Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of trauma therapy that is effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR therapy uses tools and techniques that rewire the brain to replace negative associations associated with traumatic events with associations that do not cause feelings of stress, anxiety and other mental health issues. At Fresh Start Recovery Center, we offer an EMDR therapy program to help clients address and move forward from lives disrupted by trauma. Reach out to us today at 833.625.0398 to speak with a trained representative about the benefits of EMDR therapy for PTSD.
How PTSD Works
When faced with traumatic situations or experiences, an individual fight or flight response is triggered. This is a safety mechanism built into the human body to help us avoid and respond to situations that are potentially dangerous. If this safety mechanism is triggered too often or in response to extreme situations or experiences, the result can be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD symptoms are not the same for everyone. This is when c-PTSD or “complicated” PTSD is a diagnosis that is increasingly given to those who have experienced multiple traumatic experiences and require specialized and, in some instances, more thorough treatment.
PTSD can be experienced at any age by any individual. When people hear about PTSD, their first thought is that this is something primarily experienced by combat veterans and that those are the individuals who mostly receive a PTSD diagnosis. While PTSD is common among those who have experienced the atrocities of war, it is a misconception to believe that only extreme fear-inducing and traumatic experiences associated with war are reasons why someone might experience PTSD. PTSD is common about victims of domestic abuse, survivors of childhood sexual abuse, limited social safety net, historical of mental illness, family history of mental illness, death of a family member, loss of a job, personal injury, incarceration, substance abuse.
There are biological factors that can make an individual more prone to experience PTSD as a result of traumatic incidents.
Symptoms Associated with PTSD
There are many signs and symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s important to keep in mind that these can vary from individual to individual based on their personal history and the nature of their traumatic experiences.
Symptoms associated with PTSD include:
- Recurring memories
- Distressing thoughts associated with the experience
- Physical signs of stress
Having good resilience or learning to develop and improve resilience is essential for recovering from PTSD. Learning positive coping mechanisms like those clients work on with a counselor in EMDR therapy can be life-changing. In EMDR therapy for trauma recovery, clients learn coping strategies that help them recover from symptoms of trauma by rewiring the brain and changes thought and behavior patterns. Learning new ways to respond to difficult and upsetting life events can help prevent PTSD from occurring and help clients move forward from their traumatic past.
How EMDR Can Help with PTSD
EMDR therapy can help clients with PTSD learn new tactics to manage their symptoms and involves using techniques that help rewire the brain to replace unpleasant and difficult to manage traumatic responses to reliving past experiences.
Initially, clients work with an EMDR therapist to assess their personal history and talk about life experiences to identify and target particularly traumatic experiences that appear to be the sources of PTSD. In an EMDR-focused session, clients have clients discuss a traumatic event while using tools and techniques that help reframe the memory and remove stress, anxiety, and other triggered negative thinking associated with the experience.
While a client focuses on negative thoughts, emotions, and your bodily feelings associated with the traumatic memory, and holds that memory in their mind, the EMDR therapist uses devices including flashing lights, buzzers, and beeping machines, to reorient mechanisms in the brain associated with memory retention and retrieval. Over time, the goal is to focus on positive associations that can replace the negative ones when ideas associated with the traumatic event come to mind. Eventually, you will focus on a positive belief and feeling while you hold the memory in your mind.
After undergoing initial treatments, an EMDR therapist will do another assessment to determine a client’s symptoms and determine if there are other target experiences that are causing PTSD.
Contact Fresh Start to Begin PTSD Recovery Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with the ramifications of PTSD, we know it can be hard to watch and a challenge to life with the repercussions. We seek to help individuals and their families recover from the disruptions that PTSD causes in everyday life. Fresh Start’s EMDR therapy program is designed to help clients manage their trauma and rid themselves of the burdens associated with PTSD. Contact us today at 833.625.0398 to speak with a trained representative about the benefits of EMDR therapy for PTSD.