Rewind Technique for Trauma…
One thing that makes life with trauma unbearable is its ability to forcibly shape your experiences of your self, relationships, and the wider world as you navigate everyday life. As you try to move forward, the events of the past keep pulling you back.
People often think you have to talk about what happened so that you can deal with it and move on. But what happens when you can’t talk about it because that would mean re-living it, as well as experiencing the intense physical and emotional responses that come along with re-living?
It is possible to process the impact of trauma without talking about the incidents that have affected you. One way to do this is using the Rewind Technique.
When we experience something traumatic, memories of such events are not fully processed. This is because the usual neurobiological mechanisms we have to process experiences into memory don’t work as usual when we are under extreme stress.
The amygdala’s ability to add a sensory element to memories works too well, so we re-experience every detail thereafter. The hippocampus can’t place a ‘date stamp’ on the memory, so it isn’t stored away as something that isn’t happening now. Traumatic memories, flashbacks, and nightmares become fixed so we can’t control them and they interrupt our lives.
The Rewind technique includes recalling the memory/nightmare/flashback and then ‘re-winding’ it in way that is under your control, so that it stops being fixed and taking control within your mind and body.
You won’t forget what happened but you will be able to control how you recall past traumatic events in the same way that you experience normal memories. You can think about it if you want to, you can stop thinking about it if you want to, and remembering won’t mean re-living so you can stay in the present moment. In this way, flashbacks and nightmares can stop completely.
As a psychotherapist trained in the Rewind Technique for trauma, we can incorporate this way of processing trauma into appointments in a way that suits you.
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