EMDR Therapy – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a one-on-one form of psychotherapy that is designed to reduce trauma-related stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to improve overall mental health functioning.

What Is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR treatment is an innovative and very effective approach to substance abuse treatment that has changed the lives of thousands of addicts. EMDR stands for “eye movement desensitization and reprocessing”. It is an advanced form of treatment that utilizes dual stimulation exercises as its primary approach to addiction recovery.

The exercises in question involve detailed discussion of past traumas that may be contributing to the patient’s addiction. At the same time, various parts of the brain are engaged via tones, taps, bilateral eye movements, and other such factors. By combining the two, the brain is rendered significantly easier to reprogram in a variety of ways.

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Not only do most patients that undergo EMDR treatment find it easier to win the ongoing battle against their addictions, but they learn newer, healthier ways of coping with and viewing past traumas and emotionally painful incidents. This can lead to a vastly improved quality of life overall, in addition to lasting addiction management.

Treatment is provided by an EMDR therapist, who first reviews the client’s history and assesses the client’s readiness for EMDR. During the preparation phase, the therapist works with the client to identify a positive memory associated with feelings of safety or calm that can be used if psychological distress associated with the traumatic memory is triggered. The target traumatic memory for the treatment session is accessed with attention to image, negative belief, and body sensations.

The Benefits of EMDR Treatment

The decision to finally seek professional care for your struggles with alcohol or drug addiction is a personal one, as well as a commendable one. It’s also the type of decision that comes after a lot of hardship and painful reflection. However, it’s important to realize going into the rehabilitation process that addiction recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of process.

There are many different approaches to treatment and while one may work perfectly for a given individual, it might not be a good fit at all for someone else. However, no matter what a given individual’s situation might be, it’s important to make sure that the chosen treatment style addresses all of the possible factors that may be contributing to an addiction.

EMDR Treatment for PTSD

The connection between the traumatic things that happen to us and the roots of an addiction is a proven fact. That said, treatments like EMDR that seek to not only identify but treat all possible factors related to addiction tend to also be the ones with the best track record for lasting success. Let’s take a closer look at what EMDR as an approach brings to the table.

High Rates of Success

It’s thought that up to 60% of recovering drug and alcohol addicts are also the victims of extreme trauma. It’s also been theorized that when a given patient has a history of repeated unsuccessful attempts at rehabilitation, untreated trauma is likely at least part of the equation. Such traumas can include but are not limited to childhood abuse, difficult experiences related to wartime service, being a witness to catastrophic events, and more.

EMDR is a treatment that is often recommended to addicts that have dealt with these traumas and others like them for a reason. It doesn’t just treat the addiction. It also treats the emotional pain that is contributing to that addiction, lowering the likelihood of relapse at some point in the future. Other people that most often benefit from this type of treatment include firefighters, police officers, soldiers, and first responders – people in high-stress professions that potentially expose them to repeated emotional trauma.

The most common motor task used in EMDR is side-to-side eye movements that follow the therapist’s finger; however, alternating hand tapping or auditory tones delivered through headphones can be used. The exercises are repeated until the client reports no emotional distress. The EMDR therapist then asks the client to think of a preferred positive belief regarding the incident and to focus on this positive belief while continuing with the exercises. The exercises end when the client reports with confidence comfortable feelings and a positive sense of self when recalling the target trauma. The therapist and client review the client’s progress and discuss scenarios or contexts that might trigger psychological distress. These triggers and positive images for appropriate future action are also targeted and processed.

How EMDR Improves Your Quality of Life

The ability to finally get the better of a debilitating addiction is only part of the possible outcome of EMDR therapy for substance abuse and addiction. Getting a handle on long-standing traumas and residual emotional pain from the past often improves the patient’s quality of life in ways they never foresaw. especially in the case of people living a sober life.

People’s self-esteem tends to improve, as does their ability to cope with stress of any kind. In many cases, an improved ability to maintain healthy relationships and be productive at a profession are also common results.

Does EMDR Therapy Reduce Likelihood of Relapse?

When it comes to drug and alcohol rehab, no one plans on having to repeat the process at a later date because of a relapse. However, avoiding relapse can be far more difficult for some people than others. EMDR therapy comes attached to one of the lowest rates of relapse out there. Even long-time addicts with a lifelong history of substance abuse find that they finally achieve lasting success when they give EMDR therapy a try.

EMDR Therapy Near Me?

Of course, deciding that EMDR therapy sounds like a good fit for you or someone you know and actually finding the right professionals to trust are two different matters altogether. Start your search by doing some research on the options available in your area. Consider speaking personally with a representative or visiting the facility in person to make sure it feels like a fit on a personal level. Budget, location, and the credentials of the professionals you’ll be working with are also important concerns.

While beating addiction once and for all is far from an easy process, it’s important to understand that it’s not an impossible one either. The right treatment options and qualified professionals can make all of the difference! Look into your options today.

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