What is Trauma?
Modern science continues to shed light on the nature of mental health trauma and what we can do about it. When an individual is exposed to a traumatic event, he or she goes into a state of shock: emotions and thoughts experienced during this state of shock are not processed out. Furthermore, when the individual thinks back on this event, he may re-experience these unprocessed emotions in a strikingly vivid fashion, causing him to relive the event all over again on an emotional level. This is what we call post-traumatic stress disorder.
The solution to trauma of this nature is not to talk about it over and over again, with the hope that things will be different after repeated exposure. It is necessary, rather, to process the event in a new way, to process the raw thoughts and emotions out while stimulating new neural patterns in the brain. The particular technique I utilize is called EMDR. It is a combination of semi-guided re-processing of emotions and of bilateral stimulation. This stimulation is accomplished via simple plastic nodules which alternately vibrate while the patient holds one in each hand.
Trauma can be debilitating, and beginning treatment can be a frightening step when one is afraid of what he or she will face. To prepare for trauma treatment, we will first spend some time discussing and working on various healthy coping skills. In addition, if you are considering trauma treatment, it is important to understand that you are the one who sets the pace. Trauma treatment is about regaining control of your life, and the the entire process from start to finish reflects this.