Trauma and its effects can be awful and overwhelming to live with.  When something traumatic happens, you might wonder if you’ll ever feel “normal” again.  You might be feeling frustrated when confronted with reminders of your trauma.  Maybe you’ve been feeling shame that you continue to suffer from the effects of something that happened that you just can’t let go of, even if you wouldn’t classify it as a trauma.

Pain is pain and trauma is trauma.  Trauma therapists teach that there can be such a thing as a Big T trauma (maybe violence, natural disaster, abuse, etc.) and Little t trauma (something as simple as a negative word spoken.) A natural disaster can be traumatic and so can being laughed at in 5th grade when you mispronounced a word in a public speech.  So many factors contribute to how we internalize our experiences, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Trauma’s Effects

Trauma changes how we see the world.  Trauma also disrupts the neurological communication between different parts of the brain.  Because of this disruption, our brain can struggle to distinguish between remembering and reliving.  This is important.  If the trauma hasn’t been processed as a past event, the brain is on high alert to protect you from danger. 

Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization (EMDR) is an evidence-based treatment that may be able to help. 

What is EMDR Like?

EMDR uses visual movement, sounds, or tapping to help activate both sides of your brain.  Each brain hemisphere has an important role in processing the traumatic event as memory. It is theorized that stimulating both sides of the brain while addressing how your body and thought life respond to the trauma helps to process the memory so you no longer live with its effects.

The duration of EMDR therapy can also be shorter than traditional talk therapy. Further, you don’t always have to talk in depth about the trauma in order to treat it.

How will it help?

One of the objectives of EMDR is to become mindful of the physical sensations, thoughts, and beliefs associated with the trauma. As the memory becomes properly processed, your physical reactions to the memory can shift, and your trauma response can shift.  Your negative thoughts and beliefs may gradually move to neutral or positive thoughts and beliefs throughout the course of treatment.

If you are dealing with unresolved trauma and are curious about how EMDR might help, just call our Atlanta trauma therapists. They will give you information about the protocol, what to expect, and evaluate whether EMDR is a good fit for you.  We want to support you in your healing process.