EMDR is a highly effective tool for helping individuals heal from trauma. We often think of trauma survivors as persons returning from war or a survivor of a horrific assault. It is true that some develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and EMDR is very effective to reprocess those memories, allowing the individual to no longer have triggers that send them jumping for safety.
A less common known trauma is what we call developmental trauma or “little t” trauma such as attachment wounds, childhood maltreatment, abuse and neglect, bullying and feelings of abandonment can impact the way we see the world long into adulthood. We may learn at young age that the “world is not safe” or “Don’t get too close, people only let you down” or some other deep belief that really impacts your ability to show up and shine. These negative and self protective beliefs are not on a conscious level most of the time; but that sense of hypervigilance is ever present.
This “latent emotional pain” from a little t trauma can play out in relationships: mistrust, refuse to get too close, shutting down and just existing. It could be a factor with self defeating behaviors or mind sets that limit you with your work or business.
If you know anything about EMDR, you know that it requires bilateral stimulation. Generally an EMDR therapist would facilitate the movement of their client’s eyes by moving their hand from left to right in front of the client’s face. However, this is not the only means to achieve bilateral stimulation. Reprocessing a memory or that troubling event is painful and a client may close their eyes or begin to cry; it is at that point the psychotherapist would transition to rhythmic tapping on the client’s knees.
This process takes memories and allows the individual to reprocess the event, the body sensations, and the emotional pain with one foot in the past and one in the present. The maladaptive trauma memory is reprocessed and integrated as a part of one’s history, but no longer with the same blindsiding intensity, triggers or hypervigilance negative filter.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with me to learn more about how EMDR may be helpful for you, please give my office a call.