What is Trauma?
Most of the time we can cope with what life throws at us and when bad things happen our mind heals itself just as our body does. However, sometimes an event may be so distressing that we feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. We may have nightmares and flashbacks in which we get lost in vivid memories and re-experience the sights and sounds and physical sensations of the event.
It’s as if the memory has become stuck in a raw emotional state and the mind is unable to digest it and to understand that it’s in the past. We may also have physical injuries and pain which trigger memories of the event. We may try to avoid reminders of the event or try to block out associated thoughts and memories.
Trauma Counselling in Devon and Nationwide via Zoom
It’s as if our mind keeps focussing on one bit of a jigsaw puzzle. The bit we’ve got has no edges and doesn’t fit anywhere. It’s also scary and full of violent images and we can’t get away from it. The more we try to block it out, the more it pops into our mind whether we’re asleep or awake.
Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing is an evidence-based psychotherapy which uses eye movements and other methods to free-up the natural processing of the mind. This allows the distressing memory to be digested into a story which makes sense to us. Instead of one emotionally charged bit of jigsaw puzzle which haunts us and makes no sense to us, a picture emerges which joins up the traumatic memory with other experiences in our life. People often report after EMDR that the memory has lost its intensity and has receded into the background – just one shape among many.