Trauma-Informed Therapy

What is a therapy modality and why does it matter?

Modality is a word that describes a type of therapy treatment. Knowing this matters because some modalities work better for healing trauma. The Attachment & Trauma Network Resource Directory Glossary describes the modalities used in treating children who have been traumatized. Psychology Today lists over 70 types of therapies (that is totally overwhelming). At the very end of the list is "trauma focused" and this likely includes many other modalities. The truth is that most effective therapy will depend on the relationship you are able to develop with a respectful, warm and empathic therapist.

What does treating trauma involve? 

The following resources provide an overview of both the effects of trauma and effective treatments. 

What is EMDR? 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization  and Reprocessing) therapy,  is a recognized, research-based therapy. It was a crucial part of my healing which I explain in BRAVEThis is not the only effective treatment, but it is the one that proved very effective for me, along with relational care and help in changing thought patterns. See Cognitive Based Therapy or CBT.

Can you explain EMDR?

It is a recognized, research-validated therapy treatment in which the client remains aware but is able to go below the surface of cognitively processed events and resolve the underlying emotions connected to the memories stored in the limbic brain. It is done in a variety of ways by bypassing the cognitive part of the brain and allowing the experience, with all of the intensity of the attached emotions, to surface. In my case, this also released repressed memories. If unfamiliar with this recognized type of therapy, it might be good to explore the EMDR International Association website.

Why was EMDR so important to your healing?

My survival was dependent on cognitive coping strategies and few therapeutic interventions would have been successful in getting underneath my defenses. There are some concerns that EMDR causes memories to surface too quickly and may over- whelm dissociative clients who do not have strong processing structures in place. As with any therapy, the keys are skillful use and care for the client. For me, EMDR was the avenue of healing.

 

Does EMDR align with faith principles?

This is an important question for many who contact me. While my own EMDR therapy did not include the spiritual aspect discussed in this blog post, I have talked with some who did experience this. Yet, my therapy work only made my faith grow stronger! This has been true for every person who communicates with me.   See EMDR and Christianity . . .