- February 11, 2016
- Comments: 0
- Posted by: Harriet
What is the treatment?
Contemporary neuroscience and psychotherapy are rapidly changing how our brain can reprocess information and adapt to past trauma. Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy which is listed in the NICE guidelines and is paid for by insurers in medico legal cases. EMDR has been developed as an effective therapy for anxiety, depression, grief and the symptoms of post traumatic stress which integrates thoughts, mental pictures, sensations and feelings.
How does the treatment work?
It may be relevant and useful for you if there is an issue or circumstance from the recent or far distant past which continues to distress you or intrusively disturb your present day living. It may involve a one off event or multiple experiences. Whilst you will always be able to remember , there is significant hope and optimism because EMDR has an evidence base that shows we can change how the brain reprocesses the information until it no longer causes you problems in how you are thinking, feeling and behaving now.
Ordinary talk therapy is incomplete in bringing relief and changes in how you think, feel and behave due to traumatic stress symptoms. This is because the brain has disrupted connections. Information is stored in fragmented form about what you saw, heard, touched, tasted, emotionally felt and from how your physiology was interrupted when you were doing whatever you were doing at that time.
The part of the brain that has got stuck processing as if you are ‘living in the past’ keeps you on your guard, vigilant and on the lookout for threats to your safety and existence. You cannot reason the body out of reacting to stimuli that causes a reaction in the limbic system! No matter how many times others tell you that you are ‘safe’ or that your thoughts are irrational or that you are over-reacting, these assurances just do not penetrate the protective shell around you.
Basically, if your inner alarm goes off you are automatically wired to react to any threat by fighting, fleeing or freezing. You may not even realise the reasons why your body tripped into automatic behaviours to preserve you at all costs. This is massively confusing, frustrating, frightening and deeply shameful.
Ordinary talk therapy does not decondition the limbic system which is wired up to protect you. It is not even necessary (unless you find it useful) to retell the account of what happened to you. If or when you do, Jacqueline, your psychotherapist, can bear to listen to every last detail of what it is that you know and have dared not tell.
EMDR therapy does not rely upon language and talking for you to make brain change. An important and crucial preparation in EMDR psychotherapy is creating new associations for the brain so you can have a real time, in the now, experience of change. As you learn how traumatic stress can be deconditioned , your body and mind, brain and behaviour is positively activated through your influence and so there emerges a true glimmer of hope.
Who can benefit from the treatment?
EMDR psychotherapy is probably useful if you have something in your experience that brings about intense emotions which you may not be able to talk about, or understand with words. You may feel like you are behind triple glazed glass or shielded by armour plating. Others may not recognise you and you may despise the way you see yourself.
Sometimes you don’t even believe you are alive. But your hurt is real.
You or friends, family or work colleagues may have noticed you behaving in ways which seem to be out of kilter. It could be that you are insular and withdrawn, uncharacteristically quiet. Or there could be an intensity to how your emotions burst out like a dam breaking, or a volcano erupting. Ordinary life may have lost its meaning for you. Sometimes you may actually believe that everyone would be better off if you were dead.
As a consequence of traumatic stress, there is a reduction in the brain’s capacity to analyse and categorize information. You may find concentration difficult, be sensitive to noise, even of your own children playing or the loud chants of football supporters. Activities that you were previously interested or involved in may seem to be from a different lifetime. EMDR psychotherapy will reconnect you to the parts of you that you feel have been numbed or lost. You can learn how to take good care of yourself.
You will not forget. You will always be able to remember the significance of what you know and how you used to think, feel and behave. What changes is how your brain, interconnected with your body physiology and your beliefs linked with your emotions gives you freedom of choice.
Sexual Abuse, Terrorism, Bullying, Redundancy, Death , Partnership/Marriage Breakdown, Burglary, Guilt, Road Traffic Accident, Bankruptcy, Abortion, Anxiety, Combat, Still Birth, Pain, Retirement, Natural Disasters, Earthquakes, Fire, Flood, Tsunami, Tornadoes and Hurricanes, Home Repossession, Ageing, Fear, Rape, Miscarriage, Kidnapping, Childhood Neglect, Fertility concerns, Disease, Emotional Abuse, Legal disputes, Missing Person, Assault, Reactive Depression, Body Loathing/Dysmorphia, Loss, Repeated Surgery, Suicide, Prejudice, Panic, Work Related Stress, Labour/ Birthing Traumatic Stress, Relocation, Eating Distress/Disorders, Phobia. What would you put on here that is traumatically stressful for you and you are now ready to seek help with?
Jacqueline is an experienced, skilled and passionate psychotherapist committed to working collaboratively with you. With Jacqueline’s professional support you can reprocess and find release from being hostage to the symptoms of traumatic stress. Trained by Gerry Puk, Manda Holmshaw and John Spector EMDR Clinical Psychologist since 2005.