Working with Trauma and Abuse
EMDR is recognized as a successful clinical therapy for working through abuse and trauma. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is the clinical term for psychological and emotional injuries that results from unresolved abuse and trauma. Unresolved abuse and trauma have a constrictive hold on our lives. They limit our choices and ability to react and respond successfully. There can be a constant fear that the world is not safe and that no one cares, or a feeling of loneliness, that we have no support in our lives, and that we are alone. When a current experience triggers an old abuse or trauma pattern our response choices tend to be severely limited to flight, fight, or freeze. That is how we have coped with trauma or abuse in the past, and it therefore becomes our first line of defense in the present. Held abuse and trauma patterns can result in mood instability, whether it is anxiety or depression, rage responses or excessive anger and violence, or shutting down as a means of escaping and feeling safe. When triggered in the present by an experience that is similar to the held trauma pattern in our nervous systems, all the past held emotions come rushing forward to the present, making us feel out of control with intense emotional states. We might feel unsafe or want to fight, want to flee, or want to freeze and shut down. EMDR is a proven and recommended therapeutic method for desensitizing these patterns and enabling us to adapt successfully to disturbing emotional states, which allows us to regain control of our lives again.