I have been a therapist for 17 years and am trained in various treatment methodologies for working with trauma. This includes:
EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique.
EMDR – one of the recommended treatments suggested by NICE
As someone who has worked as a hypnobirthing practitioner and trainer (the first in the country), and psychotherapist (trauma specialist) I have developed a programme of treatment, that includes the ‘Rewind’ technique which has helped me to achieve outstanding results with birth trauma.
My training course for birth professionals (including midwives) has recently been accredited by the RCM (Royal College of Midwives) and Human Givens Institute ( psychotherapy) and is set to change treatment offered by the NHS.
Although there are other techniques used for treating birth trauma, the reason that I use the ‘Rewind’ technique is that it is, by far, one of the fastest therapeutic methods for treating trauma, often offering complete relief from symptoms, in as little as one or two sessions. I have helped many women presenting with severe trauma symptoms, feel relief by the end of the first treatment.
So how does it work?
The ‘Rewind’ is a fast, effective, safe method of neutralising strong emotions that are attached to the birth trauma memory. By neutralising the emotions, the brain can process the memory (once trapped in the amygdala and firing anxiety and panic response – fight or flight) This helps the hippocampus create a narrative for the event so that it can be stored as a narrative memory in the neocortex, and relegated to the past, where it should be.
How is this done?
- After an initial consultation, the therapist will begin by relaxing the patient using deep relaxation techniques to lower arousal. This is vital for recoding the pattern/memory.
- The patient will be asked to imagine themselves in a relaxing place of their choosing whereby they feel particularly safe, secure and relaxed.
- They will be asked to imagine a television screen and using a remote control, watch the traumatic event, in a doubly dissociated state, wiz by at top speed on the screen.
- They patient will then be asked to float back into themselves after the traumatic event and then relive the event backwards or in reverse ‘rewind’ until before the trauma began.
- This is done several times in a deep state of relaxation until the memory of the trauma does not trigger any strong, unwanted emotions.
The benefits of using this treatment.
- The ‘rewind’ is a form of non-disclosure treatment which means there is no need for the patient to offer details of the trauma if they do not wish to. This is particularly useful if the patient fears reliving the strong emotions attached to their traumatic birth experience.
- To employ the ‘rewind’ technique it requires that the therapist takes the client into a deep state of calm and relaxation. This means that intense states of arousal can be carefully managed and kept right down whilst the patient gets in touch with the traumatic event.
- Because the patient is in a deep state of relaxation and the therapist is able to access the reprogramming part of the brain, other beneficial techniques, such as rehearsing a future birth experience as being positive with the patient feeling calm and in control, can be employed. The therapist may also employ metaphor and storytelling, another very powerful therapeutic tool.
- In my opinion, the ‘Rewind’ can also be used to prevent birth trauma. It is well documented that if a woman has suffered a previous trauma, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence etc. or she has a close relative or friend who has suffered abuse and she has listened to and imagined their suffering, she is more likely to have a traumatic birth experience. The ‘rewind’ can, therefore, be used to neutralise the emotions of these highly charged memories or future imaginings, so that they are not triggered during birth.