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Nightmares due to trauma

Did you experience a shocking or traumatic event? It goes without saying that you still have a lot to deal with in the first days after the event. Not only during the day, but also at night the film of the event often plays again and sometimes you even dream about it. For most people, this will diminish over time and disappear. This means that the event has been given a place to live. But if you continue to have nightmares, there is more to the story.

What is the nightmare cause?

A nightmare is a bad or scary dream of what happened to you. This is the result of an unprocessed trauma. The event plays over and over again in your head like a flashback. If you suffer from this, then you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A characteristic of PTSD is the re-experiencing of the trauma, both during the day and at night while sleeping. You do not only see the event during a nightmare, you also feel what you felt then and what your thoughts were. A nightmare comes very close to reality and can cause considerable sleep problems. If you have this every night, or several nights a week, then you can speak of a nightmare disorder, with PTSD as the cause.
Nightmares due to trauma

What are the complaints?

What everyone with PTSD recognises is the increased vigilance. You are constantly looking for stimuli that might put the trauma back on your mind. You want to avoid these stimuli, so you are never really relaxed. Alertness, restlessness and anxiety are not only experienced during the day, but also at night, especially if a trauma recurs in a nightmare. It goes without saying that a poor night of sleep has an impact on daily life. With PTSD it is already difficult to function normally during the day and sleeping problems will only make it worse. In order to be able to sleep to some extent, medication is sometimes used, but this too is not conducive to getting rid of a PTSD or a nightmare.

What to do about nightmares?

Doing something about a nightmare is difficult. After all, you have little influence on what you dream during sleep. But it is a logical consequence of an unprocessed trauma, that this event recurs in a nightmare. Bad dreams can only be combated by processing the trauma. The trauma must be given a place, so that the event no longer keeps you awake. A nightmare treatment, or a treatment for trauma processing, is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

How to combat nightmares with EMDR?

Not only intense dreams in which a trauma is relived, but all complaints resulting from a trauma can only be combated after trauma processing. EMDR is a proven successful treatment method for this. The treatment was developed in 1989 by an American psychologist, distraction from the trauma is a central practice. The exact working of EMDR in the brain is still being studied scientifically. However, it has been scientifically proven that EMDR is successful in processing trauma.

During the session, the client is supposed to recall the trauma, including all the feelings and thoughts of the moment. The therapist then distracts the client with a hand gesture or with a sound signal. During the distraction, the client no longer thinks about the trauma. This must be done repeatedly, so that a kind of habituation arises, which allows the client to recall the traumatic moment over and over again and to put it away during a distraction. In this way the trauma gets a place. Of course, emotions may still be felt when thinking back to the event, but it has less influence on daily functioning. Also bad dreams with a reliving of the trauma will in time no longer occur. With successful treatment, healing of PTSD is possible.

Even better EMDR treatments with Psylaris

The founders of Psylaris originally came from the mental healthcare sector and felt that mental healthcare should be better and more easily accessible. For this purpose, Psylaris developed various tools and innovations. One example is EMDR-Remote. This is an online platform, whereby an EMDR treatment at a distance is possible. On the platform, the practitioner can make video calls with the client and enable digital distraction tasks. In this way, clients who are chained to their homes can still receive treatment.

Psylaris is also working on virtual reality with various VR modules for VR glasses. Psylaris has developed the module EMDR-VR . If distraction with the hands does not work sufficiently, VR glasses are an option. This allows the client to be completely cut off from the outside world and the distraction is very intense. The VR glasses can be used during a session in the treatment room, but also from home. Both with EMDR-Remote and EMDR-VR it is possible to treat more frequently, at lower costs and with a better time planning.


EMDR therapy with modern methods

As a developer of modern methods and tools in mental healthcare, Psylaris has also made EMDR easy with modern techniques. Virtual reality, for example, plays an increasingly important role in the mental healthcare sector. With EMDR-VR and EMDR-plus, Psylaris has developed a VR-module. The module can easily be used by the practitioner and has many distraction possibilities. The client gets a more intense distraction than during a regular treatment. The VR glasses can be used both at home and in the treatment room. This makes both the practitioner and the client more flexible.

If the client is unable to come to the treatment centre, Psylaris uses EMDR-remote to make it possible to receive EMDR treatment at home. EMDR-remote is the online EMDR platform of Psylaris, where the practitioner and the client can conduct an EMDR session via video calling. Again, the practitioner has many possibilities to distract and the client, who is chained to the house, is still being treated.

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