Trauma Psychotherapy

What is Trauma?

There are various definitions of trauma. Fundamentally, trauma is having an intense, deeply distressing or disturbing experience that overwhelms the capacity to cope.

 

For a child, for example, living in an unsafe home, feeling constantly frightened and anxious about when the next ‘blow-up’ will happen, having emotional and care needs that no-one sees or responds to, being made invisible, can all constitute trauma.
 

Trauma may also come in the form of sudden, unexpected, potentially life-threatening events, such as a serious road traffic accident, an assault or a rape.
 

These types of experiences are easily recognised as being traumatic and can lead to the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
 

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The impact of trauma on our sense of self and our safety in the world doesn’t just come from major or so called ‘big T’ traumas such as those described. The long-lasting effects of painful childhoods where our needs have not been seen or properly met can leave us feeling ‘not good enough’, ‘not lovable’, ‘not capable’. Even the longstanding impact of ‘small-t’ traumas can be significant in terms of self-efficacy, self-confidence and self-esteem. EMDR can reprocess these experiences and take  us to a newer much more resourced, capable, deserving sense of ourselves.

What is EMDR Therapy?

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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly effective, extensively researched, transformational therapy for Psychological Trauma. It is a recommended treatment by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and WHO (World Health Organisation) for the treatment of Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is also used very effectively with a wide array of other psychological problems such as:​

  • Eating Disorders

  • Body Image Issues

  • Complex Trauma

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Anxiety and Phobias

  • Depression

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Addictions

  •  Grief, Loss or Bereavement

  •  Medical & Health Concerns

  •  Pain Management

  •  Life Transitions

  •  Relational Problems

  •  Difficulties with Self Esteem

  •  Professional/Career Issues

  •  Stress Management

  •  Performance Enhancement

How Does EMDR Work?

There are a number of theories that seek to explain how EMDR works. One of the main theories is that we all have an innate healing mechanism called the adaptive information processing (AIP) system. This system helps us to naturally process disturbing or traumatic experiences so that they don’t leave any emotional or psychological imprint which continues to impact us in our daily living and functioning. However, this natural healing system may sometimes not work as well as it should because it gets ‘blocked’. Blockages can occur if distressing experiences are repetitive over a long period of time, with no means of escape or resolution, as in childhood neglect and trauma. Or, the trauma is too big and overwhelms the system’s capacity to process it.


When traumatic events aren’t processed and integrated, they can continue to have an impact on our lives in the form of uncontrollable anger and rage, depression; anxiety; irrational beliefs; physical symptoms such as panic attacks, phobias; nightmares and flashbacks.

EMDR therapy can free us from these  life limiting symptoms and negative beliefs so we can restore to our natural state of self-confidence and wellbeing. This video shows how EMDR works:

You can visit the EMDR Association website to learn more about how this unique and powerful therapy is changing people’s lives and watch more videos. www.emdrassociation.org.uk

How Do I Get Started With EMDR Therapy?

Before beginning any form of therapy, it is necessary to have a Psychological Assessment. 

The purpose of the Assessment is to:

  • Understand the nature of the issues/symptoms that are troubling you

  •  Identify the origins (roots) of the difficulties

  •  Start working out how the difficulties are being maintained in your present life and living

  • Determine whether EMDR may be useful to you

  • Set clear, achievable goals

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  • After the assessment, Pam will be able to give you an estimate of how many sessions may be needed to successfully reach your goals.

  • The time spent together in the assessment phase will also give you the opportunity to get a sense of whether Pam is the right therapist for you. Being with a therapist who is a ‘good fit’ for you is essential to successful treatment.

  • The assessment process may run over one or two sessions depending on the complexity of the problems and each session will be 1.5 hours long.

To discuss your requirements in more detail or book a psychological assessment, please get in touch.

Following a lifetime of traumatic events, which eventually led to the breakdown of my mental and physical health, I started EMDR therapy with Pam. I always felt an unwavering and genuine sense of acceptance from Pam. I have often felt during sessions that something very deep within me was being seen, held and repaired.  Pam is gentle and warm in her approach, and I felt that I was being skilfully guided through the internal chaos. I now feel a sense of being released from much of the pain I experienced during childhood, and I am living a much freer and more joyful life as a result. Pam held the hope for me when I had none, and it isn't too much of a stretch to say that Pam helped save my life.

Julia