Trauma and EMDR

Trauma and Grief

Unexpected. Out of control. Frustrated. Stuck. Exhausted.

Traumatic experiences often come out of left field, and leave you reeling. So often, it’s completely under-appreciated how impactful trauma and grief can be, along with how many different areas of your life they can impact. The mental, social, physical, and biological impact of trauma and grief can completely shift the ways we view ourselves, other people, and the world around us.

It’s incredibly common for responses to trauma and grief to be very delayed - sometimes for months or even years - but it can also be extremely confusing as to why it took so long for things to ‘sink in.’ It also can take longer than we think it should, to heal and put the pieces back together again.

For each of us experiencing trauma and grief, regardless of the context or capacity it’s happening in, there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers for how to move through it. Different people benefit from different approaches in order to process and heal. I believe in exploring options in order to find what works for each individual. Because of that, I use three different therapeutic approaches in my practice. They are CBT, DBT, and EMDR. For more information about each approach, please check out those specific pages or reach out for a free consultation. For more information on trauma and using EMDR interventions please continue reading. This is also where things can get a little more technical, so please forgive the psychobabble.

What Is the Impact of Trauma on Daily Life?

Like physical trauma, emotional trauma effects everyone differently. After an injury, one person may develop a small bruise. Another could form a larger, darker bruise. Our bodies heal differently. The same is true of our minds which is connected to our body and out symptoms for both are often connected. After a traumatic experience, some people experience mild adverse effects for a short time. Others will experience more significant and/or long-lasting symptoms. They may even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that presents as severe cognitive, emotional, and physical side effects that can last for years. Unresolved trauma may present as:

  • Cognitive impact – guilt or self-blame, negative worldview, experiencing painful memories as if they are still happening or that feel real, nightmares, difficulty concentrating, suicidal ideation.
  • Emotional impact – hypervigilance, nervousness, helplessness, fear, numbness, irritability, mood swings, feeling withdrawn or detached.
  • Physical impact – upset stomach, headaches, body aches, sweating, shaking, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing.
  • Behavioral impact - difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much, eating more or less than usual, relying on substances to numb or alleviate symptoms, starting fights, avoiding people.

What Is EMDR?

While trauma and the mind and body’s adverse response to it are very common, addressing the symptoms that result from traumatic experiences can be remarkably difficult, especially for those who develop PTSD. Traditional talk therapy can reduce trauma symptoms, but it can take months or even years of commitment to attending therapy sessions before they feel a restored sense of stability. EMDR is an approach to therapy that uses bilateral stimulation, moving eyes from side to side (or bilateral touch), to reduce symptoms of trauma. Research has shown that these bilateral movements reprogram the way the brain stores and processes memories. This reduces symptoms and heals the effects of trauma.

What Happens During EMDR Therapy Sessions for Trauma?

EMDR therapy sessions are more structured than traditional talk therapy. During your initial visit or first few visits, we’ll discuss your goals and develop a treatment plan. Then, you’ll create a calming space in your mind where you can retreat if memories become too distressing during a session. Next, I’ll guide you to think and/or talk through a difficult memory while performing bilateral eye movements that work to desensitize difficult memories. To end each session, we will talk about your experience. If you have achieved the desired level of desensitization related to the targeted memory, you can move on to the next memory. If not, you will continue working on the memory at future sessions.

How Do I get Started?

I do my utmost to make getting started working with me at MCR Transitions quick and easy. You’ll get started by contacting me to request an initial consultation via call or text at (520) 921-0773 or by using the form on the Contact Us Page. Your initial consultation will last about fifteen minutes and is free. It allows us to get to know each other a little better to ensure we’re a good fit to continue doing therapy work together. Following this consultation appointment, I’ll schedule sessions either at the end of the session or as a follow-up via text, phone, or email.

I’m ready

The Benefits of Telehealth

Long gone are the days of commuting to a therapist’s office, waiting in line, and collapsing on an old couch to get the help you need. In today’s modern world, telehealth provides healing without hassle.

No Travel Required

Telehealth allows you to see Michele without having to leave the comfort of your own home. You can conduct therapy with your mobile phone, tablet, or computer! Indulge in simplicity and save money on gas, parking, or public transportation.

No Need to Leave Work

As long as you have a safe and confidential space available to you, there’s no need to leave work and battle traffic to enjoy your session with Michele. You can simply schedule your appointment at a convenient time during lunch, before or after work, or on a break.

No Elder or Child Care

Some clients have the responsibility of caring for children or older adults. Arranging care can be challenging and expensive. Telehealth resolves that additional stress and allows you to conduct your session at home. However, don’t forget to set a safe and confidential space for yourself!

No Waiting

Telehealth prioritizes and values your time. Your session with Michele will never require wasted minutes in a waiting room. While you anticipate your scheduled appointment, you can keep working at home or in your office and hop on when you’re ready.

Improved Quality of Care

With these various benefits, telehealth provides easier access to mental health services and increases your likelihood of sticking to your treatment plan. It eliminates those everyday challenges and roadblocks that tend to stop us from accessing care.

transition [tran-zish-uhn]

The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
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