The Unexpected Effects of Road Traffic Accidents Part 2: Using EMDR as a Treatment

This post a piece about how EMDR can help those who have experienced road traffic accidents. You can also read about how Psychotherapy can help those in the same situation here.

When traumatic stress is continuing to be lived as if the incident is still happening and recurring, it is entirely possible to help and the intervention called EMDR can be woven into a psychotherapy treatment. This can be very successful in alleviating the negative arousal of thoughts, pictures, sensations and emotions connected to the past event.

One of my clients came after he returned to school working as a teacher and was bewildered by his change of mood. He was irritable at home and could not manage noise from his own children. At work he was highly charged as if he had drank too much caffeine or too many energy drinks. He startled easily and was exhausted by even the half days he was working on a phased return.

It was very early in the assessment that we ascertained it was the school electronic bells signalling changing lessons that was drilling into his neurological and physiological remembering of a different alarm signal. Sirens and ambulances were held in his unconscious knowing linked to his accident.

Whenever the resonance of the alarm sounded, he was catapulted into believing he was still at risk and his life was in danger. He was unwittingly being re-traumatised even though he had been delighted and relieved initially when he did go back to work.

A few sessions of EMDR after making a therapy relationship of trust and ensuring the client understood the principles of influencing his own state change positively helped him to regain his life.

Psychotherapy is much more than just empathic listening. However, it is the first highly developed skill that you will know of in your therapist. When you need someone to hear you differently, you can come and tell your story and we can work together to find ways to help you understand a narrative that assists your re-engagement with life.

We cannot change the past, but we can change how your brain, mind and body respond to that which you have been conditioned into believing is the only way of operating. The brain is neuroplastic, which means neural circuitry can be activated and down regulated to enable you to function more effectively and consistently.

Please get in touch if you have any past trauma that you would like to work through in therapy. You can read about how psychotherapy can also be drawn on to treat those who have experienced road traffic accidents here.

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