EMDR Intensives help people with trauma-related disorders get better than they expected, sooner than they dreamed.
If you’ve been through trauma, I expect some of these questions to be on your mind:
How do I know if I have a “trauma-related disorder?”
Let’s start with the obvious. If a professional has recommended EMDR therapy to you, that’s a significant clue, because EMDR is specially designed to treat trauma. Otherwise, here’s a simple test you can give yourself:
1: Did something bad happen to me or a close loved one in the past?
2: Do I have trouble moving on from that past, bad thing?
3: Have I been struggling to enjoy my life and enjoy my loved ones because of that past, bad thing?
If you are nodding “yes” to all 3, trauma may be impacting you. Seeking therapy with a trauma-informed therapist is a great next step for you.
Oh, I am definitely suffering from trauma…Do I have PTSD?
The only way to confirm a diagnosis is to talk directly with a trained mental health professional.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a type of trauma disorder, but it is not the only one. All trauma disorders change our typical thoughts and behaviors to prevent a dangerous thing from the past from happening again.
People with PTSD can experience the past so intensely that it feels like it is happening again in the present (e.g., flashbacks, nightmares). But there are other symptoms too, like sleep issues, irritability around loved ones, difficulty concentrating, obsessing about the past, and negative thoughts about self and others.
These symptoms can cause a big problem for daily life, with or without the official PTSD diagnosis. Your trauma might show up as depression, or panic attacks, so you really want to speak with an expert to help you sort out the details.
Was what I went through “bad enough” to get help for it?
Probably. People can develop trauma disorders from “BIG T” Traumas, like combat, crime, sexual violence, or accidents.
We can also develop these disorders from “little t” traumas like losing an aging loved one, sudden life changes, bad relationships, or betrayals in our childhoods.
STOP comparing what happened to you to what other people went through. INSTEAD, check in with your thoughts and your behaviors. If they are unhealthy, obsessive, overreactive, controlling, or out of control, that’s your sign to seek help.
Therapy wasn’t great for me in the past, why should I try EMDR?
Talk therapy is so good for lots of problems and goals and it makes a big impact for many people. I’ve done it; I’ve seen it work up close.
Trauma disorders can be different though. That’s because you have both the mind and the body holding the memory, trying to protect you with a “fight or flight” response.
The difference you’ll feel when you work with me is that we’ll be engaging your mind AND body with specific eye movements, hand tapping, and foot tapping to help you push out the thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that you developed after that stressful interaction, event, or relationship.
It’s therapy, just not the therapy you’re used to. Get in touch and I’ll help you get started.