Trauma Therapy Dealing with the Past to Create a Brighter Future
Significant negative events in our lives can literally shock the system, causing a great deal of stress and anxiety for those who have experienced it. People with trauma suffer from symptoms that may include depression, intrusive thoughts, emotional outbursts, and sleep disturbances which all negatively impact quality of life. But there is hope in the form of experiential therapy.
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Trauma Survivors
All trauma always involves relationships, regardless of the source of the trauma. Trauma disrupts the sense of security and safety a person feels within themselves and with others in the world. When a person undergoes substantial trauma, the brain's ability to process emotion can be negatively affected. Emotionally focused trauma therapy is particularly suited to help individuals and couples heal the relational wounds caused by traumatic experiences. EFT aims to help you process the traumatic event(s) and re-establish healthy connections and security that alleviate the fear, anxiety, and relational issues that result from traumatic experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions About Trauma Therapy
Finding a therapist is a big step toward unpacking your trauma and starting to heal. Check out these FAQs, and get in touch with us if you have additional questions.
EFT is designed to help resolve betrayal in your marriage after an affair, substance or pornography abuse, or any other betrayal of trust. Once a couple is more present, safety has been re-established, and reactivity has been diminished, we have a very specific model we use that is researched based to be effective in resolving betrayal using EFT. It is called the Attachment Injury Repair Model (AIRM). An attachment injury is when something happens in a relationship where safety and trust are broken, an expectation for help and comfort is not met at a vulnerable time by the injured party, and the offending partner broke trust or turned away. The injured party in essence decides that they will never again open their heart to this person and turns away or becomes highly reactive in the relationship. Using the AIRM of EFT, research shows that not only is it effective, it holds the gains after therapy has ended.
While it is true, you will have to recall as much of the memories of what happened so you can draw the implicit unresolved trauma out of your short-term memory, you won’t have to do it alone. The single most devastating effects of trauma is that it leaves the survivor feeling alone and isolated inside with their distress, even if others experience the trauma at the same time. Being or feeling alone is inherently traumatizing to all of us as social human beings. We can only grow and thrive in connection with others, we are not designed mentally, emotionally, or physically to live in isolation.
We are all trained at CFIT to create an alliance and safety so we can walk alongside you in the process of healing. Having a safe “other” to see and witness your pain brings comfort and allows you to understand it in context, find the truth of the situation and have power over it so you no longer are re-traumatized by it. When you have the power over it, the trauma memories can move into “long-term memory” as a past event, not a recurring ever-present event that invades and intrudes on your life. PTSD in this process is completely resolvable even if you have had long term, chronic and complex PTSD.
Developmental trauma is generally referred to as trauma that occurs especially at infancy and often during the pre-verbal ages before 3 or 4 years old.
Again, EFT is uniquely designed to heal this form of trauma through the relationship with your therapist, understanding and focusing on unmet attachment needs, and imaginal focusing on the child self to receive those attachment needs. Depending on the situation, this can be done either in couple’s therapy with your partner as your attachment person, an attachment person from your past, or if that’s not possible or available, you and your therapist can form an attachment alliance. A safe an available attachment relationship will help you understand what developmentally interrupted, find the lost parts of yourself to be healed,, and create emotionally corrective experiences that can heal the trauma and help you form lasting relationships in your natural life.
Yes, absolutely you can heal from relationships that you are no longer in, but still struggle with the wounds of these old and hurtful relationships including past abusive romantic partners, significant relationships where you have been betrayed, or parental relationships that cannot be healed in the present with them directly. In individual EFT we focus on the hurts of previous relationships and unresolved grief through imaginal experiences with that hurt relationship. This will help give you relief from the pain you’ve been carrying through identifying, addressing, and expressing, the unresolved or unclaimed emotions associated with the relationship trauma.