Trauma often occurs when you are in a dangerous or very distressing situation and feel you have no way to escape. Typical traumas include:
- Emotional or verbal abuse
- Sexual or physical abuse
- Auto accidents
- Criminal victimization
- Natural disaster
- Stuff you don’t think is trauma but really is!
EMDR Therapy can be a wonderful avenue for relief and healing for many people. First discovered in 1989 by psychologist Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is among the most widely researched, evidence-based trauma treatment available. Now it is used not only for trauma and PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) but for other problems like anxiety, depression, OCD, substance abuse, and other concerns.
EMDR Therapy uses imagery, mindfulness, body awareness, and cognitive techniques in a carefully formatted and powerfully healing set of protocols. The use of eye movements, alternating tones, or vibrating sensations in your hands while focusing on a distressing experience in a specific, guided manner, allows the brain and nervous system to learn a new, healthier way of responding to trauma.
In addition to EMDR Therapy, I often teach clients skills from Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Developed in 1995 by Stanford-trained engineer, and rooted in the earlier theory of Thought Field Therapy, EFT works on the body’s energy meridians, similar in some ways to the acupuncture points used in traditional Chinese medicine. EFT is great for home use as well as with your therapist, and increasing numbers of studies support it has evidence-based.
Yoga therapy breathing techniques, meditation, kirtan, and other mind-body-spirit-based practices are also important in my work for those who are interested. We are whole beings and healing and growth can happen in all those areas of ourselves with deep and beautiful results.