Psychological trauma describes an overwhelming stress with which we have no way of coping. In general we are quite resilient and can handle a lot of daily stresses, but at times a loss, or a frightening and threatening experience can leave us frozen in the fight-or-flight reflex. Unresolved trauma can then affect our bodies, our relationships, and our emotional health and development.
Sometimes professional help is needed to jump start the healing process of recovering from trauma, whether it is distant childhood trauma or recent life experience. The key to being able to address trauma is to achieve a relatively stable and safe environment and to form a close therapeutic relationship.
The key approaches to addressing trauma include trauma-focused CBT, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and mind body therapies such as somatic experiencing, body-based therapy, and movement therapy.
Trauma-focused CBT emphasizes reprocessing the trauma through changing negative thought patterns and beliefs linked to the trauma.
EMDR allows for reprocessing of traumatic memories while using bilateral stimulation to stay grounded and lower defenses. EMDR is an effective evidence based treatment for both civilian and military trauma.
Somatic experiencing or body-based therapy focuses on the nervous system’s need to reset after a traumatic event. This reset includes finishing a natural process of noticing, reacting and recovering from the trauma to let the body process the experience properly (3). Somatic experiencing uses physical techniques to encourage this process.
Mind Body 7 clinicians are dedicated to letting your personal needs and preferences guide the approach to treatment.