Trauma and EMDR- Part Eight

In this series, we’ve talked about different types of trauma and how we’ve all experienced a trauma that has impacted us, whether or not we’ve named it as such; how traumatic experiences are encoded and stored differently in our brains than other non-traumatic events; and we then looked at signs and symptoms that may indicate trauma exists and needs to be addressed.

Now on to what we can actually do about our traumatic experiences!

So, what can be done about trauma? Well, the options are endless, really. We can live our lives out of it. We can bury it. We can medicate it. Or, we can heal from it.

“In most cases, the effects of trauma are reversible.”

– Francine Shapiro

I would add: the effects are reversible if the trauma is properly addressed.

Trauma comes in different forms; therapy does too.

Perhaps you are one of many people who would say, “I’ve tried therapy. It didn’t work.” There is a very long list of possible reasons therapy might have failed – and sometimes the factors are client-dependent. For instance, was the client ready to acknowledge a problem, ready to open up and invite help, ready to invest in change, ready to take difficult steps towards health or wholeness?

Other times, it’s not a great fit with personalities, or with the modality of therapy. Good therapy is an interaction between client, therapist, and method. If you don’t find the right therapist, you will not receive good therapy (Shapiro, 2004, p. xxiii).

When the average person thinks of “therapy” – they think first of Freudian psychoanalysis. But there’s also cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), emotion focused therapy (EFT), couples, family/systemic, group, Jungian, psychodynamic, psychosexual, narrative, existential, Gestalt, reality, solution-focused brief, art, music, dance, equine assisted therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – to name a few. When it comes to resolving trauma, for many people, EMDR is one of the strongest options.

In the remainder of this series, we’ll talk more specifically about EMDR, and how competent treatment with EMDR can relieve pain and suffering that has gone on for decades.

Written by: Mindy Pierce

Resources consulted:

Shapiro, Francine. EMDR: The Breakthrough “Eye Movement” Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma. Perseus Books, 1998.