The process of EMDR can sound odd. You talk about your traumatic experiences as the therapist gets your eyes to make rapid movements. This can involve flashing a light in your eyes or asking you to follow a pencil with your eyes. Yes, it might sound strange, but it’s proven by research to be very effective, and approved by the necessary therapy associations.
Why is CBT recommended for trauma? For starters, it’s not about talking endlessly about your past. While that might help a person with general anxiety or depression, talking about past trauma can re-traumatise someone with complex PTSD.
You can feel needy, or let down by a normal therapist. A schema therapist, however uses what is called ‘limited reparenting’. This means they are very supportive and understanding, like a parent figure.
For starters, if our stress response is too easily triggered due to past trauma, then our body will be releasing stress hormones that can help cause such symptoms.
But the other idea is that the body ‘stores’ trauma. This can particularly be true in cases of physical or sexual abuse.
Body psychotherapy is a licensed form of psychotherapy. It combines talking about and processing the past with listening to the body itself, and might use body movements to release emotions.
Some body psychotherapists use a tool called ‘somatic therapy’ or ‘somatic processing’. It is a technique designed just to help clients who have gone through traumatic experiences. But note that used on its own, by someone who is not a registered therapist, it is considered an alternative treatment.