What is Trauma?
'Trauma is a response to a distressing event that impacts on the way in which we can cope and causes a lot of heightened emotions'.
What happens when we suffer significant life events?
If we think of our brain as a large computer. Most of the time our mind and body manage information automatically processing new information and experiences without conscious awareness. However, when something significant occurs and you are traumatised by an overwhelming event (e.g an accident) or by being repeatedly subjected to distress (e.g. childhood abuse) your natural coping mechanism can become overloaded. This overloading means that it is stored in the wrong part of your brain (Limbic system- linked with 'fight flight freeze' emotional responses) and means some experiences remain 'unprocessed'. This are often stored in 'raw' emotional form and not 'story' verbal mode. Memories can be continually triggered when you experience events similar to the difficult experiences you have been through.
Trauma's can be what we class as 'BIG T Trauma' such as abuse, an accident, grief, direct experience of COVID 19; or 'LITTLE T Trauma' such as bullying at school or in the workplace, and a significant arguement with a loved one.
Trauma based approaches helps create the connections between your brain's neural pathways meaning that the memory can be processed and no longer in the fight/flight/freeze part of the brain.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
EMDR is one of the main approaches I use when considering working with Trauma. EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from symptoms and emotional distress that are a result of disturbing life events/ trauma. It works by the client tracking the therapists hand with their eyes, or what we call butterfly hugs where we tap each shoulder with our arms crossed over our chest, which dual processes information within the brain. I offer this to both adults and children. It replicates the movements from REM sleep which is the body's natural way of processing information.
I also utilise other approaches that I have discussed in previous sections such as NLP.
The sessions of trauma support can vary in length. This is because some sessions need to be longer to ensure we process the event. This will be discussed at the time. The preparation sessions consist of assessment and what we call resourcing. This involves creating positive anchors utilising visualisations (imagining specific targets) which we are then able to utilise when coming out of experiences.
You need to feel comfortable in thinking about the events that happened to enable processing but do not need to share all the information with me. I will be here to support you every step of the way. I cannot take away what has happened but I can help you to process the event into your processed memory and take the emotion out of it to allow you to move forward with your life.