Being a first responder can be extremely stressful and traumatic at times.
No one should have to face that alone!
Read below to learn about PTSD and how you can benefit
from brief therapy treatment EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
"It's like physical therapy for the soul."
What the hell is EMDR?
EMDR therapy is not some woo-woo type of treatment.
EMDR is used to by Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to
treat trauma in military soldiers.
What will my session be like?
A typical session lasts for 60-minutes. During this time you will be asked to recall an intrusive
memory. You do not have to talk about the memory out loud.
During most of the session, you will have your eyes closed (if you feel comfortable with that)
with your hands crossed over your chest, tapping your left and right shoulders.
How much talking will I have to do?
You do not have to speak while you are recalling this memory. After each shoulder "tapping" interval you will be asked what images or thoughts came up for you.
You can choose to share as much or as little as you would like. You can choose to not say anything, as your brain will still do all the re-processing it needs.
EMDR is not meant to re-traumatize you, instead it help you can work through the incident. It is a type of therapy where you are in control of the session at all times.
What will be happening during the EMDR session?
The brain makes connections and works through the memories while you are
re-visualizing the event with your eyes closed.
This may help bring clarity to a scenario, answer questions about parts of an
incident you may have blocked or forgotten, and piece together an
event so you can brain can begin to process it and move past it.
Will I be in control the whole time?
Yep. You are in control and have the ability to stop or scale back at anytime if the
session becomes uncomfortable for you in any way.
You decide how much of the session is talk therapy and how much is personal
visualization done with your eyes closed.
What if the session or memory becomes too intense?
Prior to beginning your first EMDR session, I will make sure you feel safe and grounded with
me. We will do as much prep work as you need, called Resourcing, to ensure you
have several different ways to soothe yourself.
I will instill a "Calm Place" or "Safe Place" that you can visualize. I know this may sound a
bit too woo woo, but please read on.
You will create a picture of a place in your mind complete with
sights, sounds, smells, and sensations
that you identify as a safe space you can go to to help ground you.
Although it is rarely ever needed during the session, we can stop the reprocessing
at anytime and return to your calm place until you feel ready to move on.
In addition, each 60-minute session is ended by returning to your "Calm Place" to
ensure you are grounded and in a safe space prior to the session ending.
Are you ready to get back to your old self?
Could I Have PTSD?
Symptoms of PTSD may disrupt your life and make it hard to continue with your daily activities.
You may find it hard just to get through the day.
There are four types of PTSD symptoms:
Reliving the event
You may have nightmares.
You may feel like you are going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
You may see, hear, or smell something that causes you to relive the event. This is called a trigger. News reports, seeing an accident, or hearing a car backfire are examples of triggers.
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
You may avoid crowds, because they feel dangerous.
You may avoid driving if you were in a car accident or if your military convoy was bombed.
If you were in an earthquake, you may avoid watching movies about earthquakes.
You may keep very busy or avoid seeking help because it keeps you from having to think or talk about the event.
Negative Changes in beliefs and feelings
You may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships.
You may forget about parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.
You may think the world is completely dangerous, and no one can be trusted.
Feeling keyed up
You may have a hard time sleeping.
You may have trouble concentrating.
You may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.
You might want to have your back to a wall in a restaurant or waiting room.
Are you ready to get back to your old self?