Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means living in a body that is always on guard.
Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. However, before your body can relax, you need your emotional brain to stop seeing everything as a trigger.
Trauma disrupts the neural pathways between the thinking brain and the emotional brain. For example, you cannot analyse yourself out of triggered terror because your thinking brain is overwhelmed by terror.
Removing your trauma using EMDR
Together we will look at the small and large traumas you have experienced and design a unique therapeutic program to help you regulate your emotions by rewiring your brain. It is not all talk therapy.
I use a bottom-up and top-down evidence-based approach to activate the brain’s natural neuroplasticity to release stored traumas.
We will begin processing your traumas by getting you to focus on a distressing image, sound, or smell associated with the traumatic experience.
I will ask you to describe any emotions that come up (anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, powerlessness) and body sensations (tight throat, increased heart rate). There might even be a negative belief about yourself (e.g., ‘I could not save him or ‘I’m unlovable’ or ‘I am worthless’).
Whilst you are doing this (you already overdo this when something triggers you), I will have you track a light, sound or sensation, ensuring you do not feel overwhelmed.
We will take breaks to breathe and notice what your body is doing, and soon you will tell me that the distressing sensations are decreased even when you focus on your worst memories.
We now know the trauma is processed and move on to the next trigger, often removing several triggers in one session.
There is no need to describe any trauma memory in detail, and you can focus on those aspects of the memory without having to say them out loud. I (the therapist) do not need to know the detail, which is advantageous if some of your memories make you feel shameful or guilty.
Reducing your medication is possible
If you are on medication, we can work with your GP or psychiatrist to reduce them over a period of time.
All too often, drugs such as Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel, are prescribed instead of helping people untangle the trauma that causes such distressing physical reactions. Medications can be helpful in the short term but only blunt sensations and do nothing to resolve trauma or transform them from toxic agents into allies.
Getting in touch with your physical body
Once your traumas have been processed, and you are not emotionally “on guard,” the mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness can connect their physical sensations to psychological events with practice. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.
Trauma Counseling in Sydney using EMDR
Trauma is the main focus of my practice and why Sydney GPs, psychiatrists, and sleep specialists refer their clients to me.
Although trained in various trauma processing modalities, EMDR is the primary therapy I use because it is the most efficient. I believe suffering from trauma should be reduced as quickly as possible. I look forward to meeting you.
“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”