Recovering from trauma with AMDR
Is it possible to recover from serious trauma?
If you're suffering from the effects of unresolved trauma AMDR (Applied Memory Desensitisation and Reintegration) can help you recover. I know how effective it is because it helped me.
TRAUMA AND MEMORY
We all have at least one memory that troubles us, and It’s been suggested that there we each have between 10 and 20 unprocessed memories that are responsible for most of the pain we experience.
Generally memories from a long time ago are pretty vague but if you’ve had a traumatic experience you can be haunted by vivid flashes of memory and strong physical responses which are triggered by seemingly random things. They can feel as real and frightening as the day they happened, even if that was long ago. It’s as if part of us remains forever frozen in that moment in time, frightened and unable to make sense of what has happened. This is because the memory hasn’t been processed and stored by the brain in the normal way.
Major trauma generally involves a physical threat to your body or witnessing violence or death. We could call these ‘big T’ traumas and they can result in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). There are also other life events that leave their mark on us which we could call ‘little t’ traumas, such as being humiliated by a teacher at school or relationship difficulties. These can also have a strong negative effect on our lives.
Why does trauma affect us in this way?
When something traumatic happens to us, part of our brain shuts down and our bodies are flooded with adrenaline and noradrenaline, which get us ready for fight, flight or freeze. It’s an ancient bodily response designed to help us survive.
The part of the brain that goes ‘off line’ is the left frontal cortex. It’s where we asses things logically and gain perspective, it’s also responsible for language and chronology. At the moment of trauma, because that part of our brain isn’t functioning, it becomes overwhelmed by all the sensory data it’s taking in but unable to process. This means that the experience is stored in the brain in a series of fragmented impressions, and because it’s an intense experience, the amygdala also tags it with a high level of importance, meaning that it can easily be called to mind. It’s also why simply talking through the experience won’t resolve it.
The amygdala, which is the body’s alarm system, stores the experience as a mixture of images, smells, sounds, tastes and touch, as well as recording the level of intensity of your feelings. This is why we can easily be ‘triggered’ by sensory input as the amygdala pattern matches, interprets what we can see or hear or feel as a threat equal to the traumatic event, and fires an adrenaline response. Because of this people who’ve experienced trauma can end up living in a near constant state of hypo (shut down, disassociated, numb) or hyper (ready for flight, vigilant) arousal, constantly being triggered by unconscious cues.
HOW can we resolve trauma?
As the frontal cortex, which is responsible for language, shuts down during trauma we lose the words to fully explain what happened, we also lose our sense of time and the ability to put the event in context. The unprocessed experience is held in our bodies and scattered across our brain.
The AMDR process rapidly resolves trauma by working with the unprocessed memory fragments, in a safe and supportive way, involving both mind and body. This enables the brain and body to fully process the event. The memory then no longer triggers the same adrenaline response and is stored differently in the brain so it no longer troubles you.
HOW Long will it take to work?
Most people feel a lot better after just a few sessions. Generally between. four and six sessions will make a significant difference. We'll decide together what works for you
How much will it cost?
An initial three sessions costs £250 which can be paid in installments, subsequent sessions cost £75.
What's the next step?
It can be overwhelming to even think about what's happened to you, but if you're ready to, you really can finally be free of the burden you're carrying. Using AMDR means that you don't need to relive the whole experience or talk about it endlessly.
I'd love to speak to you about how AMDR can help you and if you'd like to you can book a free, quick chat on Zoom or by 'phone to see if we're a good fit. You don't need to talk about anything you don't want to, you've nothing to lose as there's no obligation and it could change your life for the better.