Trauma is defined as a “deeply distressing and disturbing experience”, and unfortunately, every day, people all over the world have some form of traumatic experience happen to them. Trauma can also be defined as “physical injury”, and as strong and incredible as the human mind is, the experience of trauma is a very difficult and potentially lasting piece of damage on the human mind.
Approximately 8 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of PTSD every year, and the effects can be truly debilitating for someone trying to get their life back to normal. But with EMDR Therapy that we offer at Life Skills Awareness, that process might be able to be made a little easier, and potentially give you control over your trauma, and the psychological issues that come with it. Keep reading to learn more.
What is EMDR Therapy?
Whether it’s a soldier having experienced combat, a sexual assault survivor, or someone who just lost a close loved one, the severe emotional pain and distress from trauma can lead to lasting and painfully vivid memories that can take a long time to heal. And the psychological effects of these memories can be debilitating, from anxiety and stress, to panic attacks, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. EMDR Therapy is a somewhat newer form of psychotherapy that looks to change your mental relationship with those memory experiences, and ultimately give you more control over them, and the effects they cause.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and the process involves using lateral eye movements to help emotionally heal more quickly from a traumatic experience. While that might sound too good to be true, studies have shown continued success with the therapeutic technique. The basis of the technique is the role of external stimuli, or things in the world around you that stimulate your senses in some way. The haunting nature of traumatic memories make any attempt to mentally confront them scary, difficult, and could potentially push your mind to relive the trauma. EMDR uses an external stimulus to supplement this process, in this case, a therapist-directed object for your eyes to track, to provide essentially a distraction for your mind.
The idea is for the patient to hold certain aspects of the traumatic event or situation in their minds as they track the shape or object with their eyes. Studies show that this process allows an individual suffering from PTSD to potentially: 1) process the past events that induced traumatic memories, 2) form new mental connections associated with the event, forcing information to adapt, and limit the triggers that induce the stress and anxiety response, and 3), ultimately provide a template to incorporate future events into the memory, supporting the acquisition of skills that allow the client to function on their own.
EMDR Therapy at Life Skills Awareness
PTSD can affect anyone. Whether you are a military family, living on your own, or in a crowded house, the psychological effects of PTSD can be very difficult on both you, and your loved ones around you. EMDR therapy might be able to provide the new associations you need to confront your trauma, and ultimately live your life. Contact us at Life Skills Awareness to see how we can provide EMDR therapy to you.