Trauma is a subjective fact between your brain and your body. Your perception or objective view of the experience is irrelevant as to whether or not you are traumatised by an event.
Once the brain perceives danger or threat to survival and well-being it instinctively instructs the body to get ready for fight or flight.
If you were not able to manage or escape the experience, i.e. fight or flight, then you probably froze in the experience, which induces a state of helplessness. This state of helplessness, can result in the memories and emotions associated with the negative experience also becoming frozen.
Experiences which can induce states of helplessness, include:
- work place bullying
- financial stress
- illness of a loved one
- falls/unresolved injury
- oppressive professional and personal relationships
- losing your job
- road traffic accidents
- chronic pain
and many more…
The negative frozen memories and emotions become locked within the stem part of the brain and is not processed by the frontal cortex, the thinking part of the brain.
The stem part of the brain is solely about instinctive survival and is not concerned with whether or not a threat to survival or well-being is still current. It will hold the memories and emotions and continue to send messages to the body as though the threat to survival or well-being was current.
These messages from the stem brain keeps the body in a state of fight or flight; and it is this continuous state of fight or flight, which creates tension, stress, anxiety within the body, eventually manifesting in ill health.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy engages the frontal cortex part of the brain. The stimulation of both the stem brain and the frontal cortex part of the brain, through bi-lateral stimulation, helps clients to begin to think through and analyse the traumatic event. The brain and body begins to recognise that the traumatic event is over and the need to be in a state of fight or flight in relation to the negative experience is no longer necessary.
The bi-lateral stimulation process, during the remembering and recalling of the traumatic event, releases the client from tension, stress, anxiety and other associated trauma symptoms, thereby allowing the body to heal.
Whether the negative experience happened years ago, for example in childhood or as recently as yesterday at the office or at a social gathering, EMDR Therapy clears traumas and associated symptoms, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Phobias and so forth…