Trauma can result from the experience of a life-or-death situation, such as abuse (physical or sexual, whether in childhood or as an adult), medical trauma, an automobile accident, or being the victim of an assault or other violent crime. Often, simply the threat of one of these events can be undeniably traumatic. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might be a relevant diagnosis in such cases.
Even if the incident wasn't "life or death," other events can leave a serious traumatic impact on a person's emotions and functioning. Trauma may result from neglect, rejection from peers or family members, difficult relationships, or even embarassing moments. Perhaps affection and/or support were needed at a point in one's life but the need went unmet. Such incidents certainly feel traumatic and leave their mark on a person's psychology.
There is no one way trauma looks, but can include:
Trauma can also be more complex, in that it affects one's ability to relate to people and have satisfying relationships.
EMDR is a form of therapy that enables an individual to heal from the distressing thoughts, feelings and memories that result from disturbing life experiences. In many cases, EMDR helps to bring about psychological change that may be resistent to more traditional psychotherapy. EMDR assumes that just as the physical body can heal from a trauma if given appropriate care and support, our minds and psychological selves can similarly heal if given appropriate treatment and care. In essence, the principle is that we all have an innate drive toward healing, and EMDR is a process by which that healing is encouraged to proceed.
More often than not, we integrate EMDR with more traditional psychotherapy as appropriate. While not all people's circumstances are clearly a good fit for EMDR, our initial evaluation clarifies the nature of your difficulty, and determines whether traditional psychotherapy, EMDR, or both, might be most beneficial.
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