How does Trauma affect us?
The brain stores traumatic experiences differently to non-traumatic experiences. With non-traumatic experiences the sensations, interpretations, are registered and processed into a memory. When a traumatic event/experience is registered the effects are stored in the nervous system in the body. The disturbing and distressing thoughts, feelings, sounds, images are registered without being processed.
Different sounds, smells, etc can trigger off reminders of the original traumatic experience. The child will then respond with the same emotions as they did when they experienced the traumatic event. Bad memories in the head are like splinters. When a splinter gets stuck in the skin it hurts more. When it comes out the wound can begin to heal.
Aim of EMDR
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing) is recommended by the NICE Guidelines for treating trauma, in addition to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The use of therapeutic and creative play is very important and can be helpful in counselling work with children and young people.
Children can suffer serious traumatisation from major disasters and also from small ‘t’ traumas including bullying, school issues, bedwetting, etc.
How EMDR Might Work?
It is hypothesised that EMDR is similar to REM sleep in the awake state, involving the left/right brain hemispheres
• Bilateral stimulation kindles the brain stem. There is rhythmic and repetitive stimulation. EMDR tries to help the brain to process the traumatic memories.
• To desensitise the traumatic memory.
• Enable the individual to respond adaptively in the present and in the future
• To move towards positive mental health
About The Therapist
Suzanne Alford’s core counselling training and approach is in Humanistic Counselling. She has completed training in the field of trauma therapy, specifically in Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR). She is an Accredited Counsellor and member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and adheres to their Ethical Guidelines. She is also a member of EMDR UK. Suzanne has monthly clinical supervision and has regular line-management supervision meetings to ensure the quality of her work is monitored and maintained.
What Happens during an EMDR session?
The EMDR trauma Therapist will ask the child/young person to give a verbal history of the traumatic event and ask them to identify an image that upsets them the most. While the child/young person is thinking of the image they will be asked to follow the therapist’s fingers with their eyes as they move them from side to side in front of their face. The Therapist will ask the child/young person to notice what they see, experience, as this is happening. They may notice unhelpful behaviours, upsetting emotions and thoughts, associated with recent or past traumatic memories. As the child/young person works through their trauma they become less affected by it.
PLEASE NOTE: This service is not free to access & a charge of £45 for each session will be required in advance.
141 Far Gosford Street
t: 024 7663 1835
f: 024 7622 6365
To make a referral
A professional or parent referral will be required.
The Trauma Therapist receives the referral and makes contact with the parent/carer if the young person is under the age of 16.
An initial assessment appointment is arranged with the child/young person, and/or their parent. The Trauma Therapist will explain the process of EMDR and trauma therapy to parents and to the child/young person. Parents may need to complete a diary to note any changes in their child. Parent(s) may need to narrate to the Trauma Therapist the trauma their child experienced.
The Counsellor can work with the young person for up to 20 sessions.
Please email your completed referral form to: firstname.lastname@example.org.