Trauma Counselling After Car Accident
If you’ve been in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA), even if you are fully responsible for a collision, you may be eligible for some ICBC accident benefits, called “Part-7 benefits” These benefits include medical and rehabilitation benefits, which includes counselling services.
If you were involved in an MVA, reported the incident to ICBC and experiencing symptoms such as anxiety, fear of driving, flashbacks, sleep problems, trouble with concentration, feelings of sadness, depression, anger or other PTSD symptoms you are eligible for counselling sessions as part of Part-7 benefits.
Even if you weren’t harmed physically, the body still reacts to pain which shows up as symptoms of psychological distress and fears. This is a normal response of the body to a traumatic event and you just need some time to recover, however, with the right strategies and support, a period of your recovery can be shortened greatly.
Addressing psychological and emotional issues along with physical traumas helps the body to heal faster, answer the questions ‘why me’ and deal with such emotions as guilt, shame or anger.
Therapies I use that successfully reduce symptoms of PTSD
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Motor vehicle accident (MVA) survivors may suffer from both acute and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). From research findings, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is considered as one of the effective treatment of PTSD. Special EMDR protocol is used to quickly stops the fight, flight freeze response that is being activated when you think of the incident.
You may experience anxiety, depression, fear of driving or fear of being a passenger, strong feelings such as anger when you see a car approaching or you just have an urge to run away. You might notice you have shallow breathing, the tension in the body or upset stomach. EMDR therapy calms the amygdala in the brain that is our alarm center causing survival response of fight, flight and freeze. It’s fast and effective. Clients can get relief quickly and their symptoms can often be treated in fewer than 10 sessions.
Observed Experiential Integration (OEI)
OEI therapy is also an effective method to work with those symptoms, however, it has a more ‘gentle’ approach. This method is used with people who have a very strong response to EMDR therapy to the point of re-traumatizing. So, we would use OEI instead to calm the nervous system first. Trauma therapy shouldn’t cause harm. Most of the time we don’t need details because they might bring unnecessary suffering. OEI works more with bodily sensations, so, it would be perfect for those who are attuned to their body.
We can not change the past events but we can change a reaction towards them and store them in our memory and remember them without intense emotions. The OEI process entails covering the eyes alternatively with the goal to integrate both parts to level and to calm down disturbing throughs, emotions and feelings.
Many of my clients report significant changes in their anxiety level after OEI treatment and feel noticeable relief from negative feelings due to a traumatic event.
Life Span Integration (LI) on PTSD symptoms
This therapy works on reducing symptoms of PTSD after recent trauma. PTSD is a condition when your body believes that a traumatic danger is still imminent. Your body is still guarding against the past trauma, not realizing that it’s over. You survived the trauma but your nervous system will protect you. Your nervous system activates fight or flight response to protect you but also prevents you from moving forward. Your body is still trapped at that moment. This is why you have flashbacks. The therapy helps to process those memories and helps the nervous system realize that the danger is over and it can relax not.