Project Description

EMDR & Trauma Therapies

EMDR & Trauma Therapies

Trauma is a generic term used to describe a wide range of events or experiences, from single events such as road traffic accidents, a bereavement, or being the victim of crime to more complex traumas where events may have been occurring over years (domestic violence, childhood abuse) or where there is a recurring exposure to threat. The effects of trauma are also varied, but there are evidence-based approaches that are proven to reduce the typical symptoms of intrusive thoughts/feelings, flashbacks, heightened state of alert, hyperarousal and social or emotional withdrawal. These therapies are called Trauma Focused CBT, and, EMDR.

No amount of therapy can change the fact that you have experienced a trauma, but good evidence-based therapy with a qualified practitioner can significantly reduce the intensity of your symptoms. This often means that with reduced symptoms you are able to engage more actively with other areas of your life and this in turn leads to further ‘recovery’.

This is a common fear when you are trying to avoid the overwhelming thoughts and feelings about the event(s). The reason we have these negative symptoms is because we have been unable to fully process the event. This means the memory of the trauma is exposed to any reminder such as a sound, smell, image etc, and when this happens we can feel as if we are re-experiencing the event all over again. The instinctive urge is therefore to stop thinking about it, to stop doing anything that risks a reminder of it. Paradoxically this maintains your vulnerability to re-experiencing it. Therefore, some degree of revisiting the memory is required in therapy but this is not the same as re-living it, and your Psychologist will prepare for this carefully with you so that you feel safe and supported. Some therapies for trauma such as EMDR do not require you to voice out loud the details of any trauma event but they do require you to bring it to mind in the session.

PTSD is a specific diagnosis of a cluster of symptoms (avoidance, hyperarousal, intrusive thoughts/feelings, etc) that occur in relation to a traumatic event. Not all traumas result in PTSD and having PTSD itself is not an indicator of a particular type of trauma. It is not uncommon for there to be a delayed onset of PTSD symptoms, sometimes years after an event.

Whilst trauma-focused CBT and EMDR are specifically recommended for PTSD, you do not have to have a diagnosis of PTSD to benefit from these treatments. You may have some or all of the symptoms of PTSD, and your Psychologist will want to tailor any treatment to your specific presentation.


01603 813979

Reveal Number
Please note, this email will be sent to Rowan House for monitoring purposes and to ensure your enquiry is dealt with effectively. To continue please press the ’email’ button above.