EMDR Trauma Therapy

“PTSD: It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past it is the past refusing to let go of the person.” – GoodTherapy.org

Kimberly Clapp, Mariage and Family therapise in Santa Monica, CA.

Kimberly Clapp M.S. M.A. C.R.C. M.F.T.

Marriage & Family Therapist

You don’t have to reexperience the bad things that happened to you.

This may occur through nightmares, flashbacks, reliving the event, or having a great deal of distress when in a situation like the trauma.

  • Do you find yourself re-experiencing a traumatic event?
  • Do you feel on “edge’, having difficulty concentrating, or sleep problems?
  • Do you find that in stressful situations you respond in ways that are “not you”?
  • Do you experience the freeze, fight or flight response?

What is EMDR Trauma Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. EMDRIA https://emdria.site-ym.com

EMDR Versus Talk Therapy:

Talk therapy engages the neocortex–our thinking brain, while EMDR accesses the subcortical system where trauma and distress are often stored. Current research in neuroscience reveals that painful memories can get stuck in the non-verbal, non-cognitive subcortical brain which diminishes our ability to live fully in the here and now. Some people describe having physical symptoms and/or a fear based response to an experience that logically they know is not scary.

People who experience trauma may avoid people that remind them of a person who hurt them even though cognitively they are aware the person is not the same person. Some describe having bodily reactions to a perceived threat even when cognitively they know they are safe. Some may find that a conflict in a relationship triggers past traumas. They describe their response to their partner so intense that “it feels like there is more to it”. Finding yourself sweating and your heart beating for “no reason” or avoiding certain people, places or situations may be an indicator of trauma.

What is Mindfulness-Informed EMDR?

Incorporating meditation, guided imagery, somatic body experience and mindfulness practices into the EMDR protocol. As a trained EMDR therapist I help clients focus on what is happening in the moment. Focusing on the individual needs of each client I value flexibility, pacing, empathy, and safety.

One of the goals of EMDR is, through using a standard set of protocols, to reprocess traumatic events replacing negative beliefs attached to the event with positive beliefs as identified by the client.

For example someone may have a belief about an assault ie; ‘I am powerless”. One of the goals of EMDR is to strengthen positive beliefs such as “I am in control” or ‘I did the best I could’. I have seen a profound effect on peoples lives when negative beliefs are replaced with positive beliefs. I am passionate about helping people move from surviving to thriving.

What is Trauma?

Experiencing or witnessing and event or events that are traumatic. Not everyone reacts to trauma the same way, effects of trauma can be immediate or surface years later.

Traumatic events can affect people emotionally, physical or psychologically. Trauma is as individual as a fingerprint. It is important to understand that if two people experience the same traumatic event they may or may not have a shared experience. People recover from trauma differently, if someone bounces back quicker than another it is not an indicator of personal strength.

What is Complex Trauma?

Multiple experiences of trauma or prolonged exposure to traumatic events, i.e.: an abusive childhood. Together we will take a through history however one of the unique features of EMDR is that the client does not have to discuss any disturbing memories in detail.

Traumatic events may include but are not limited to:

  • Grief
  • Sexual Assault
  • Childhood abuse: physical, sexual, emotional and/or neglect
  • Car accidents
  • Breakups
  • Natural disasters
  • Witnessing violence
  • Military sexual violence
  • Experience in war
  • Bullying
  • Workplace Violence

You may experience one or more of the following;

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Shame
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Difficulty trusting yourself and others
  • Negative/blocking beliefs about self or others
  • Guilt
  • Addictions
  • Hypervigilance
  • Startle response
  • Isolation
  • Difficulty in relationships
  • Having thoughts and memories that will not go away
  • Nightmares and/or flashbacks
  • Digestive issues
  • Physical symptoms
  • Anger and irritability

How EMDR May Help

  • Not having to reexperience the bad things that have happened to you
  • Relief from uncontrollable bodily reactions when you encounter a person, place or situation that reminds you of the trauma
  • Tools and coping skills that allow you to thrive rather than survive
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Feeling part of rather than separate from or feeling like a fraud
  • Feeling connected
  • Feeling like yourself again
  • No longer avoiding people and places that are important to you
  • Negative beliefs about yourself and/or the world can be replaced with positive beliefs

Resources:

If you would like to explore working with me and how it might change your life for the better — don’t wait — call me today or click below to set up your complimentary consultation!

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