Post traumatic stress is the direct experiencing, witnessing or learning of a traumatic event. For children, traumatic events may include: Neglect and psychological, physical, or sexual abuse; Natural disasters, terrorism, community and school violence. We can also experience small traumas that others may not recognize as impactful but, for you, the experience can be distressing.
Symptoms may include: distressing dreams, flashbacks, physiological reactions to internal or external cues; Repeated, disturbing or unwanted memories, reliving the experience, avoidance of memories, difficulty falling or staying asleep. For children, symptoms can also include repetitive play related to the event(s).
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. After successful treatment with EMDR therapy, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced. During EMDR therapy the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation are often used.
The American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs/ Department of Defense, The Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, and the World Health Organization among many other national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EMDR ON EMDR INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION WEBPAGE.
EMDR therapy helps children and adults of all ages. Therapists use EMDR therapy to address a wide range of challenges:
Types of counseling for trauma also include:
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