There are a variety of modalities and specialized interventions that can be used for trauma therapy. These treatments work by identifying and processing neurophysiological sources of trauma, emotion, pain and challenges. Through these processes, we identify and focus on symptoms or experiences that aren’t always reachable in the conscious mind, using neurobiology.
In addition to neurofeedback, Alliance for Healing offers EMDR, brainspotting and accelerated resolution therapy (ART). Below, we’ve outlined these three specialized trauma therapies.
What is EMDR?
EMDR is an 8-phase treatment that uses eye movement, or another bilateral stimulation, to heal from the symptoms of disturbing life experiences. This type of therapy encourages patients to focus on their trauma memory (briefly) while experiencing bilateral stimulation (eye movements), to help reduce the vividness and emotion(s) associated with trauma. Successful completion of EMDR is characterized by clients experiencing reduced emotional distress, transforming negative beliefs and reducing the body-based symptoms of trauma.
What is brainspotting?
Brainspotting is a therapeutic tool that helps to access unprocessed trauma in the deep brain structures that may be contributing to symptoms of depression, anxiety and other behavioral or somatic conditions. By observing how your feelings are affected based on where you look, your therapist can assist in processing bodily-based and emotional conditions. This process can be done with or without the awareness of, or talking about, a specific event. This unique quality of brainspotting allows clients’ to work on healing emotional wounds without having to identify a specific memory or talk about a traumatic memory.
What is accelerated resolution therapy (ART)?
Accelerated resolution therapy, or ART, is uses back-and-forth eye movements to help patients address common problems such as anxiety and depression, phobias or PTSD. While ART uses eye movements similar to EMDR, during accelerated resolution therapy, the concentration is on replacing disturbing images with positive ones. While focusing on a problem and using eye movements, the brain makes new connections with the patient’s strengths and problem-solving abilities. This process can be effective in reducing or eliminating triggers, negative thoughts and nightmares.
Who can benefit from these specialized therapies?
Clients seeking these types of trauma therapies have often spent months and even years in talk therapy without experiencing the healing they are seeking. We believe that while there are many paths to healing, the effects of trauma impact more than just the thinking portion of someone’s brain. The unconscious brain and the body have also been impacted and should be addressed in the healing process. These therapies can be used with men, women, adults and children. Clients seeking these types of therapies include those who have experienced:
- Single incident trauma
- Developmental trauma
- Betrayal trauma
- Somatic stress response
- Anger and rage