If you are struggling with trauma, you want a treatment that will work. That’s where Emdr in trauma-informed care comes in.
It’s hard enough coping with the emotions and memories associated with the trauma that you experienced. And this is true whether those events occurred last week or even decades ago.
Perhaps you’ve even given up hope that you could resolve your trauma.
But you can, by participating in trauma-informed care through EMDR. There are several advantages of EMDR which allow you to face what happened and, at the same time, resolve the hurt and pain from those experiences.
Trauma-informed therapy, and especially EMDR, can help you reach a point where those memories are just that—memories.
There’s a Process for EMDR in Trauma-Informed Care
First, it’s reassuring to know that there is a process set out for EMDR in trauma-informed care that includes:
- Learning and understanding your history of trauma
- Skill development
- Targeting memories
- Creating closure
When you’re being asked to recall traumatic memories, it’s reassuring to know that there is a framework to guide you. Your therapist isn’t “shooting from the hip.” Rather, they are leading you through a proven technique for trauma-informed therapy.
Learning How to Manage Stress
Another advantage of EMDR is that you learn how to manage your stress. This is important for participating in EMDR treatment for trauma. That’s because during a session you recall specific memories, which can be quite painful and emotionally distressing.
Before you even get to that point in the session, your therapist makes sure that you have tools available to handle that stress. That way, it doesn’t get out of control or you become overwhelmed and decide to shut down the EMDR session before reaching its full benefits.
Recalling the Memory Together
A big part of EMDR in trauma-informed care is recalling the memory or memories associated with your trauma. However, the way this works might be different than what you expect. As part of an EMDR session, your therapist guides you through the memory recall.
- First, you’re asked to bring to the surface something specific to the memory that you visualize in your mind (such as being physically assaulted).
- Then, you reflect on a negative belief about yourself that is associated with that memory (“I am powerless”).
- Plus, as part of the memory recall, you consider any kind of physical sensations, feelings, or emotions linked to the memory.
It’s important to note that during an EMDR session you are not required you to talk to your therapist about what you are experiencing. This makes sense, as the feelings, emotions, and memories are so intense and can occur so quickly that putting them into words is very difficult.
However, it’s helpful to know that you are not doing this alone. Instead, you have someone right there who will support you and is looking out for your best interests.
Focusing on the Positive
You might be reading this and thinking that all EMDR in trauma-informed care does is to focus on the negative. Who wants to do that, especially when you’d rather forget the memories involved?
However, EMDR also incorporates positive thoughts and beliefs. During a session, the therapist helps you implant something positive that you want to believe of yourself. For instance, after recalling how you felt powerless, you could consider how you are now more in control of your life.
The objective is to eventually have the painful emotions connected to the memory fade away. This leaves just the memory itself, with no emotional baggage attached.
Incorporating the Physical Connection
Finally, EMDR places attention on the biological connection to memory. This is done through the use of bilateral stimulation. Following a finger passed back-and-forth in front of you, or tapping, are common techniques.
One thought for why this works is that the stimulation activates both hemispheres of your brain. This allows you to better process distressful memories. Also, exposure to stimuli both outside the body and inside the mind can help as well.
The advantages of EMDR are many. It’s non-invasive and follows a progression that empowers clients to resolve traumatic memories.
If EMDR interests you, participating in trauma-informed therapy is key. By engaging in EMDR therapy with a counselor who understands trauma, you can find the closure you need. Feel free to contact me for more information.