Trauma seeps in to every part of our lives. From relationships, to work, to personal care and routines, trauma can impact our behaviors, actions, emotions, and even our outlook on life… whether we realize it or not. As caregivers, it is especially important that we understand this, so that we may be aware of the complex impact of trauma on a person, and how it affects their lives, including how they cope with the very trauma. We must be careful to understand that trauma could affect a patient through every step of treatment, so emotional and psychological safety is of utmost importance.
Remember that when we think of “trauma,” and “trauma-informed care,” the term can be applied to more people than those dealing with situations that we usually relate to trauma, such as physical abuse. It can be those who suffer from or have a history of mental illness that has changed their lives, those with wounds from emotional abuse that you cannot see, and many more examples of less obvious traumas.
3 Ways Emotional Freedom Technique Compliments Trauma Informed Care
1.EFT Lowers Anxiety to Prepare for TIC
A patient’s safety is always top priority, so confidence and competence in a survivor’s ability to self-regulate and not flood with emotions is crucial in the Trauma Informed Care process. Before beginning to address the trauma, EFT can be taught as a tool to prepare the patient and give them access to a resource that will help them take control.
Even in my own EFT business, I realized that many of my clients forward movement was hindered by subconscious-level messages that they had no desire to face and they had spent the majority of their lives blocking out. The majority stemmed from subconscious traumas, or small t’s (read my blog about those here).
2. EFT Can Build the Cognitive Bridge
Trauma changes how a person regulates their thoughts and feelings, and their ability to care for themselves emotionally and psychologically. TIC also recognizes that a person with a history of trauma may not think of himself or herself as a trauma survivor, and may not even be fully aware of how that trauma is shaping their lives. EFT can help with the process of making the cognitive bridge back to the trauma to understand how the past event impacts their current behaviors. Tapping calms the amygdala and allows the frontal lobes to come back online so they can think clearly. “OH, I see, I am not setting a boundary with my coworker because of the trauma with my dad when I was seven.” Once it is safe to be in the body, these cognitive bridges occur with ease.
3. EFT Can Combat Hypo/Hyperarousal
A therapist who is trauma-informed knows that the mind and body of a person with unhealed trauma is functioning in an altered way. That person may be easily triggered to feel too much emotional intensity (hyperarousal), or shut down and unable to feel much at all (hypoarousal). The beauty of EFT is that the calming of the limbic system allows for self regulation, helping a patient to calm themselves or to feel safe in their bodies so that they are able to express emotions.
As caregivers, we focus not only on the behaviors people want to change, but why those behaviors exist for long lasting relief. A trauma informed approach ensures that we are reaching deeply to make that change one that will last. Tapping is the perfect treatment to compliment trauma-informed care, bringing the body and the mind into healing to understand not only conscious anxieties, but subconscious traumas holding patients back from progress.