PTSD Trauma and EMDR
Trauma is defined as being:
When a person was exposed too: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, in the following way(s):
- Direct exposure
- Witnessing the trauma
- Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
- Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)
- Repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of a traumatic event, which applies to workers who encounter the consequences of traumatic events as part of their professional responsibilities (e.g military mortuary workers, forensic child abuse investigators). Not through media, unless work related.
That the traumatic event is persistently re-experienced, in the following way(s):
- Intrusive thoughts/Unwanted upsetting memories
- Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
- Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
And that avoidance of trauma-related stimuli after the trauma, occurs in the following way(s):
- Trauma-related thoughts or feelings
- Trauma-related reminders
That negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
- Inability to recall key features of the trauma
- Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world
- Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma
- Negative affect
- Decreased interest in activities
- Feeling isolated
- Difficulty experiencing positive affect
Trauma-related arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
- Irritability or aggression
- Risky or destructive behavior
- Heightened startle reaction
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
(Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association).
CBT and EMDR are the recommended treatments of choice for single incident trauma i.e. if a person has experienced one traumatic event in their lives i.e. a car accident, work related accidents, bullying, witnessing/being the victim of violence etc.
If more than one traumatic event has been experienced, or, if the trauma occurred during childhood, then, the trauma is complex and should be treated by more specialised services for safe and effective treatment.
CBT For You offers CBT and EMDR for the treatment of single incident trauma.