August 14, 2016

Emotional and Physical Regulation in Trauma Recovery

Emotional and Physical Regulation in Trauma RecoveryA key aspect for people experiencing trauma is difficulty with emotional and physical regulation. Clients with trauma often find themselves feeling overwhelmed and intensely emotional. They might feel out of control with intrusive body sensations or memories of traumatic events. They can also feel too low, shut down, disconnected from themselves and others. They can feel that the traumatic events in their life are not their own, or spend excessive energy trying to block the memories from their minds, not feel them or push them away. Clients can swing back and forth between feeling flooded and too highly aroused and feeling numb or low arousal.

A goal in beginning treatment is to assist clients in grounding and stabilization of emotions and body sensations so that they can experience a mid range of emotional and physical arousal. Helping clients to be in a emotional and physical “window of tolerance” allows for trauma transformation to occur. Sometimes clients need assistance in this area before beginning trauma reprocessing with EMDR therapy and also throughout their trauma treatment.

Some examples of stabilization interventions include:

  • positive rapport with the therapist
  • resource and development with a modified version of EMDR to strengthen desired attributes and resourced states
  • mindfulness practices
  • grounding techniques (feet on the floor, counting colors in room, smell, touch, taste interventions)
  • grounding through being in nature and with animals
  • body sensations and awareness
  • education about emotions
  • incorporating spirituality (as defined by the client)
  • self care through (exercise, nutrition and sleep)
  • somatic body experiences through yoga and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Call us today to start the healing process. The therapists at Vancouver EMDR Therapy can assist you in the stabilization of your trauma symptoms and prepare you for EMDR therapy.


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