
- Depression, isolation, emotional detachment
- Insomnia, feeling jumpy, anxious
- Night terrors
If trauma is not processed and dealt with, symptoms of PTSD can begin to show up. If someone has PTSD, it can be a lifelong, debilitating disorder.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy seems to be the best form of therapy we currently have available to us for healing trauma.
I’m going to simplify what this therapy is for you so that you can understand why it works. It seems that some parts of your brain shut down either during or shortly after a trauma. In order to recall and process this trauma, it is important for your brain to be able to feel the emotions associated with the trauma, while at the same time, utilizing the other side of the brain to process it and heal it. We call this hemispheric synchronization or bilateral brain synchronization.
According to Tom Wynne, a practicing EMDR therapist, “This creates a breakthrough and allows the left side of the brain to utilize the skills needed to heal, while opening up the right side of the brain where the trauma is locked up. It is a form of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) that utilizes a light bar. We start with a snapshot of the trauma, think the negative thought associated and follow through with processing. In order to heal, we’ve got to go back and face the dragon.”
EMDR Therapy is being recognized as a promising therapy for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders and addiction. There isn’t enough research to back these claims yet, but clients are seeing a positive outcome.
I won’t bore you with statistics, but in case you are interested, you can read a thorough study here.
If you are interested in seeing an EMDR Therapist, contact Tom Wynne (Midland, TX) or go here to find one in your area.