When our brains perceive a threat in our environment, we automatically go into one of these stress response modes: Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn. From an PTSD world standpoint, these responses have served to protect us from overwhelming threats and physically, psychologically, or emotionally get to safety. However, for those who have lived through prolonged exposure to abuse or trauma, throughout childhood or in abusive adult relationships (often referred to as complex trauma), the threat feels like it was always there or never ceased, leaving many people in a world that seems unmanageable.
Most people have one or two dominant ‘stress responses that they typically fall back into as their main mode of reacting to stressful triggers and situations, or perceived threats. The goal is to process the trauma with EMDR, not manage symptoms or learn to ’cope’.
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