Trauma Therapy & EMDR
EMDR & Trauma Therapy in Boulder, CO
Free yourself from your past
Something terrible happened to you.
You become easily triggered by things that remind you of the challenges you've experienced.
You're haunted by your past and the memories of what happened to you.
It's time for a change so you can feel free to enjoy your life again...
Trauma often feels like being...
What is Trauma?
Trauma is a buzzword. For better or worse. Trauma is a part of life. Although it is scary, painful, and difficult, it is also good to see people recognizing trauma and being sensitive towards people who have survived it. By doing so, we normalize trauma and can integrate it into our lives instead of it being taboo.
But, with the word trauma becoming mainstream, there are also some misconceptions about what it is. Let’s clear it up.
Trauma occurs when you have an experience that is so big, confusing, painful, or threatening, that you can not make sense of it all at once. When this happens, your brain does a really good job of keeping you safe from the danger it feels. It does this by compartmentalizing what you’ve experienced. This means your brain puts the memories of the event(s) into ‘storage’ in your brain and body because it’s too hard to deal with. Trauma is not simply a bad experience, it goes deeper than that. Trauma transcends time. No matter how long ago a trauma happened, you may become triggered by memories of what happened. Then, you will find that you go back to feeling just like you did in that awful time right now in your current day, even if what is happening now doesn’t totally match what happened then.
What does it mean to be triggered?
Trauma triggers occur when you feel in your body and your brain that you are in mortal danger. Although, triggers often refer to being really upset by something. Truly being triggered means that you are in fight or flight mode. This occurs because something about what you’re experiencing (conscious or unconsciously) has made your body react as if you’re being traumatized again. Furthermore, when you are really triggered you will have trouble being rational and seeing what’s real. So, you will feel numb, terrified, or in a state of frantic confusion. You will feel the urge to fight, run or you will freeze. Being truly triggered is deeply upsetting and exhausting.
GOOD THERAPY CAN STOP YOU FROM BEING TRIGGERED
Trauma Therapy Can Change Your Life
Because of the way trauma hijacks your brain, it is very hard to get rid of the effects of trauma on your own. When you dealing with the effects of trauma and the memories you have, your brain doesn’t work as well. In fact, we can see from FMRIs (imaging of the brain) that the evolved and thoughtful parts of your brain don’t light up. Basically, when you get into your trauma brain, no matter how smart or competent you are normally, you become irrational and unhelpful.
We have helped people with wide varieties of trauma histories to recognize when they are triggered, and eventually, avoid being triggered. Also, part of the trauma healing process is successfully repairing relationships with yourself and others when you were triggered and this caused you to behave badly. These are essential steps to integrating trauma into your life. And ultimately, loosening the grasp it has on your well being.
What is trauma therapy like at North Boulder Counseling?
Trauma therapy can include talking like you have seen on TV or in other counseling you’ve done. During talk therapy, you come in and talk and get insights and feedback to help you heal your trauma. Often, the discussion does not focus specifically on the exact trauma memories or events that you are hoping to work on. Trauma events bleed into many other parts of your life. So, your trauma therapist can find helpful information for your trauma therapy by hearing about a variety of triumphs or struggles you have had.
Trauma therapy at North Boulder Counseling in Colorado will generally also integrate many other therapies like art therapy, mindfulness, body awareness, health and sleep considerations, EMDR, CBT/DBT or visualizations, and meditations. The reason for this is that trauma is not rational. We know this because if it were only rational your brain would say ‘it’s over, I know it’s over, so I won’t think about it anymore.” But, that is not what happens. Your brain is hooked by your trauma experiences and memories.
Our trauma therapists use many types of therapies to employ more than just rational thinking. This includes therapies that incorporate your bodily sensations, breathing, creativity, deep brain regulation, and associations in addition to your rational thinking. Treating trauma is an ‘all hands on deck’ sort of situation. We find that moving toward your trauma from many different angles and with an open mind gives us the most success in helping you cope with your trauma. Also, it gives you more of a choice about how you will live the life you want in relation to the trauma of your past. Ultimately, helping you have a fuller and happier future.
What is EMDR?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing. Perhaps you’ve heard of this innovative psychological treatment and have wondered if it’s for you because it seems complicated. But, it is much more approachable and simpler than the title may lead you to believe.
EMDR uses bi-lateral (left/right) stimulation, like eye movements, sound, hepatics on our hand sensors (like the ones shown in the picture to the right), or tapping to support the brain’s innate ability to let difficult thoughts, memories or impulses move through troubling memories or emotions so they become less and less emotionally charged. The best part, because we have so many tools to provide bi-lateral stimulation, we are able to really tailor your EMDR sessions to meet your unique needs and preferences.
EMDR is not a magic wand that cures all problems...
EMDR can help you in making room for new experiences of peace and joy. But, it still requires that you build a good rapport with your therapist and have a stable place of resources yourself from which you can dive deep. If you would like to learn more about EMDR email us at North Boulder Counseling, we’d be happy to answer your questions.
Learn more about EMDR here!
EMDR Helps Treat a Variety of Mental Health Concerns:
- OCD: Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Thoughts or memories you can’t get out of your head
- Deep or chronic depression
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Parenting struggles
- Postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression
- Loss of a Child
- Loss of a Loved One
What does EMDR therapy look and feel like?
EMDR uses bi-lateral (right/left) stimulation to help the brain reprocess and move old memories, thoughts, or experiences so that they become less and less charged.
The type of stimulation (sound, eye movement, touch) is chosen by you based on what is most comfortable.
EMDR stimulates the parts of our brain that are less centered around words. So, your brain accesses painful memories, feelings, and emotions. This will help you ease the suffering or confusion we could not name or organize in words previously.
EMDR is very different from traditional talk therapy. There is very little talking. The process focuses primarily on experiencing and feeling in short (~1m intervals). The short intervals keep you grounded in the present so that we are not swept away and can manage the tough stuff in small ‘bites,’ rather than all at once.
EMDR is not ideal for everyone in their process, so if you are interested in EMDR, please be in touch via email or call and we can see if EMDR is a good fit for your needs.
Why EMDR works:
A significant amount of research has been done on EMDR and combat veterans, so it is often associated with that kind of trauma. While that is work that we can do in our office using EMDR, we can also support several other symptoms via EMDR.
EMDR is in fact also proven very effective for panic attacks, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), intrusive thoughts, impulsive behaviors, anxiety, major loss, and a host of trauma or triggering events, thoughts, or memories.
It is not uncommon for people to experience outcomes they were unable to achieve in normal talk therapy. But, even when we do EMDR, we will still use talk-based therapies between sessions.
If you would like to know what kind of therapy would work best for helping you with your trauma, please contact us. Our trauma therapists will work with you to develop a unique plan to help you heal and get you on your path forward.
We Can Help You Move Through Your Trauma & Live Happily
Our trauma therapists at North Boulder Counseling have supported people with really challenging pasts and especially people who are stuck experiencing uncomfortable memories or feelings. We can help you find ways to make sense of your experiences by getting in touch with your own strength. This allows you to face the past and effectively care for yourself in times of deep distress. We will help you find the right pace for your healing so that you aren’t overwhelmed by your trauma. Our therapy team will help you find your personalized path to making your trauma history fit into a life you want to live.
Trauma work is far more effective and successful when you can do it with the support of an experienced therapist. While it is possible for everyone to move with their trauma with friends or family, it is also tricky when you don’t have someone holding the line to unbiased and loving support. Often people worry about burdening their loved ones with the intensity of their stories. But, you don’t have to worry about this with us. We are professionals and we can hear whatever you have to share and help you move forward.
North Boulder Counseling Trauma Treatment & EMDR
Begin Trauma Therapy and EMDR in Boulder, CO:
You deserve happiness and relief from the pain of your past. Trauma treatment and EMDR can help. Our trauma therapists can help you cope and find healing. Follow these steps to begin counseling in Boulder, CO:
Other Services offered at North Boulder Counseling:
Our counseling center located in Boulder, CO is committed to helping you overcome anxiety so you can live the life you want. Our therapists offer an anxiety treatment intensive program, postpartum anxiety treatment, postpartum depression counseling, perinatal support, counseling for women, young adult counseling, parenting coaching, grief counseling, trauma treatment and EMDR, depression treatment, LGTBQ counseling, teen therapy, and play therapy. If you’re a clinician looking for business coaching for therapists or professional supervision and consulting, we can help! If you can’t make it to our counseling clinic, we understand. So, we’re offering online therapy in Colorado to help you overcome your challenges in the comfort of your own surroundings. Reach out to our counseling clinic today to begin your healing journey towards better mental health!