EMDR Therapy for Trauma
The Dutch EMDR Association recently released a video that provides examples of the use of EMDR therapy for treating trauma. These stories are powerful testimonies of the effectiveness of EMDR in reducing and even eliminating the detrimental effects of traumatic events. The video is in Dutch with English subtitles.
If you or someone know is suffering from trauma, I recommend watching this 7-minute video to see how EMDR has changed these people’s lives. Below is a commentary on the situations you’ll see in the video.
EMDR Therapy for Trauma
The first testimony is of a woman suffering from the intrusive images of her husband’s suicide two and a half years earlier.
“Tensed up every time I thought about that image.”
This incident is frozen in her mind, which commonly happens with traumatic events. As a result, not only is she traumatized by the initial event, but also by the flashbacks and memories.
“Physical reactions such as trembling, anxiety, nausea, turning my head the other way when I saw that image.”
The effects of this are exhibiting themselves in physical ways that are affecting her daily life.
“After 2 to 3 sessions of EMDR the picture almost disappeared. The picture is still there but the intense emotional reactions that were attached to it are completely gone.”
EMDR therapy significantly reduces or eliminates the emotional intensity associated with an intrusive image. Although the memory is still there, her response to the memory has changed.
“Many people experience trauma in their lives and develop chronic problems because of this. EMDR is a treatment to reduce these problems” — Dr. Hellen Hornsveld
Trauma can be what we call big “T” trauma, such as the examples in this videos, and small “t” traumas. Often people believe that the experience of small “t” it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But trauma impacts us whether it’s big or small, and it impacts people diferently. If you’re experiencing intrusive memories, avoiding thinking about a traumatic event, seeing negative changes in thinking and mood, or feeling changes in emotional reaction, it is time to seek help.
“EMDR is proven to be effective for the treatment of Post-traumatic stress disorder, but it is being used in a broader way. It is used in the field of phobias, chronic pain, depression, eating disorders and personality disorders” — Dr. Carlijn de Roos
There have been exciting applications of EMDR with more than big “T” trauma. Significant new research is being performed on these broader applications, and the results look very promising.
EMDR for the treatment of disturbing memories
The second testimony is from a man who witnessed an upsetting incident at work. The memory is creating symptoms that are having detrimental effects. In this segment of the video atherapist works with him to process the image using EMDR. As he processes the memory, the intensity fades. His comment “It’s kind of weird” is not uncommon. People who have been suffering from traumatic memories are often very surprised when the emotional intensity drops. They can hardly believe that this can happen!
“So you can really handle it, to have a good look at that image. OK, that’s great!”
He was clearly upset at the beginning of processing and at the end he smiles and seems more at ease. Reprocessing the negative memories with EMDR allows him to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
You don’t have to live this way
I have repeatedly seen the positive results that EMDR can have on a person who suffers from trauma and anxiety. If you are interested in learning more about EMDR and how we can work to help you or someone you care about overcome traumatic events, please contact me today.
You don’t need to live this way. I say this often, but it’s true. Help really is available in the form of effective EMDR therapy. I have seen it work for hundreds of clients and would love to talk with you about how it can be effective in your life as well. We can work together to bring about the change you need in your life.