Trauma changes you. You might not necessarily like that change. How can you heal the trauma within? You have the ability to transform yourself into a healthier person. You have enormous healing potential; the goal is learning to access it—and then to use that potential to heal the trauma, release the addiction(s), and obtain a glorious new life.
Without your consent, trauma can change you, often into a person you’d rather not be. -Michele Rosenthal
Working through trauma can be scary, painful, and sometimes retraumatizing. Because of the risk of retraumatization, this healing work is best done with the help of an experienced trauma specialist. The clinical term for a therapist that has experience in treating trauma is a trauma informed therapist. The therapist will be able to answer questions over the phone as to his/her experience in trauma-informed care. You want to ask if they are experienced in EMDR, Light Entrainment or Somatic Experiencing.
Treatment for Trauma
When a trauma memory is triggered, your nervous system gets stuck in overdrive. Successful trauma treatment revisits these traumatic memories, and allows you to observe the trauma and your “fight-flight-freeze” response. The therapist will establish a sense of safety and help you resolve the past traumas. The following therapies are commonly used in the treatment of PTSD, emotional and psychological trauma:
- Somatic Experiencing: Somatic processing of trauma takes advantage of the body’s unique ability to heal itself. The focus of therapy is on bodily sensations or movements (like excessive leg movement, wringing of the hands or profuse perspiration) rather than thoughts and memories about the traumatic event. By concentrating on what’s happening in your body, you gradually get in touch with trauma-related energy and tension. The therapist will encourage you to safely release this pent-up energy through shaking, crying, and other forms of physical release.
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing): This practice incorporates two paddles that when held in your hands vibrate, and a headset that sends a low tone alternating between one ear and the other ear. The tones and the vibration of the paddles distract the conscience mind, allowing for the unconscious or sub-conscience memories to arise. The therapist and you explore these memories and discuss them in an attempt to resolve the feelings around the trauma.
- CLEAR Therapy (Colored Light Entrainment and Re-patterning) Clear Therapy is a method of releasing unresolved core emotional issues using colored light. When a flashing light is emitted into the eyes, the brain adopts the rhythm of the strobe. In the initial intake session, you look at eleven different colors of flashing light and the therapist is able to pinpoint issues based on what you see in each color. In the following sessions, the feedback from your perception of the colors enables the therapist to uncover core beliefs that drive your thinking, feelings or behavior. CLEAR is coordinated with eye movement (see EMDR), breath work and meridian-based therapies (see EFT) to facilitate rapid resolution of the problem.
- LST (Light Stimulation Therapy) LST enhances learning abilities and performance by stimulating the eye and brain with light. A LST session has you sitting comfortably in a darkened room, looking at a waveband of colored light, which is focused directly on your eyes. It is advised to have three to five sessions per week until a total of 20 sessions is completed. At the end of the 20 sessions there is a reevaluation to determine the necessity of further treatment.
- The Brain and Brainwave Entrainment-The DAVID Device: The senses of sight and hearing, by their very nature, provide a favorable environment for affecting brainwaves. By presenting pulsed audio and visual stimulation to the brain, the brain begins to vibrate at the same frequency as the pulsed audio from the DAVID Device. The device sends flashes of lights into a pair of glasses, and pulsed tones through a pair of headphones to gently guide the brain into altered states of consciousness.
- The Green Wave Therapy: The Green Wave Therapy is a technique that combines green laser light, micro-current energy, and some of the principles of EMDR and EFT (see below). You rest on a massage table, and a micro-current device focuses on the region between your eyebrows. You hold the EMDR paddles in your hands as they pulse rhythmically. You also wear a headset that delivers audio tones in unison with the paddle’s vibrations. The practitioner stands back about four to five feet and encircles the entire body with green laser light. With every one- to two-minute pass, the clinician checks the level of distress you are experiencing while thinking about the trauma.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Based on impressive new discoveries involving the body’s energies, EFT has been reported to be 80% clinically effective in relieving trauma. The EFT procedure involves tapping with the fingers on points on the body that are associated with acupuncture pressure points. While performing the tapping sequence, distressful thoughts and/or events are targeted and healing statements are repeated out loud. EFT often works where nothing else will. It is rapid, long-lasting and gentle. No drugs or equipment are involved. It is easily learned by anyone in less than an hour. EFT techniques can be taught and be self-administered.
Trauma Recovery Tips
Recovering from emotional and psychological trauma takes time. Give yourself time to heal and to mourn the losses you’ve experienced. During your trauma therapy there are some self-help strategies to keep you healthy and continue the healing between your therapeutic sessions:
1: Don’t isolate
2: Stay grounded
3: Take care of your health
Don’t try to force the healing process. Be patient with your pace of recovery. Finally, be prepared for difficult and volatile emotions. Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling without judgment or guilt.
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