Quote by Peter Levine
One thing that is clear from research and the literature on trauma, is that people who have been through traumatic experiences but have those around them who respond with empathy and care are much less likely to develop PTSD.
Part of the natural way we work through traumatic experiences is by talking about it with others. When we share our stories with others and they react negatively, or in a judgmental and blaming way, it is easy for the traumatized person to internalize this negativity. That’s because they opened themselves and were vulnerable and were rejected or condemned.
This too is why therapy can be such a powerful and healing experience. When a client tells me there story, I am an empathic witness and they are no longer going through it alone. I am there to help them hold and make sense of what happened to them.
Because more than anything, it is the meaning people make of what happened to them that can either perpetuate the trauma or help resolve it. And when people come to me, it is typically years after whatever trauma occurred and other things have happened that have added to the harm and the negative messaging they internalized.
And that is where EMDR therapy come in, we target and help them change these negative core beliefs. The change is not just a mental or cognitive understanding of what happened and that they are not at fault. It is a felt sense that they have overcome what happened to them.