What is PTSD?

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can result when a traumatic experience gets locked into the central nervous system. The experience resulted in such high levels of adrenaline and cortisol production that normal memory processes were overwhelmed and instead fragments of memory are now stored in a dysfunctional way in the brain. The normal alarm response to threat and danger is now in overdrive so that anything might trigger the same physiological, mental and emotional reaction that was occurring at the time of the trauma. Think of it like a faulty car alarm that goes off when the wind blows creating chaos and noise and false alarm continually and is no longer reliable.

Symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms typically cluster into three main areas: intrusive such as flash-backs or nightmares, avoidance where behaviour is all about reducing exposure to triggers and intrusive symptoms and hyper-arousal where there are physical signs of hyper-vigilance, exaggerated startle response, insomnia, poor appetite, increased use of alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, quick to anger or rage, impatience and irritability. Less obvious symptoms might be poor self-esteem, loss of confidence, deteriorating relationships, withdrawal from relationships and life, lack of joy in what used to be joyful activities, alternating between hyper-arousal and numbing out sensations, risk-seeking behaviours, constant feelings of something bad about to happen or happening, persistent feelings of guilt and shame.

What is Trauma? >>

What is EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing ?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, (EMDR) is recognized as a powerful and effective form of trauma treatment worldwide and in North America by the American Psychiatric Association, the US Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defence, the UK Department of Health and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies amongst many other international health and government agencies. Approximately 20 controlled studies have investigated the effects of EMDR and consistently found that it effectively decreases/eliminates the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients. Improvements are often reported in other associated symptoms like anxiety and depression. Learn More about EMDR >>


Transform Trauma into Trust

Gillian Ashley-Martz can help transform your trauma into trust through Equine Assisted EMDR (EAEMDR). EAEMDR is an emerging field of EMDR recently approved by the International Association of EMDR, (EMDRIA). Gillian is the first EMDR practitioner in Canada to be trained in this new protocol which combines the principles and practices of Equine Guided Therapy with the 8 phases of EMDR therapy.