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Healing from Narcissistic Abuse: Trauma Bonding and the Role of EMDR Therapy

Narcissistic abuse is a silent epidemic, impacting the mental health of individuals who find themselves trapped in toxic relationships. It is an emotional or psychological disorder often perpetrated by someone with a personality disorder. Someone suffering from narcissistic abuse may be insulted or criticized, screamed or yelled at often, feel threatened that they will be physically harmed, feel controlled, or have their privacy invaded. A victim of narcissistic abuse can feel obligated to remain connected with their abuser, resulting in a trauma bond.

What is trauma bonding?

Trauma bonding is a psychological connection in which an individual forms an emotional connection with their abuser. The connection can become so intense that it is difficult to break. A victim of trauma bonding has difficulty trusting others and may isolate themselves. This creates a dependency on their abuser.

A victim of trauma bonding may be worried about upsetting the abuser. They may try to do everything to try to please their abuser. A common fear is retaliation from the abuser, or that they cannot escape, and as such, they remain attached to the abuser.

Abandonment is a fear that a victim of trauma bonding experiences. They feel a desperate need for connection and may defend their abuser or remain in harmful situations out of fear of being abandoned and left alone. Their self-esteem diminishes, and as a result, trauma bonding increases as the fear of abandonment grows.

Trauma bonding may seem complicated to break, but EMDR therapy will help you break free and regain your sense of identity.

Exploring EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitizing & Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a structured treatment that allows your mind to reprocess and reduce the impact of distressing memories and physiological responses to past traumatic experiences.

It helps by changing how your brain deals with traumatic memories by using eye movements or other techniques to lessen their emotional impact and reduce feelings of fear, anxiety, or sadness linked to trauma. It’s beneficial for those suffering from trauma, helping them recall traumatic events without reliving the intense emotions.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy focuses on specific traumatic memories, assisting individuals to process and reframe these memories, leading to a decrease in the emotional charge associated with the memories.

As individuals report a reduction in the intensity of emotional reactions to triggers related to traumatic memories, they are better positioned to regulate their emotions. This benefit can result in healthier relationships and connections.

EMDR therapy helps individuals identify and reevaluate negative beliefs about themselves that may have developed as a result of trauma from narcissistic abuse. This process supports the restructuring of maladaptive thought patterns, thus improving self-esteem.

EMDR therapy integrates both cognitive and somatic elements in therapy, addressing emotional, cognitive, and physiological aspects of trauma. This promotes comprehensive healing.

EMDR therapy helps individuals develop and strengthen adaptive coping mechanisms, providing them with tools to manage stress better and navigate challenging situations.

EMDR Therapy in California

Taking the first step towards EMDR therapy can be a daunting task and requires a lot of courage. It takes a lot of strength to seek help and start the healing process. Know that you are making a significant decision for your mental well-being.

At Nurturing Connections Counseling, we aim to make EMDR therapy easily accessible, destigmatized, affordable, and personalized to meet the unique needs of every individual. We offer therapy that is caring, committed and impactful. Our values include collaboration, quality care, and transparent business practices, making us a warm and caring choice for those seeking positive change.

Helping you live a more connected and fulfilling life.

Counseling for couples and individuals. Serving Tustin, Irvine, Orange, And Across California.

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