Trauma can be defined as any event that shatters your world as you know it. Some traumas are big; like a car accident, an affair, a tragedy, physical and sexual abuse or neglect. Others are small little hurts that add up over time. No matter the size, trauma can erode your sense of self and well being. Leaving you with anxiety, big emotions that are hard to manage and overwhelming feelings of sadness. You may feel like you no longer have control over your actions or responses; like your body is on autopilot.
Unresolved trauma has the potential to bleed into your relationships. Why? Because we do not remember trauma; we relive it. When your body and brain goes into autopilot or survival mode; responses look like the skill or strategies that kept you safe during times of trauma or distress. What might this look like in your relationship? There are some very common patterns: shutdown, arguing, avoidance and people pleasing. These patterns may relate back to those same responses to the original trauma: fight, flight, freeze/fawn. Perhaps when you are experiencing a conflict with your partner, you may stop talking and go silent (freeze), storm out (avoidance), criticism or defensiveness (fight), saying yes when you want to say no or apologizing when you don’t mean it or have nothing to apologize for (fawning). Oftentimes, we are unaware that we are reacting to past trauma and body response in the present day. Leading to some common questions: What is wrong with me, why can’t I make my relationships work ? What is wrong with my partner: why can’t they just understand what I am going through?
EMDR Therapy can help. EMDR Therapy, stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. Developed in the 1980, EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation, in the form of tapping on knees, eye movements or sounds. With the combination of the bilateral stimulation and your brain’s natural ability to heal: EMDR is an effective and evidenced based treatment for PTSD, trauma, childhood wounds, abuse, anxiety and depression.
Working with a trauma informed therapist you will learn techniques to calm your nervous system, slow down racing thoughts and manage overwhelming emotions. You and your therapist will collaborate to develop a plan to heal the wounds that are still impacting you today. Through the process memories and beliefs that are high-jacking your body and mind can be put into a different perspective. These memories, fears and beliefs will no longer be in the driver’s seat, allowing for a restoration of calm, peace and well-being.
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