What is your definition of “trauma processing”?

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Really interesting @Friday .
How do you work out the difference between pretend ok and ok?
Asking as I'm incredibly skillfull at pretending (decades of practice).

And can say the word rape with no feeling whatsoever. But how to work out if that is still pretending or actually processed?

(Sorry to hyjack thread...delete if not appropriate).
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
To me trauma processing seems like the ability to acknowledge something as having a negative impact on the here and now, getting to how that has affected my ability to properly respond to life here and now, properly assign shut down feelings that are rooted in those past events and making the conscious decision to feel those feelings again and then making a decision to move forward in a way that has a broken connection to the old traumatic behaviours that were driving me.

No idea if that makes sense to anyone else but me.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
My processing un stuck my mind so to speak. I am no longer frozen in the trauma moments. It was a process of reprogramming my mind in a before/during/after process. I still have emotional flashbacks, but I’m much better overall.
 

Sues

Confident
Wow, that’s very encouraging. Thanks for sharing, @Sues

If I may ask, how many sessions (or how long) did you end up working on that one memory?

Also, are you able to tell (yet) whether you are no longer susceptible to getting spontaneously triggered by things related to that event, or are you talking more about not feeling negative emotions anymore when you consciously recall the event (...or both)?
EMDR takes some time to set up. You should never jump right into it, and if a therapist wants to do that, you should walk out that door and never go back. You have to lay the ground work first...
Creating a safe space and practicing going there and using breathing to calm yourself.
Creating a container of your choosing to place all the bad stuff in before you leave your session
You need to talk about the memory a bit and establish the "bad feeling" associated with it, then what "good memory" do want to be associated with it instead
I would also add that you need to be able to trust your therapist and feel very comfortable with him/her

Then the EMDR can start. We started with my "safe place". We did the EMDR with slow hand movements for the positive safe place. Once I could do that and picture it and get calm after thinking about a mild annoyance, we moved to the EMDR for the traumatic memory. Then the EMDR used fast hand movements.

I'd guess it took 5 or 6 sessions for that first traumatic memory. I no longer feel anxious or upset at all when I think about the memory. It's not a happy memory, but I can say that I feel safe whenever I think about it now. This memory didn't really have any triggers attached to it, so I can't say that the EMDR would help with that specifically, but I've heard that it does.

We started on a second, easier memory because my work (I work in a hospital with tons of covid patients) is super stressful right now. I was so exhausted from work that I had trouble following my therapists hand, so we tried the buzzers. Since I didn't have to follow the hand, I was able to close my eyes while holding the buzzers (that shows the level of trust I built because I could never close my eyes during therapy before) and this meant I could concentrate on the memory more. It made the memory more vivid and it seemed to go faster. I was able to feel better in the one session. We are not done. We are going back again to redo that memory to make sure it's completely "cleared"

I was skeptical about EMDR, but open to try it. I never expected it to work as fast or as well as it did. It's not easy. It's very uncomfortable to "think" about the memories as you are doing the EMDR. But it is worth it.
 
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