I am trained to treat adults who have experienced a single incident trauma or recent traumatic event with the use of EMDR therapy. Examples of single incident trauma include being a victim of a crime, experiencing a natural disaster, automobile accident or any other life threatening situation. Single incident traumas are usually defined as a person who experienced a severe traumatic event – often life threatening, but who have no prior history of major traumas in their life. Trauma literally means “wound, injury, or shock”. A single event trauma is also known as a “shock trauma”. One in which we experience a life event that overwhelms us, terrifies us, and makes us think that we or someone we love is going to die. Single incident traumas can usually be cleared with EMDR therapy in fewer than 10 sessions. Most people experience reduction in distress within the first few sessions, and often even after the first session.
Trauma can be easily categorized into “Big T’s,” and “Little t’s” traumas.
A “Big T” trauma: is a single incident trauma or life changing event. A “Big T,” would be a single or series of severely traumatic experiences. Common examples of “Big T” traumas would include; war, rape and major accidents. “Big T” traumas that are single incidents can process quickly with EMDR therapy.
“Little t” traumas: are a accumulation or a series of traumatic or abusive events Several “Little t’s” can be described as a series of less traumatic events over a period of time. Some of these events may not even be recognizable to the individual as a “Little t,” but remain as implicit memory. Some examples of “Little t” traumas include; childhood neglect and abuse, repeated verbal abuse from a close family member or authority figure, bullying, domestic abuse and complicated grief. “Little t” traumas are more common than “Big T” traumas. In fact, people may not even identify them as traumatic. “Little t” traumas usually require more EMDR therapy sessions to process.
How Does it Work?
EMDR therapy can quickly stops the fight, flight and freeze response that has been activated and allows you to feel a greater sense of calm. We as humans are designed to heal, to recover and to flourish. EMDR therapy calms the amygdala in the brain that is our alarm center causing survival response of fight, flight and freeze. Many people who have experienced a life or death situation may feel depressed, afraid, lethargic, have shallow breathing, feel cold or paralyzed. They can feel immobile and may want to isolate themselves from others. EMDR therapy will help you to come out of the physiology of shock and the “preparation for death” state. EMDR therapy for single incident trauma is fast and effective. Clients can get relief quickly and their symptoms can often be treated in fewer than 10 sessions.