For many people who have experienced a traumatic birth, they are left with overwhelm, severe anxiety and in some cases PTSD. This can leave parents feeling hopeless, in a state of panic and reliving events through terrifying flashbacks. If these traumas aren’t resolved they permeate and interrupt lives and that can be devastating on a daily basis. Trauma causes our bodies to become stuck in a state of flight, fight or freeze and not knowing why this is happening can be equally confusing as it is frightening.
There are therapies that can help reverse and deal with the symptoms of a traumatic birth, pregnancy and even breastfeeding experience. As a qualified registered Midwife and 3 Step Rewind practitioner, I want to give you the best information and tools for you or a loved one to make the right decision for trauma recovery.
In this post, I am going to cover three therapies that are very effective for treating trauma. Those therapies are 3 Step Rewind, CBT and EMDR. You may have heard of these previously as they have excellent success rates in healing trauma-induced mental health problems. EMDR and CBT are also recommended by NICE guidelines for the treatment of Birth Trauma.
3 Step Rewind
This gentle technique, also known as the fast phobia cure is focused on gaining results in a shorter time period than CBT or EMDR. This therapy is rooted in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It works by allowing you, whilst in a safe relaxed state, to reprocess the memory so that it becomes stored as an ‘ordinary’, and non-threatening memory rather than one that continually activates a fight, flight or freeze response. This is done by enabling the memory to be moved from the amygdala to the neocortex.
As an experienced midwife, I have seen the negative effects of traumatic births on many parents. That’s why I am now working as a practitioner using this gentle 3 Step Rewind process. I work with women to help free them from the negative effects of trauma. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re looking to become pregnant again after a previous traumatic birth experience.
What is so compelling about this therapy is how fast we see results. If you decide that this therapy is suitable for you the next steps will look as below;
- 3 Step approach
- We will have a consultation call to determine whether 3 step rewind is appropriate for you now,
- The client will book session 1 lasting 90 minutes. I will post you a care package.
- Session one explores feelings in greater depth and finishes with a gentle relaxation.
- The client will also receive an audio to listen to in between sessions.
- In session two there will be a check-in from step 1 and then we carry out the Rewind with grounding exercises to finish (90 minutes).
- 10-14 days later step 3 will commence. This third session will last 30-45 minutes and is comprised of checking in, discussing results and feedback.
If you feel like this gentle therapy would be effective for you or you have more questions, you can book a free consultation with me here.
Here is my 3 Step Rewind page.
More information on 3 Step Rewind: https://www.hgi.org.uk/resources/delve-our-extensive-library/anxiety-ptsd-and-trauma/fast-cure-phobia-and-trauma-evidence
*Please note that Rewind may not be suitable for people with past complex traumas or if you’re still in a situation that causes trauma.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
This type of psychotherapy is comprised of cognitive and behavioural therapies. Cognitive therapy focuses on moods and thoughts. Behavioural therapy focuses on actions and behaviours. This therapy is beneficial if you are catastrophising situations, have all or nothing thinking. Negative thinking towards self or finding the negative in all situations. This technique is great when faced with stressors, learning how to control unbalanced, negative thoughts and challenging reactions. Whilst CBT does look at the thoughts and behaviours of the individual it does not focus on the root cause of the issue. Typical CBT process below;
- 6 x 1-hour sessions (potentially more depending on the severity of the individual)
- Assess the negative thought patterns and behaviours
- Practical homework to complete after each session
- Journal logging of your thoughts and reactions to events
- Discuss your journal with your therapist
- Learn new ways to react to thoughts & behaviours
- Learn positive and accurate self-talk practices
- Learn how to self evaluate on your own
If you are interested in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy please speak to your GP or health provider for more information.
You can read more on CBT here: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/cognitive-behavioral-therapy
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
This psychotherapy focuses on complex traumas and is a more lengthy process of 8 phases. The client will be asked to explore deep and potentially painful & distressing feelings. However working with layers, EMDR procedures and positive reinforcement, the client should finish this therapy feeling empowered over their past traumatic events. The clinician uses eye movement to determine which traumatic memory they will work on first, this is assessed whilst the client is holding thoughts of the trauma and tracing the clinician’s hand with their eye. Typical EMDR process below;
- 8 phase process,
- Minimum of 12 hours
- Phase 1 History taking & assessment
- Phase 2 Imagery and stress reduction techniques
- Phase 3-6 EMDR Therapy procedures
- Phase 7 Journal logging & closure
- Phase 8 Assessment of progress
If you’re experiencing complex trauma and feel like EMDR might be right for you, you can read more in-depth details on the procedure and benefits here: https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
These are wonderful therapies and techniques that can enhance your mental wellbeing and help you move on from trauma. Not all therapies will be the right fit depending on where you are in your journey and what level of trauma you have experienced. If you’re unsure of which therapy may be right for you, always consult your GP or health care provider so they can help you make the right decision.
If 3 Step Rewind feels like the right process for you or you would like to know more, then please book a free consultation with me. I look forward to working with you.