Trauma therapy is best done using somatic therapies

 trauma therapy

Trauma therapy is different than” talk therapy”

Trauma Therapy seems to be most effective when Mind-body therapies( or somatic therapies) are used  because they influence the area of the brain where fear is held, the amygdala.

Some of the Trauma Therapies are somatic therapies are EMDR, Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT, Somatic Experiencing or SE.

Here is a presentation I did at Sovereign Healthcare in Culver City titled Somatic Therapy Techniques to Relieve Anxiety and the Effects of Trauma.  This is a long video but what it says is that the really effective therapies to treat trauma use this back and forth motion or pendulation ( as it is called in Somatic experiencing) while focusing on the body as a common theme.

Even though we don’t know exactly why EMDR works so well to desensitize trauma, we believe that the back and forth motion and juxtaposition of negative vs positive feelings , memories and sensations is  part of what causes the shift in how a person perceives a memory.

In FasterEFT which is a newer form of Emotional Freedom Techniques, Robert G. Smith  explains how alternating the “bad trance” and then the “good trance” cause the emotion around it to “collapse”.  It uses a cadence to do this

I have  developed this idea into another way to use these principles.  From a session I had with a client where we walked on the beach I noticed this same release of tension and painful emotions happening before we even talked about them.  She told me that as we were walking her emotions started to lift and she felt so much relief from the burden she had been feeling for the last week.

I realized that walking is this same back-and-forth movement and then there was the back-and- forth movement of the waves as we walked at the water’s edge were very therapeutic.  I’m going to incorporate more of this into my practice.

Not to mention that I love being at the beach anyway:)

 

EMDR for depression, therapy, eye movement desensitization, EFT, EMDR in Los Angeles

EMDR news

EMDR was originally created for PTSD , Trauma and anxiety.  It is now used to treat depression.  This research study shoes the results of using EMDR( Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy  for depression in an inpatient setting.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4467776/

16 patients who were hospitalized for depression were treated with  EMDR and compared to a control group with the same diagnosis and degree of depression who were not treated with this.  The results showed that 68% of the EMDR group showed full remission at the end of treatment.

I use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy to treat depression because memories that are traumatic or even just negative form the basis for your self esteem.  For example memories of being slighted, neglected, or criticized form references in the mind which create self fulfilling prophesies.  If we feel unworthy of a partner or a job that we want we will create not getting that.

To change your self concept you have to go in and change your perceptions of these memories. EMDR and EFT are excellent ways of doing that.

 

EMDR Therapy, EMDR Technique

EMDR, A Powerful New Therapy for Relief From Trauma and Intrusive Memories

What Is EMDR Therapy?


EMDR is a powerful new therapy modality, and is becoming more widely used by therapists.

As more and more people have experienced its ability to help them change painful emotions and self-limiting beliefs, EMDR therapists and EMDR Clinics are using this therapy for people dealing with everyday challenges.

With this EMDR Psychotherapy modality, people are finding that they don’t need years of therapy.


EMDR

EMDR, or “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” was first developed in the late 1980s. It originally was used in PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) to desensitize memories and flashbacks from traumatic war experiences. People who had been in therapy for years with no success in desensitizing their Viet Nam war scenes, found relief with this type of therapy in a short amount of time. It then became widely used in disaster situations such as the Oklahoma City bombing of the Federal building where it was used with the surviving victims and their family members.

Not everyone has had major trauma in their past, but we all have had hurtful experiences growing up, as a part of life. These experiences cause us to develop certain beliefs about ourselves, and what we can accomplish and expect from life. As I use EMDR with clients, I find that many of the limiting beliefs a person has about themselves disappear, because they were based on these hurtful experiences of the past (formed by the child that existed then). Once the pain around these experiences is desensitized, they are free from the limiting cognition, or belief that they formed about themselves as a result of that belief. They now get a more realistic, and adult belief about the self, because the emotional charge which held the original, child view of the self, in place has been removed.

 Trauma and Intrusive Memories

What is the EMDR Technique?


So how did this new modality of psychotherapy come about? A psychologist in Northern California, Francine Shapiro,was walking in the park one day, thinking about something that was troubling her. She noticed at some point, that her eyes started moving spontaneously back and forth, and that this seemed to take the “disturbing quality away from the issue that was troubling her. She developed this further by working with war veterans and the astounding successes she had with them attracted much interest among psychological researchers.

Researchers believe that material which is too painful to be processed consciously is processed by the brain during REM sleep. What is thought to be happening with EMDR is that it is similar to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep processing, and that the eye movements move the material along, causing it to process through the brain/body, leaving the person free of the strong feelings that were originally attached to the trauma, opening a space for new perceptions about the reprocessed issue. It is also thought that the bilateral nature of the stimulation (across the midline of the brain) facilitates right brain-left brain communication.

These are the EMDR Tools used during psychotherapy:

There are about 40,000 licensed psychotherapists throughout the world who are trained in this procedure. Due to a wider public demand for this treatment, therapists are finding and developing more and more uses for this powerful therapy modality. I use it for self esteem enhancement, trauma resolution, anxiety, and depression, amd just about any issue people have, due to its effectiveness. I even use it to desensitize cravings for food and cigarettes.

In working with my clients, I find that it is essential to clear past hurts from the family of origin in order to have intimate, satisfying relationships with the people in their lives now. This process moves people along toward accomplishing their goal faster than anything that I have ever used. I take a developmental approach, clearing traumas from key past events and transition points in the clients life.

Here is an informational EMDR Video:

This is an EMDR video demonstration from the 20/20 TV show

EMDR Video

 

EMDR is effective for healing pain from a breakup.

IS EMDR BETTER THAN TALK THERAPY?


In a bid to zap her inner demons and reset her brain, Alix Strauss decided to try a radical form of treatment: EMDR therapy.

This article displays a youthful account of a persons attempt to get over a breakup by using EMDR.

Her therapist utilized EMDR therapy to help release the pain of the breakup and free herself from the negative feelings associated with it.
The biggest difference between EMDR and conventional talk therapy is that:
With EMDR you don’t have to examine the cause of problems in depth—like if you habitually date the wrong people.

March 16, 2012

BETTER THAN THERAPY?


In a bid to zap her inner demons and reset her brain, Alix Strauss decided to try a radical form of treatment: EMDR therapy.

By ALIX STRAUSS

I’m in the Hamptons doing a book signing, when my ex—who I had a horrific breakup with and who I haven’t seen in more than two years—appears in front of me. He doesn’t want an autograph, and I know he already owns my novel; he is clearly here to see me. But as soon as our eyes meet, he loses his nerve and leaves. Instead of going numb as I usually do in traumatic situations, I feel calm and matter-of-fact—in control. A year ago, I would have been a heartbroken basket case, obsessively reviewing in my head other ways the encounter might have gone.When we broke up, I found myself fixating on painful memories of our relationship and unable to move forward with my life. I tried every conventional remedy you can think of: talk therapy (which I’d been doing weekly for three years at that point), endless spewing to friends, allotting crying time each day, burning his photos, and even going on an array of blind dates. Nothing worked. I remained weepy and depressed, stuck in the past.Finally, my therapist suggested that I try a form of psychotherapy called EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. A bilateral stimulation therapy designed to unlock negative memories, feelings, and emotions, EMDR is a controversial technique involving lights, sounds, and tapping that purportedly helps the brain process traumatic experiences. This sounded like mumbo jumbo to me but I was desperate. I would have stripped naked and run down Fifth Avenue if you had told me it would help.

A few weeks later, I found myself sitting on a beige carpet in an Upper East Side office, leaning against a couch, with the lights dimmed. I had headphones on, a Walkman-like device in my lap. In front of me stood a two-and-a-half-foot-long eye scanner on a tiny tripod. Mini green lights blinked and moved rhythmically from left to right, working in tandem with the tapping sound that came through the headphones. Rosemary Masters, my EMDR therapist, is founding director of the Trauma Studies Center of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in New York. A reserved, kind woman who looks like she stepped out of an L.L.Bean catalogue, Rosemary began our session by asking me to recall a specifically distressing memory. I chose the moment when I received a voice mail from my ex’s paramour. The woman’s voice, with its crisp British accent, sounded merciless: “Your relationship is doomed and dysfunctional because he’s been intimate with me behind your back.” I visualized the pathetic conversation that my ex and I’d had afterward in my apartment as he lied about the situation, insisting she’d made it all up. As I sat in the office, I once again felt my heart pound, felt the pain and resentment well up inside. Rosemary’s voice hung in the air as I tried to answer her questions: What do you see? How would you rate your level of anxiety? What are you feeling?

I followed the lights. I listened to the tones. I answered her questions. I told her my level was a 4 or 5 out of 10. To my surprise, tears rolled down my cheeks. But as I tapped into raw emotions, I felt oddly calm and clinical—I was very aware that this was therapy, not a meltdown. When she asked how I felt, the words that came out were: It’s too much loss. I hurt all the time.

EMDR was developed by California psychologist Francine Shapiro, who, while walking in a park one day in 1987, noted that eye movements appeared to reduce anxiety and the intensity of disturbing thoughts. During the past two decades, this therapy has become extremely popular among those who suffer from anxiety attacks, physical abuse, and post-traumatic stress. I think of it this way: If talk therapy is a cross-country road trip, then EMDR is a crosstown bus ride. Some refer to it as “shortcut therapy,” since positive results can happen within three to eight sessions. Those working on single trauma issues can be helped within three sessions.

The biggest difference between EMDR and conventional talk therapy is that, during EMDR you don’t have to examine the cause of problems in depth—like if you habitually date the wrong people. Instead you focus on allowing your brain to release a specific event that you’re fixated on. New York’s high-octane pace makes it a logical choice. We all want impressive results in little time. To me, EMDR is like an in-office face-lift for your brain without hospitalization. Today, more than 70,000 clinicians are specially trained and certified in the treatment, and millions of people claim to have been fixed from it.

“EMDR is about adaptive integration,” Rosemary explains. “The lights, tones, and tapping stimulate the information-processing system of the brain in a similar way to REM sleep, where the brain extracts what’s important and useful and lets go of the rest.” Like other EMDR specialists, she looks for shifts where the patient’s feelings of worthlessness or dejection are replaced by positive thoughts. In my case, the mantra I often uttered, “I’ll never get over this,” was eventually substituted by “I’ll move past this.”

After the session, I went home and literally could not keep my eyes open. My brain felt depleted. Eventually I surrendered to the druglike exhaustion and napped—something I never do. I shared this with Rosemary on my next visit. “Some people experience exhaustion,” she said. “Some have vivid dreams; others feel relief.”

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for the treatment. For those with an addiction or a physical condition like epilepsy, EMDR could revisit trauma that the brain may not be able to process without additional preparation. And there are those in the medical community who don’t buy into EMDR’s quick results. “It gives people temporary relief and helps them connect emotionally, but the effect isn’t lasting,” says Eric Braverman, a clinical assistant professor of integrative medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center’s department of neurosurgery. “EMDR reminds me of the days when doctors used to give people cocaine for depression.”

I disagree. For someone like me, who was mentally and emotionally fixated on a single trauma, the effects have been radically and lastingly positive. Cheryl Brinker, who was part of the Red Cross’s September 11th Recovery Program team, had a similar experience. After Brinker saw several different specialists for her post-traumatic stress disorder, a therapist suggested EMDR in 2008. “It was like my brain was frozen, and all that would play was this loop of horrific images,” she says. After five sessions she felt healed. “My mind had started making new thought patterns, like ‘What am I having for dinner?’ The old images are still there, but they’re not traumatic anymore. They don’t prevent me from living my life.”

For me, the biggest shift happened after my fourth EMDR session. As I walked home, a floating, out-of-body sensation washed over me. For the next two days, I was exhausted and napped for several hours each day. And then something happened. The next day, as I stood in the shower, I realized that I didn’t hurt as I had before. I can’t explain how or why, but it felt as if my brain had been rebalanced. As if a fever had broken.

These days, the memory and pain I associate with my breakup still seem far off. It’s an Alice in Wonderland sensation—like I swallowed a magic pill without knowing what it was or how it would affect me. I’m afraid to ask what the ingredients were because I don’t want to inspect the potion too closely. I just know I feel better. Fixed. And the past feels far away, where it should stay.

Credit: EMDR Psychotherapy – Alternative Trauma Therapy – Harper’s BAZAAR

With EMDR it is possible to get Relief from longing for the person who has left.


This process of desensitizing the desire releases a person from the past and gives them an immediate feeling of relief.