"Ordinary daily events seem to pass through us without leaving a mark. Traumatic events, however, often get trapped and form a perpetual blockage. Like a broken record, they repeat themselves in our body-mind over and over again, (Laurel Parnell, 2007)".
While trauma can be defined in many different ways, the most important aspect of trauma is an experience that causes a person to develop false beliefs about themselves and the world. This leads to behaviors and choices that cause further suffering. For example, a car accident victim may no longer be able to get behind the wheel of a car for fear that another accident may occur. An adult who experiences abuse or neglect in childhood may grow up to believe they are bad or unworthy. This may affect their self-esteem, their career and relationship choices as well as cause other distressing psychological symptoms.
EMDR (which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative therapeutic approach that is highly effective for treating the effects of trauma as well as many other forms of psychological distress such as phobias, anxiety, addictions, and stress reduction. I have both personally and professionally witnessed the profound effects of EMDR and feel that it is the most useful therapeutic tool that I employ.
EMDR works by helping looping or stuck neural networks in the brain link up with more resourceful, creative, and expansive networks in the brain. This is done in session by having the client process memories, feelings, or sensations, while receiving some form of alternating stimulation to each side of the body. Originally this was done using back and forth eye movements, but today therapists can use a variety of techniques such as tapping lightly on the clients knees or using headphones with rhythmic tones if the client prefers not to be touched. I will explore with you what makes you feel the most comfortable and works best for each individual. The result is the memories, feelings, and sensations that felt stuck seem to move toward a greater sense of ease and resolution and no longer feel troubling. I believe as many others do, that this is truly the mind and body's natural tendency to move towards integration and healing.
For more information please visit: www.emdria.org