Post One: Amy
Approaches Chosen and Why
The first approach chosen to focus on in this week’s readings is brainspotting. Brainspotting has similarities to EMDR treatment but has minor differences in the length of time and approach. “The foundation of this model is the articulation of the attuned, relational presence of the therapist with the client. This relational attunement is seen as being both focused and deepened by the neurological attunement derived from observing and harnessing different aspects of the visual orienting of the client (Hildebrand, Grand, & Stemmler, 2017).” Brainspotting is more flexible and versatile than EMDR.
EMDR is primarily for the use of treating trauma, whereas brainspotting can also treat anxiety, ADHD, anger, phobias, substance use, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, impulse control issues, and sports performance issues (Brainspotting (BSP), 2018). Understanding this allows for this treatment modality to help more clients. Often clients come with more than trauma issues and having a treatment modality that allows for a wider range of benefits to the client is a helpful tool. Brainspotting is much younger in the treatment modalities and has room for continued research to be conducted to understand the true impact and effectiveness, however, thus far it has continually been showing similar outcomes in fewer sessions than EMDR.
Treating trauma with Yoga is the other treatment approach focused on from the readings. In working with addiction and subsequent trauma the use of yoga as an alternative treatment modality utilized that had a lasting impact on manly clients. Much like brainspotting, trauma-sensitive yoga helps individuals understand the mind-body connection, an important aspect of the healing and recovery process from trauma, and other mental health and physical challenges individuals may be dealing with. Over the course of the last few decades, neuroscientists and other professionals in the field have been shedding light on understanding the mind-body connection, including how trauma (mind) impact or manifests itself physically (body), stating that the body keeps score of the trauma memory. “Trauma sensitive yoga (TSY), a nascent complementary intervention, is one such body-oriented treatment designed for complex trauma survivors (Ong, 2021).” Studies have found that the utilization of TSY has been shown to significantly reduce clients’ PTSD symptoms (Ong, 2021). This can occur while engaging both the body and the mind, while not forcing the client to engage in recalling the traumatic event.
Christian Worldview Integration
Yoga is a meditative practice that works to connect the mind, body, and spirit. Often individuals feel connected on a different level because of their practices. By engaging in a trauma-sensitive form of yoga individuals can treat trauma while working to engage their spiritual connection and use it as a useful tool for healing and recovery. “Practicing yoga regulates emotions and breathing and ameliorates anxiety. Yoga has been shown to reduce autonomic sympathetic nervous system response, muscle tension, and blood pressure; decrease physical symptoms and emotional distress; and increase the quality of life (Gulden & Jennings, 2016).” The use of yoga can help to deepen an individuals’ connection and help oneself to cultivate their spiritual growth (Gulden & Jennings, 2016).
Experience with Trauma Clients
In my personal experience with working with clients with trauma, the use of yoga has been impactful for their healing and recovery. Although the primary focus of the utilization of yoga in my previous experience I was able to see the drastic impact it had on those who allowed it to be a part of the recovery process. Knowing the impact, it had on addiction and recovery provided myself with a small glimpse of its potential positive impact on trauma. As far as the use of brainspotting, I have not had personal experience utilizing it but based on my understanding I feel it would be helpful to connect the client with their trauma in a way that allows for a more in-depth but less invasive treatment approach. Continuing to grow my knowledge and training on this treatment modality would be greatly helpful in my practice.
Which 2 treatment approaches did you decide to focus on for Modules 5 – 6: Weeks 5 – 6 and why?
For this week’s discussion board, I focused on eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). I choose EMDR because of its ability to heal a multitude of different problems. CPT is something new to me, so I wanted to learn more about it.
For each model, what are 2 key things you are learning in studying it? Apply class resources as appropriate in justifying your choices.
EMDR therapy has shown to be successful in helping individuals with many different types of illnesses (Shapiro et. al., 2016). In week 6 of our reading, Shapiro et. al. (2016) provided an example of a man suffering with cancer who decided to seek the assistance of EMDR. After the man went through EMDR, he was able to live the most out of his life before passing away. The first takeaway for me was that EMDR has the capacity to help individuals even during times of great trails to see the fragility of human life and assist them in living a more fulfilled and purposeful life. It does this according to Shapiro et. al. (2106) by having the individual concentrate on the most challenging accepts of their lives while at the same time assisting them in reprocessing these memories in a more constructive way. The second takeaway from EMDR was that it can alleviate stress by having individuals more clearly understand what it is causing them to be stuck. In many of the examples provided in chapter 11, individuals who stored traumatic memories were getting stuck because their memory of the event was not always clear or completely accurate. According to Van Der Kolk (2015), memory goes through a process integration and reinterpretation without any input from the conscious self.
In addition, to this week’s reading I learned that when counseling a client and using CPT it is the therapist’s role not to interrupt the client with questions when they are providing their story (Resick et. al., 2017). According to Resick et. al. (2017), interrupting the client will disable them from experiencing their own natural emotions and can instead redirect the focus to the clinician. The last takeaway was about the use of CPT in group. According to Resick et. al. (2017), most new clinicians fear about the amount of affect that can occur in group when processing trauma. However, CPT has shown in group to not worsen symptoms even if it appears in the beginning that they are feeling worse before getting better.
How well do you see these particular treatments integrating with a Christian worldview? Why?
The integration of religion/spirituality into therapy has the potential to help clients connect with something larger, forgive, create understanding, and bring optimism and hope. EMDR and CPT both help individuals target inaccurate or maladaptive beliefs that cause people to get stuck in “stuck points” (Pearce et. al., 2018). By integrating religion/spirituality, a clinician can incorporate a biblical truth and assist clients in processing their emotions and trauma in a more healthy form.
If you have experience doing therapy with trauma clients, share how learning these treatment approaches is influencing how you conceptualize or intervene with such clients. If you do not have experience with such clients, share how learning these models is influencing how you will approach working with such clients.
Learning about EMDR has been exciting for me because I see its potential in helping individuals with a multitude of different concerns. I didn’t fully realize that it can address individuals dealing with addiction and illness as well. Since learning about its vast capacity, I have signed up for EMDR training in fall.
Post One: Amy