According to Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a psychiatrist and noted trauma researcher, “the core pathology of PTSD is that certain sensations or emotions related to traumatic experiences keep returning in unbidden ways, and do not fade with time”. Memories are stored in disconnected fragments in ways that are not accessible to verbal processing, so that talk therapy is usually not effective in treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. For more information about Dr.van der Kolk’s work, Click here.
Techniques I use that are effective in treating trauma include:
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
In EMDR, the client is encouraged to focus on images, thoughts, feelings and body sensations associated with the trauma while making specific eye movements. This process helps the client to rapidly integrate the memory fragments and process the associated feelings so that recalling the memory is no longer disturbing and the client experiences the memory as being in the past, rather than constantly reliving it in the present. Significant improvement is often seen in one session. More information about EMDR can be found at the EMDR International Association website at www.emdria.org
- TFT (Thought Field Therapy)
In Thought Field Therapy, the client focuses on the trauma while tapping on certain acupressure points on the face, hands and body. This process results in a significant decrease in the level of distress while recalling the memory and the ability to experience the memory as being in the past. As with EMDR, significant improvement is often seen in one session. More information about TFT can be found at the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) website at www.energypsych.org
- TAT (Tapas Accupressure Technique)
In TAT, the client focuses on different aspects of the trauma while keeping the hands in a specific position on the head. This process also seems to facilitate rapid processing of traumatic material. For more information on TAT, see the ACEP website above and also www.tatlife.net.
Neurofeedback helps calm the traumatized, overaroused brain so that the trauma can be processed. It is especially useful when a person has been chronically exposed to trauma. Click on the services tab above to find out more about neurofeedback.