If you have trauma talk fatigue, that is, you've talked your trauma experiences ad infinitum with little or no relief, it may be time to try something different. A trauma expert or specialist is a mental health professional who provides assistance to people who have experienced psychological trauma. Trauma therapists help people process traumatic experiences and develop coping methods for dealing with the aftermath of trauma, with the goal of achieving psychological stability and reduced symptoms. Psychotherapists who have expertise in trauma therapy may pursue specialized certifications and training to offer the best services to their clients. Many trauma therapists are found in a wide variety of settings and regularly use a multi-modal approach. When seeking effective treatment for trauma processing, it's important to understand and discuss the approach your therapist uses to resolve trauma.
There are many proven and effective "power therapies" such as EMDR, Brainspotting and Somatic Experiencing that can be added to the traditional psychotherapies commonly used in trauma work such as CBT. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be effective for some, but many find that they still experience disabling and distressing symptoms. Learning new behaviors or cognitive strategies is not enough for many trauma survivors and those who have worked hard using traditional therapies often feel like treatment failures and hopeless about the prospect of living a life of ease and comfort.
What have we learned about trauma treatment? We now know that the sympathetic nervous system seems permanently stuck in the "on" position and the parasympathetic nervous system is unable to fully return the body to rest, even when the threat is gone. This is why trauma experts maintain that trauma is "lodged" in the body. Individuals with a history of trauma , whether developmental or single-event, will experience hyperarousal in many ordinary situations and respond by fleeing or fighting. Therapists who are able to integrate cutting-edge trauma therapies and techniques into their work with patients and clients can dramatically improve the quality of life for trauma survivors. They are able to discharge trauma from the body, learn new skills and increase their ability to cope with future distressing life events.
An EMDR trained therapist is able to offer this effective intervention to reduce trauma-related symptoms such as: anxiety, flashbacks, phobias, self-esteem issues, relationship and interpersonal problems, performance difficulties, compulsions, eating disorders and triggers for addictions. This treatment modality is based on neuroscience of the brain and uses bilateral stimulation to reprocess memory networks and release the emotional charge associated that creates obstacles to emotional health in the present. The memories remain, however, EMDR Therapy can return the nervous system to a more regulated, comfortable state.
If you have a good rapport with another therapist but find yourself stuck in the therapy process, an EMDR, Somatic Experiencing or Brainspotting therapist can provide EMDR treatment as an adjunct service to remove progress blocks, obstacles and discharge the trauma that remains in your body. You can continue to work with your primary therapist with new success after your EMDR sessions. Trauma is a physiological process, not psychological -- this is an important piece of the puzzle.