Most experiences in life affect more than our brain, they affect our entire bodies. The blazing orange and muted purple of a sunset on the perfect summer night might leave you feeling relaxed and light. By contrast, realizing you have locked your keys in your car before an important interview might make your heart rate increase and your stomach lurch.
Talking about experiences, thinking of them in a new light, and making meaning out of them is helpful, but it sometimes is not enough.
When someone experiences trauma, one in which they were (or they believed they were) in grave danger, it is a whole body experience. Before the conscious mind knows what is happening, the body reacts in an attempt to keep us safe. When people experience trauma, their bodies have a way of “remembering” what happened.
Elevate therapists offer a type of therapy known as Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, or more commonly referred to as EMDR. This method of therapy is considered evidence-based and has been rigorously researched and shown to be effective for the treatment of psychological trauma.
The EMDR approach recognizes that traumatic memories distressing memories that haunt us, seem to be stored in the brain differently than other memories. EMDR gives you a chance to re-process the memory using a technique called bilateral stimulation, which is simply moving the eyes from side to side, or taping on alternate sides of the body.
During EMDR therapy you will not be asked to describe the distressing memory in great detail and great care will be taken to make sure you are not reliving the memory. The goal of EMDR is to process the memory in way that it does not cause you or your body as much distress to remember the event.
Other trauma informed treatment modalities offered at Elevate Counseling Center, LLC are Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Adaptive Internal Relationship Network (AIR Network) and Ego State Therapy. Your therapist can discuss with you the various approaches and find the one that’s right for you, so you can make peace with your past.