EMDR and Brainspotting
EMDR and Brainspotting (a trauma treatment very similar to EMDR) are therapeutic techniques designed specifically to alleviate the distressing aftereffects of trauma. The causes of trauma can be obvious: childhood abuse, combat, the loss of a loved one, natural or manmade disasters, accidents. The causes of other more "everyday" traumas are often minimized but can be equally debilitating, such as: job losses, divorce, rejections, humiliation. Whatever the cause, there may be an aftermath to trauma that causes a puzzling array of mental, emotional and physical symptoms. In it's most extreme form this is known as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Oftentimes, when something traumatic occurs, the original visual images, sounds, smells, thoughts and feelings of the experience seem to get "locked" into our nervous system. Since this experience is "locked" in, it causes a triggering response whenever similar images, sounds, smells, etc. are experienced. This triggering response leads to increased feelings of discomfort and distress and these feelings get overlaid on the memory of the original event. Over time, this can build up into a big mess! It's as if your nervous system is making you relive the traumatic event over and over again. The effect of this process is that your identity becomes defined by what happened to you in the past -- not by who you are in the present.
The techniques used in EMDR and Brainspotting allow us to unlock the original traumatic event from your nervous system as well as all the subsequent triggering events. We refer to this unlocking as "processing" or "integration". Once traumatic material is more fully integrated, you are less likely to be re-triggered, and you are more likely to live in current time. When you are living in current time, you are more effective, you make better decisions and your life smooths out and stabilizes. You feel so much better -- physically as well as emotionally.
These trauma treatments are endorsed by the American Psychological Association because of their effectiveness and because they are least likely to cause any re-traumatization.