Trauma Therapy – EMDR Therapy

 Approach to Trauma Therapy

Christine has a special interest in providing trauma therapy to people in Melbourne and via telehealth psychology throughout Australia.  She uses EMDR therapy as the basis for her practice when working with clients who have PTSD or developmental trauma from negative childhood experiences.  Depending on the needs of the client this may be integrated with Mindfulness therapy, Schema therapy, Compassion focussed therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).   Importantly EMDR is effective when conducted via telehealth as I outline in this blog post.

Trauma Therapy
A grab from the Apple TV series The Me You Can’t See showing Prince Harry undergoing EMDR therapy. Photograph: Apple TV

Why EMDR Therapy

I use EMDR or “Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing” in my work as I have found it to be effective and there is a strong and ever growing evidence base for the use of EMDR for trauma therapy, as well as depression and anxiety.  If you would like a deeper understanding of what EMDR is and how it works please read my blog on this topic.

 EMDR is helpful for treating PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder and complex trauma, because both of these result from adverse experiences that our brains haven’t been able to process properly.  PTSD can occur from a single incident such as a car accident, but can also be caused by multiple incidents and may go back to a person’s childhood. 

I also do a lot of attachment informed EMDR for people who don’t necessarily have PTSD, but have found that unresolved issues from their childhood are causing issues in their current life.  These issues may show up through drinking too much, feeling triggered by family or other people around them or just feeling depressed or anxious.  If you were not protected, cared for or listened to as a child this can have negative impacts that you carry through life.  None of us have a perfect childhood and sometimes it can just be that our parents personality was a mismatch with ours.  

For many clients it’s not so much the adverse events in their childhood, but that nobody sat with them and helped them understand and put the event into context.  This can result in unprocessed memories that continue to trigger us through life.  Often clients have come to therapy because of depression or anxiety and they begin to realise that there are links to their childhood. It may be as simple as their caregiver not being emotionally available for them or being critical or not feeling that they fitted in at school.  As a result they carry beliefs with them through life that impact the way they feel about themselves, their relationships and their ability to find joy in the moment and get the most from their life.  

It’s important to understand that we don’t put blame on parents, parents generally do the best they can with their given situation, but in some way we are all impacted by how we are parented, both in good and not do good ways.  Resolving these issues can help us move on and enjoy the present.

 PTSD and Complex Trauma symptoms

Many people display symptoms of PTSD or complex trauma without realising what is causing these issues.  Common symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks or distressing memories, dreams or nightmares of past events.
  • Avoidance of certain places, thoughts or feelings (this is often associated with alcohol or drug use to soothe or block out negative thoughts.
  • Negative beliefs about oneself, including blaming yourself for events.
  • Inability to experience happiness, satisfaction or loving feelings.
  • Irritable behaviour or angry outbursts.
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Avoiding friendships or relationships, or finding them difficult.
  • Feeling alone, different, permanently damaged
The good news is that you can get help, please get in contact if you’d like to make an appointment.

How Christine can help

I have a special interest in trauma and PTSD and helping people work through issues from their childhood.  I can help you understand how your brain responds to trauma and triggers and help you understand your particular coping modes.  Understanding your coping modes can help to build self compassion and that’s an important aspect of treatment. 

I can teach you trauma sensitive mindfulness skills and offer support to integrate these into your life.   By integrating mindfulness into our lives we are able to enjoy the present more but also be more aware of where our brain is going so that we can catch ourselves before resorting to our old coping modes of anger, addiction, withdrawal, adoidance or whatever they may be.  I can also help you to learn more adaptive coping modes for dealing with stress and triggers. 

EMDR is what I base most of my trauma treatment around, because it has been found to be one of the most cost-effective methods for treating trauma.  This is because it achieves results more quickly and in a more contained way than other treatments.  Because I have a strong belief in the benefits of EMDR I have undertaken additional training to become an EMDRRA accredited practitioner, you can see my profile on the EMDRAA website here.

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