One of the most common statements we hear from people considering therapy is:
"Everyone says I should get help because of what I have been through. But what they don't understand is that the last thing I want to do is talk about what happened to me. I just want to forget!”
Well, of course, you do not want to talk about the traumatic experiences you lived through! As trauma informed therapists, we know when you talk about or think about what you lived through, you may sometimes feel as if it is happening all over again. Since traumatic events overwhelm our ability to cope, we have difficulty resolving these experiences so they get ‘stuck’ in our brain.
We call this being ‘stuck in trauma time,’ where the past keeps showing up to bother us now. We re-experience the original emotions, body sensations (pain, nausea, pounding heart) and images we had at the time. It is understandable to want to avoid this distress and yet traumatic experiences do not necessarily resolve on their own over time.
At EMDR & Beyond the first thing we do is develop a relationship with you. We understand that the therapy relationship is just like any other relationship where trust is earned. You are not going to feel comfortable talking about hard things with us until we have a therapeutic relationship established. We understand that you wouldn't want to spend an hour with a stranger talking about these challenging issues.
Any well-trained trauma informed therapist will not ask you to come in and share all about your adverse life experience in detail from beginning to end. There is a time when we work together to address the past so it does not interfere with your present but it is done in a way that is supportive and healing, not intrusive and overwhelming. EMDR, one of the primary trauma treatments we utilize, does not require detailed narration of past difficult events in order to resolve trauma.
Here is what you can expect when you meet with a therapist from EMDR & Beyond (or any other trauma informed therapist). The first few sessions will be all about learning who you are; what your strengths are and what you want to work on. You will also be learning many new skills for coping more effectively with difficult memories and emotions. Together with your therapist, we will develop a plan for therapy that allows you to function at your best and helps you put the past where it belongs, in the past.
Amy Terrell MS, LMHC EMDRIA Certified in EMDR