Sage Wellness offers counselors with specialized training and expertise in counseling that is trauma-informed, compassionate and focused on helping people heal and recover from trauma.
Many people experience trauma at some point in their lives. Some people find themselves questioning whether their trauma “counts” or think their trauma “wasn’t bad enough” to justify their struggles or getting help. Someone’s comparison or judgment of an event or experience as “traumatic enough” is irrelevant because trauma is about the impact on a person’s life and relationships.
At Sage Wellness, our team of therapists have helped people with many different experiences of trauma. Some examples of trauma include: car accident, verbal, physical or sexual abuse, the loss of a loved one, experiencing or witnessing violence, natural disaster, being threatened with violence, loss of income and independence due to physical disability, and isolation or loss due to due to COVID-19. These are just a few examples of trauma. With love and support, many people find they are able to recover over time. For many, trauma can have lasting effects that impact their ability to live the life they deserve.
What are signs that I need help for trauma?
- You avoid people, places or things that remind you of the trauma.
- You experience increased anxiety, depression, guilt or numbness
- Difficulty with intrusive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks
- Feelings of anger, irritability or hypervigilance
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
- Change in habits or behavior since the trauma
Types of Trauma Treatment at Sage Wellness
We utilize a variety of approaches and interventions that are empirically validated and supported treatments. One type of specialized training for trauma is EMDR and we have two trained EMDR therapists at Sage Wellness.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it is a relatively recent model of therapy discovered in the 1980s by r. Francine Shapiro. It is primarily known for its effectiveness in facilitating trauma healing for PTSD, violence, and abuse; but has also been proven effective for diagnosis such as anxiety, OCD, depression, grief and loss, chronic pain, sleep disturbance and addiction.
EMDR is a structured approach that addresses trauma memories while utilizing bilateral stimulation (BLS). The bilateral stimulation is typically eye movements but can also include tapping techniques or audio tones if needed. The BLS simulates the eye movements of REM sleep to access unprocessed, maladaptively stored memories and then place them back in storage in a healthy way. One of the aspects of EMDR that makes it different from other approaches is that EMDR facilitates the brain’s natural healing process without going into detail about the distressing memories or events. There is also no homework between sessions.
Once a client and therapist have decided to utilize EMDR, the therapist and client will work through the eight phases of EMDR therapy starting with establishing some internal resources or coping strategies to manage distress. The therapist will ensure that the client is prepared for the process and has a safe space to work within. EMDR focuses on the distressing image, negative beliefs, emotions and body sensations for reprocessing and desensitization and then shifts to putting the memory back in storage with a positive belief. A typical EMDR session can be anywhere from 45-90 minutes.
EMDR should only be offered by a properly trained and licensed mental health provider.
Check out the EMDR International Association to learn more: https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/.