If you have ever been through a terrible event or series of events from which you never fully recovered, you probably have post-traumatic stress disorder. People typically feel powerless, afraid, and even physically incapacitated after such occurrences.
There are, however, various DIY ways to help care for yourself and get through. The following are six of the most effective ways to recover from a traumatic event at home without the help of a therapist.
- Self-directed EMDR
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a technique for dealing with bad memories by moving your eyes in a certain way as you think about them. Therapists use this method to help people work through difficult or traumatic events, ordinarily with professional guidance in an office setting. In addition to professional EMDR services done in the therapist’s office, a DIY (do-it-yourself), self-guided, at-home EMDR therapy option is also available.
How to Run an EMDR DIY Session at Home
- Get Ready for Your Session
Find a place where nothing will disturb you while doing your sessions in your home. Set the TV (or mobile device) up so that it is the right distance and height from your eyes, and then settle into a comfortable chair.
- Decide which EMDR workout video to use.
You can choose the one you like from the many helpful videos on YouTube.
- Dig Into Your Memories
Spend a few minutes tuning into your memories or the experience that traumatized you. Allow yourself to remember that time, that age, that person, that statement, etc. Allow the painful emotions to surface rather than squelch them.
- Conduct Your Session
Start playing the EMDR video after summoning up the traumatizing memory. Let your eyes follow the light as it moves back and forth. Set a ten- or fifteen-minute timer before the start of the session so you don’t have to track how much time has passed. It will allow you to focus entirely on receiving the benefits of the treatment.
- Rest and process
Next, take some time to relax and reflect on what just occurred. Depending on the intensity of your emotions, the feelings may be strong or mild.
EMDR is an ongoing process. You can expect to go through 6–8 sessions focusing on the same memories before seeing tangible changes.
Please use the self-administered EMDR only for “minor” or more recent traumas!
2. Somatic Experiencing
Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a type of body-centered reframing created by Peter Levine. Its goal is to help people become more aware of their physical feelings so that they can heal from traumatic events. SE tries to deal with interoceptive feelings and experiences that may have been traumatic by putting the focus on how the body feels from the inside.
An example of a six-step somatic exercise you can do yourself
Breathe in and out. Pay attention to the emotions and thoughts you experience throughout your body. Increase your breathing pace and heartbeats, and observe everything as your body heats up.
- Think about being safe.
Imagine a time in the recent past when you felt the most at ease, the safest, and the most like “yourself.”
Try to remember the exact moment you first felt uneasy or stressed out and the specific area of your body that was affected.
- Replay the event
Play it back slowly, from a relaxed mood to a tense one (as if you were watching a movie in slow motion). Think about what happened recently and note any stressful or unpleasant parts, such as specific people, words, things, or actions.
- Tune in
Pay attention to how your body reacts as you think about the event, such as tingling, tightening, heating, numbing, or freezing in your limbs, face, or all over.
- Healing hands.
If you feel anything has shifted or changed in your body, put your hand on that area and take a few deep breaths. A hand action as simple as putting your hands over your heart can help release and process a range of emotions.
Through this, you can release tension, and the body can process the traumatic event more efficiently and safely.
3. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT requires that you pay close attention to the thoughts that cross your mind while you work to overcome your trauma. You can do CBT at home by trying hard to keep track of your thoughts, finding the ones that don’t help, and replacing them with healthy ones. Keeping a journal or any other record of your negative thoughts is a good way to track them throughout the day.
If you want to practice self-directed CBT, the following recommendations may be useful:
- Choose a book that speaks to you.
- Read a book or article with a strong scientific foundation.
- Schedule time to concentrate on the program. Although there is a strong probability that you will always have conflicting obligations, it is preferable to avoid times when you are overcommitted since treatment is more likely to be put on hold.
- Please adhere to the program as strictly as you can.
4. Psychopharmacology (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
The most recent research shows that you can treat PTSD with SSRIs like paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertraline, as well as SNRIs. Only paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft) have the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval to treat PTSD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers any medicine not on the label to be “off-label,” even if there may be some evidence to support that use.
Even if you don’t suffer from trauma, regular exercise may help you in many ways. Physically, it may help improve cardiovascular health, reduce weight, and increase flexibility.
Researchers at Loughborough University looked at several studies on how sports and fitness affect PTSD in military veterans. Overall, they came to the following conclusions: The benefits of exercise for veterans studied included reduced symptoms and improved coping skills.
6. Online EMDR
Clients now have easier access to therapy because of the rise of telehealth, and it is increasingly feasible to use EMDR in online care settings.
Online eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapies have helped millions of people, so it is based on methods that have been shown to work. This cutting-edge integrative talk therapy approach has been tested and effectively treats emotional disorders like PTSD, grief, anxiety, and depression caused by trauma.
A few benefits of online EMDR treatment include the following:
- No travel charges
- Time-saving, since there is no need to travel
- If you have social phobia (trouble interacting with others), staying home while receiving the treatment helps greatly.
- Attend meetings at your convenience while staying at home.
- increased privacy
- COVID-19 restrictions may require you to stay home, but you may still participate in therapy sessions.
The basic requirements for a virtual EMDR session
- a robust and reliable internet connection
- a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or desktop computer
- music earbuds, headphones, or earphones, a webcam, or a gadget with a built-in camera
- an uninterrupted, peaceful, and safe environment where you are free to speak without interference
- a phone: If there are any technical issues with the platform or connection to the internet, your therapist will be able to swiftly get in touch with you if you have a phone close by throughout the session.
Virtual trauma therapy sessions with TurboEmdr
TurboEMDR is a leading online, self-guided Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing program. It is based on the tried-and-true procedures of traditional one-on-one EMDR therapy.
Mental health professionals and practitioners designed TurboEMDR specifically for online care. Each month, it runs hundreds of successful EMDR therapy sessions and has become the world’s leader in virtual EMDR sessions.
The best feature of TurboEMDR is that it does not require the presence of a therapist to be used. Since we give in-depth guidance, you’ll never be in the dark in your therapy session. We’ll teach you how to use it therapeutically so that you get the most out of it. It’s so easy that you could do it by yourself.