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EMDR for big and small T trauma!

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Have you ever had a recurring dream? It's great if you're dreaming of ice cream or your favorite celebratory - but what if it's not a pleasant dream? What if it's disturbing or reliving of an unpleasant experience?

Some people have recurring dreams not only when they're sleeping but also flashbacks when they are awake. You might find yourself involuntarily thinking about past events. These are called intrusive thoughts.

Flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts can sometimes be signs of trauma. Many people assume that the word "trauma" refers to capital T Trauma. Big and obvious things. However, small t traumas (i.e. nonlife-threatening) such as sudden losses, miscarriages, certain types of breakups, divorce, relocation, bullying or even witnessing trauma can have a significant impact on the neuro-networkings in the brain.

Long-term stress and increased neural processing during a traumatic event combine to increase the frequency of intrusive traumatic memories and the distress they cause. This increased neural processing is found in the brain regions relating to emotion and memory.

This is why memory is often affected during or after a big or small T trauma. It is also why some people experience trauma more significantly than others,

EMDR therapy treats trauma. It works to move maladaptively stored information from one part of the brain and to store it in a more adaptive and healthy manner. EMDR can treat the small and big T traumas as well as the related symptoms of sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts.

EMDR is evidenced as being more effective than other trauma treatments including for clients of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

One of the most significant aspects of EMDR that makes it so incredible is that

EMDR therapy is NOT traditional talk therapy!

When engaged with EMDR therapy clients are not required or encouraged to write down, tell or describe copious details of the small or big T traumas.

Bypassing the verbal systems means we empower the brain to do what it does best - heal itself!

Curious if EMDR therapy would work for you? Connect with us for a free 20minute consult HERE!

Farah trauma counsellor

Farah Kurji (BSW, MSW, RCSW, YTT, EMDR CIT) is an advanced trained clinician specializing in trauma, loss, anxiety, and depression. She includes EMDR & CBT amongst her treatment modalities. Farah also provides clinical consultations and debriefing. You can book with her or her team HERE.



Chen Y-R, Hung K-W, Tsai J-C, Chu H, Chung M-H, Chen S-R, et al. (2014) Efficacy of Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for Patients with Posttraumatic-Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. PLoS ONE 9(8): e103676.

Elsevier. "Neural processing with trauma and adversity interact to increase core symptom of PTSD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2019. <>.


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