In the first two phases of our work together, we will actively work to create safety for you within the counselling environment and within yourself. This is required to be able to safely process and resolve past traumas. There are a number of things we will explore to equip you in this phase.
We will also be taking a detailed history of possible events or relationships that may have deeply impacted how you see yourself, others, and the world. We are looking for things that as you let yourself connect with them, are still upsetting today, or things that would typically result in protective or defensive reactions.
Once a list of potential targets is established, we will begin desensitizing and reprocessing them. I do this primarily through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a highly researched and effective trauma treatment.
When EMDR is not a good fit for a client, I will use other modalities to gently and more slowly help you to process your trauma as you build emotional tolerance to face your pain. These include Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy, Sandtray Therapy, somatic techniques, and guided imagery.
As targets are resolved, clients report not only relief when they think of the initial event, but more significantly, they experience their current life differently! You will find yourself responding in healthy ways to situations that otherwise would have been triggering to you, without needing to consciously will yourself to respond well.
Trauma therapy, in general, and EMDR, in particular, changes how you hold your past so that it no longer determines your present and future!