EMDR Therapy in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware
You may be wondering why you’re having such big reactions in certain situations.
You may have physical pain that doesn’t have a medical explanation.
Or, you may feel like you’re never able to relax.
You’ve pushed down the painful memories for years, or maybe decades. You’re not even sure if these things really happened. You’ve been telling yourself “it’s in the past” and trying to live your life, but it’s getting harder to pretend that everything is fine. The sleepless night, moments when your heart is racing uncontrollably and the times when the panic breaks through the surface are all undeniable signs that your painful past is very much in the present.
The Prosper Counseling LLC Approach to Healing a Painful Past
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and is recommended for the treatment of trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other stressful life events. It is a comprehensive approach that integrates the mind, body, and emotions in the healing of trauma. EMDR facilitates fundamental changes in your beliefs about yourself and how you function in your daily life. At Prosper Counseling we are trained in the application of EMDR therapy and are ready to help you.
What is Trauma?
What comes to mind when you think of trauma? You might think about war veterans, natural disasters, acts of mass violence, or anything else that would make the evening news. Trauma can be much less extreme, but no less painful. Persistent unmet needs from friends or family can be traumatic. Chronic stressors from jobs, relationships, or medical conditions can also be traumatic. These types of traumatic experiences can overwhelm our body’s natural coping abilities and create a sense of hopelessness.
“Video used courtesy of EMDR International Association”
Symptoms of Trauma
While everyone experiences trauma differently, here are some of the common symptoms we see in folks who have been through traumatic experiences:
- You need to be on alert in case of danger
- You startle easily and constantly feel on edge
- You’re irritable and prone to erupt in anger
- Feelings of shame, guilt, or intense worry
- Numbness in life
- Nightmares or flashbacks about a traumatic event
- Avoiding situations or people that remind you of an event
- Physical pain that doesn’t have a medical explanation
- Difficulty functioning in daily life
- Panic attacks
- Social isolation
- Substance use
If these experiences sound all too familiar and you’re ready to try something new, EMDR therapy may be the perfect next step in your healing journey.
EMDR Counseling Can Help You Heal From Trauma
Our brains have a natural healing and integrating process for memories. Most memories are filed away as stories of what happened with few vivid images. Our brains naturally take what has happened during the day, processes it, and files most events away every night during REM or dream sleep, when our eyes are moving rapidly back and forth.
When we experience a traumatic event, our natural survival instinct kicks in with the stress response of fight, flight, freeze or fawn. When a distressing event is unprocessed, the upsetting images, thoughts, emotions, and sensations are fused with this memory and any reminder of this trauma can make it feel as if we’re back in that moment or “frozen in time”.
Avoidance of Past Trauma is Not the Answer
Many of my clients do everything they can to avoid these painful memories and any reminders of them. As a short term strategy, avoidance works. However, when painful memories are continually avoided, they keep their disturbing power and can overwhelm you in the form of nightmares, flashbacks, or physical pain.
How EMDR Therapy Works
In therapy, you can face the memory in a safe and supportive setting so that you are not alone and overwhelmed. EMDR therapy takes the painful memories and helps the brain process the events through bilateral stimulation and allows the brain’s natural healing process to resume. One form of bilateral stimulation is moving the eyes back and forth, like what happens in REM sleep. Other forms of bilateral stimulation used in EMDR is alternating sounds or tapping on one’s shoulders or knees.
Once the memory is fully processed, the experience is remembered but the stress response is resolved. The brain is no longer reacting as if it’s still in danger in connection with this memory. The event is remembered but no longer relived. It has been “digested” and stored away in your brain.
EMDR Counseling Can Help
The beautiful result of processing traumatic experiences is that clients feel lighter and more present. They are sleeping better, and experiencing healthier relationships with themselves and others.
If there is a part of you that feels pulled to hear more, please reach out. We offer weekly EMDR therapy in 60 or 90-minute sessions. We also offer EMDR intensives for those clients ready to clear the unfinished business from their past. EMDR intensives are perfect for clients who have been or are in weekly talk therapy and want to work with a trauma specialist short term.
The weight and pain of the past is acknowledged and released. In that release, there is the space and opportunity to live and make choices in line with their new positive beliefs about themselves.
My clients were pretty certain they were never going to be at peace. The numbing and anxiety was overshadowing any good things in their life. After EMDR, they feel more present and peaceful in their bodies. They have hope. You deserve that too.
Healing and moving forward is not out of your reach.
If you want your past to remain in the past, I’d love to help you get there.
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Other Mental Health Services at Prosper Counseling
Our in-person and online therapists in Pennsylvania specialize in EMDR treatment modalities. We offer EMDR Intensives and online counseling in addition to EMDR Therapy services. We understand that life can be full of challenges that make self-care difficult if not impossible. Allow us to help you reconnect with yourself and live the life you want full of confidence and free of regret.