The past is holding you back, and you know the trauma you experienced as a child is weighing you down. The time to deal with it is now, but how? How in the world do you process something so big and heavy? You’re still so affected that you almost can’t talk about it. How can therapy help when you can’t talk through it?
First of all, you’re not alone. Many people experience trauma to the point where they can’t talk through it. This is where EMDR comes into play and has a huge impact on your healing and processing. You might be dealing with trauma if you have the following symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Trauma
Signs of childhood trauma vary based on the individual, but may include:
- Flashbacks or Nightmares
- Avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma
- Difficulty trusting others
- Self-destructive or risky behaviors
There are many symptoms of trauma. It manifests itself in different ways for each person. The good news is, you can learn how to manage the effects of childhood trauma.
Trauma Doesn’t Have to Be “Big”
One thing I want you to know is that even if your trauma feels like something small, it is still trauma. Don’t downplay your experiences and how they have affected you. We often think of trauma as a result of abuse or neglect. But, trauma can occur from things that may not even seem traumatic at the moment.
Sometimes we don’t even process an event as traumatic until many years later as we do the work to better ourselves. I often hear trauma survivors downplay the effects of their trauma; “It’s not like I was in a war zone!” Or, they may compare themselves to someone that had it worse and made it through without experiencing trauma symptoms. We aren’t sure what exactly causes PTSD. But, it is real and it affects people in tremendous ways. Even if they haven’t experienced something that seems “big enough.”
EMDR Therapy for Trauma Helps Without Talking
In our Orange County, CA counseling office we use eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This helps clients work through the trauma they have experienced. But, in a safe, scientifically proven manner. EMDR therapy is a method where you don’t have to verbalize the trauma you’ve experienced. But, instead through a careful and structured guided practice, you work through memories of the trauma. By doing so, you can move towards a healthier thought process using a method that mimics REM sleep. This helps your brain repossess the trauma and helps you process it.
Sometimes, your trauma may be so big it affects your life. When this occurs, having the tools you learn from EMDR therapy can help a lot. Even the early step of resourcing can help you manage the symptoms. During resourcing, you learn how to put your trauma away and find a safe place you can go to when triggered.
What Does EMDR Therapy for Trauma at Moxie Family Therapy Look Like?
EMDR therapy is an 8 phase process that is very structured and uses specific scripts and methods. Here is an overview of what EMDR looks like at Moxie Family Therapy.
During the first phase, you will talk to your therapist about the history of what has occurred and how it is affecting you. A treatment plan is created and agreed upon by you and your therapist. You will also learn some techniques to manage the intense feelings you are dealing with.
The second phase focuses on gaining skills to manage the intense, rapid processing EMDR facilitates. These skills will help you navigate emotions brought up during sessions. Plus, the time between sessions.
Phases 3-6 involve identifying targeted emotions and beliefs you have about yourself related to your trauma. After you have identified the target, you move onto bilateral stimulation. In other words, you either follow your therapist’s finger from left to right, tap or hear tones on opposite sides. Doing so helps to activate the different parts of your brain. During this time you simply pay attention to what is happening in your body and mind.
After this, you will let your mind go blank and notice what you are feeling in your body and mind. Let your therapist know where you are on an emotional level. As you progress, you often find that the distress from the memory, thought or belief lessens! Once it is low enough, you identify a positive reframe of the negative thought. Then, you can focus on that positive belief during the same side to side stimulation to anchor that thought or belief in your brain
In phase 7 you will keep a log of what occurs in the week. Doing so will reinforce and remind you of the skills you learned in phase 2.
During phase 8 you examine the progress made so far and identify how you are responding to triggers. Then, you will create a plan moving forward if you have further trauma to process.
When Should You Consider EMDR to Help Heal From Childhood Trauma?
Trauma can impact every aspect of your life. You may find yourself:
- Missing out on activities you would like to attend
- Being plagued by depression or anxiety
- Finding yourself harming cherished relationships because of a lack of trust
- Or having flashbacks or nightmares
Are you worried about trauma’s impact on your life? It may be time to consider EMDR with an experienced counselor at Moxie Family Counseling. You deserve to live free of these PTSD symptoms and find healing from your childhood trauma.
Begin EMDR Therapy for Trauma in Orange County, CA at Moxie Family Counseling
Recovering from past trauma is much easier said than done. Our caring therapists understand this. We would be happy to offer support from our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice. You can overcome the impact trauma has had on your life. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
Other Services offered at Moxie Family Therapy in California
EMDR for trauma isn’t the only service we offer at Moxie Family Therapy. We are happy to offer a variety of services to support the LGBTQ community, young adults, children, teens, and couples. We also offer therapy for anxiety, therapy for therapists, clinical supervision, adoption therapy, art therapy, and play therapy. Feel free to learn more by visiting our blog or contacting us today!