When we experience upsetting and traumatic events our brain and body can struggle to process and store these away, so the thoughts, feelings, sensations and memories we have about those events can get 'stuck'.
Trauma memories are often stored in a fragmented way in our brain, without a sense of time or place. It can be hard to move on from them, and we can find ourselves being triggered in the present by events from the past (sometimes without really realising it).
Traumatic events can be very distressing and frightening 'one off' incidents, but can also be other upsetting and ongoing situations. We now understand that many events and situations can be traumatic, and as individuals we will all likely respond to these differently.
Trauma is often associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but we know that trauma also often plays a large role in depression and anxiety.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence based trauma focused therapy that helps our brain and body make sense of past events. The therapy first helps us develop coping strategies and resources to feel safe enough to think about the past, and then to identify and work through trauma memories when you feel ready.
EMDR uses tools to help you stay grounded in the present moment whilst looking back to memories of the past, we call this having 'one foot in the past and one foot in the present'. This is important as it helps to make sure that we are processing and making sense of past events, not just 're-living' them. This can use bilateral stimuli, such as eye movements, sounds or tapping, which can activate a process similar to that in REM sleep.
At Beyond the Clinic Room we offer both online and animal assisted EMDR.