Emotion focused trauma therapy?
Emotion focused trauma therapy is as it sounds. The focus is to help you identify and connect to what you're feeling. At times this will be an identifiable feeling like sadness or anger. Other times it will be more in the form of sensations in the body, such as tightness, pressure, heaviness or even a knotted sensation.
The therapy sessions are less focused on working out strategies to manage feelings and sensations, and more focused on helping the body express the emotions.
In this way, the intensity of the uncomfortable sensations and feelings in your body slowly lessen over time and in some cases disappear altogether.
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Why is emotion focused therapy used to heal trauma?
If you experienced traumatic or stressful environments and/or relationships during critical periods in your childhood you may have a constantly activated autonomic nervous system and a limited capacity to regulate it. These experiences are stored in the body as sensations and feelings. Usually these manifest as uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, panic anger and so on. The only way to fully access these feelings is to go back in through the same system that laid them down, which is your body.
Emotion focused trauma therapy, focuses on the feeling and emotions in such a way that they can be accessed and expressed using the body. Sometimes this is called somatic (body) processing or somatic trauma therapy. When you connect to the early painful feelings in this direct way in a safe and supportive environment you gain insights and an understanding of how the trauma has affected you and created your behaviours and perceptions of yourself and the world.
Benefits of emotional focused trauma therapy.
As an adult, you might have little or no understanding of why you feel the way you do. Usually, that has to do with too many feelings coming up from the past that seem to have little or no connection to your present life.
Over time, as you allow yourself to stay focused on your uncomfortable feelings in a therapy session, you will begin to experience a spontaneous understanding of the events and experiences in a way you’ve never understood before - going right back to childhood.
This is not superficial knowledge. This is a deep knowing that comes from your past experiences. You will come to know how your past experiences made you feel and what you had to do or become in order to avoid the pain and survive. These insights offer you a deep understanding of how you had to adapt in the past to survive, and what to do now to allow your authentic self to emerge.