One of the therapies that I have always been interested in learning to do is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). My favorite clients to work with are my Trauma clients, but they do come with major challenges. Not all trauma causes dysfunction, and the more resilient we are, the better we bounce back from trauma. Sometimes, though, trauma is so overwhelming that we don't automatically bounce back and it can impact our emotions, our thoughts and even our physical health.
There are several interesting books that talk about the specific physical effects of trauma including The Body Keeps the Score. Sometimes trauma is not properly processed in the brain which leads to some debilitating effects. Some basic impacts are that the Amygdala, or fear center of the brain is enlarged. The speech center of the brain is suppressed as well as the entire left hemisphere which is largely responsible for thinking, problem solving and making sense of the world around us. In addition, the Broadman's area of the brain is triggered every time we remember our trauma which is an area that is normally only triggered when we process new experiences. As a result, people with unprocessed trauma feel as if they are re-experiencing it over and over again. They are unable to find a voice about it, and they feel a heightened sense of fear at triggers and have a harder time coming down from the fear.
EMDR is the best known therapy for helping clients to reprocess their trauma completely and permanently. I have worked with many clients and done it myself and it is astonishing how well it works and those old triggers no longer bother us. I have had clients who have suffered for years and in a short amount of time those old memories no longer have any impact on them. It really is miraculous. I feel that working with these people is a sacred honor. I love seeing the transformation they make and the burden lifted. Sometimes the preparation stage is slow, particularly if they have experienced complicated trauma, but if they keeping coming I have fully confidence in the process. In addition people who have had small-t trauma can find a higher quality of life.
It's taken years of hard work and study to get to this stage, and I am grateful for the ability and time that I have had. The reason I am in this field is to help others who are unable to help themselves. I believe that it is akin to the gift of healing.