Those of us who live with the memories of trauma know how devastating these memories can be and the damage that they cause in our lives. The key to living successfully with these memories is to make these memories meaningful so they can be fully integrated into our lives and even provide us with a compass to guide our walk through life. My approach to doing this begins with EMDR therapy.
EMDR is an acronym which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is based on a model of human memory function called the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model. The model is stated in neurophysiological and anatomical terms for ease of understanding and to provide a framework for work and discussion. As our understanding of the neurophysiology of the brain advances, the statement of the model may become obsolete but the growing body of evidence showing that it is safe and effective encourage the model’s continued use.
Basically, the theory proposes that memories created during a traumatic experience are not fully processed and integrated into the timeline of the person’s life experience. In technical terms, they are stored in a state specific and dysfunctional form. The EMDR treatment allows these memories to be transmuted into a more functional and adaptive form which can then be fully integrated into the timeline of the person’s life. The memory is not removed but is reprocessed so that it is meaningful and useful instead of dysfunctional and painful.
Current information on EMDR and the use of EMDR can be found at the EMDR International Association website at http://www.emdria.org.
My approach to treating trauma begins with EMDR and includes Talk Therapy and support for grief processing. Successful therapy results in the transformation of the memories of trauma into meaningful contributions to the richness of your life.