Processing teen trauma through EMDR:
The word trauma often has a negative connotation attached, but researchers say that we all encounter various types of trauma in our lives. Loss, grief, abandonment, bullying, abuse, divorce, separation from loved ones, and witnessing fighting or violence in the home can all be contributors to these negative experiences. These events are always telling us things about ourselves, other people, and the world around us. The tough part is that they are not always telling us the most correct information. Our brains store that information in a way that if it is not processing correctly, other experiences in our lives can bring up that same information we gained from a negative experience. We are back in that same moment, thinking, feeling, and reacting the same way we have in the past however the trigger may be different.TT
Trauma can affect children in a variety of ways. It may be harder to build trust with a child who has lived through trauma. They may not respond to the traditional types of consequences or authority in school or at home. They may have a high level of emotional reactivity to situations that most may not see as triggering, however to them they feel as though and are reacting as if they are under attack. People respond to a traumatic event in several ways. Most of us have heard the term flight or fight. This is the reaction that is shared with the animal world as well. Animals are seen running from predators, frozen, in the moment, or play dead. Humans also mimic these responses. This is the reason you hear children’s stories of their same behavior in a negative experience. They are frozen, and feel unable to move or change the situation in any way. These perpetuates their feeling of not having control or able to manage their stress level or a difficult situation in their future. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, difficulty in social situations, difficult encounters with authority and much more.
How can EMDR help?
Directly from the EMDR Institute:
“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.”*
Over the past 2 decades, EDMR has gained evidence based treatment results for many diagnoses including depression, anxiety, PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, conduct problems, self esteem and more. To learn more please visit the EMDR Institute website .To hear more about getting involved in EMDR therapy with me- please fill out the contact form below!
***Disclaimer: This blog is the opinion of an individual and does not constitute professional advice or a professional relationship to the reader. If you are seeking mental health services, please contact a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing an emergency, please go to the nearest hospital or call 911.***- pleas fillcont