"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."
- Maya Angelou
Sometimes, when we experience a traumatic event, the brain stores the event and everything associated with it as one memory. The sights, sounds, smells, images, and physical sensations are lumped together and, over time, anything that even remotely resembles the “event” may become a “trigger.”
For example, a person who experienced a motor vehicle accident may not remember all of the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations that happened in the moment the accident occurred. The brain, however, has stored those elements that perhaps include the sound of the crash and sirens, the smell of gasoline, the physical pain associated with any injuries, the fear for the welfare of others involved in the crash, and the sight of the crash scene. Years later, this same accident victim may hear the sound of screeching brakes and become fearful, panicked, or experience a physiological symptom such as nausea and not understand the origin of this sudden onset of symptoms. The same may happen if the victim later hears sirens or smells gasoline.
EMDR is a treatment modality that uses the body’s own ability to reprocess past traumatic memories and upsetting life moments. EMDR mimics the eye movements experienced during REM sleep. In that place of dreaming, the brain reprocesses the day’s events. Using EMDR hand movements or other rhythmic tapping motions, trained clinicians can help clients reprocess, or help the brain break up, traumatic or upsetting memories so that triggers do not produce the same clinical symptoms and distress.
We are excited to be able to offer this modality of treatment to our clients. For more information about EMDR, please visit www.emdria.org or www.emdrhap.org.
Email or call now for a consultation: 804-442-3116