Addiction treatment has improved since it first emerged in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Experts have developed various methods to help people overcome the disease. One of these is EMDR therapy, which is relatively new in addiction treatment even though it’s been around since the 1980s. After years of studies, rehab centers have started to use it more to treat addiction.

What Is EMDR Treatment?

Therapist working with client on EMDR therapy.EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. This therapy technique helps people heal from the trauma that causes some of the underlying emotional issues of addiction. It demonstrates that the mind can recover from trauma just like the body heals from physical injuries.

The reason why this treatment works for addiction is that trauma is a common cause of drug use. People who suffer from emotional distress may self-medicate to relieve their symptoms. The only way for them to recover is to address the trauma that caused their symptoms. EMDR therapy facilitates the healing process by helping people reprocess the disturbing events.

How EMDR Therapy Works

To get the most out of EMDR treatment, it comprises a combination of elements. Through eight phases, it focuses on memories, current situations, and positive future actions. The goal is for people to feel empowered by the events that cause them distress.

Phase One

During the first phase of treatment, therapists and clients identify distressing memories or situations. Knowing the issues to target helps therapists develop treatment plans. They also discuss the development of behaviors and skills that the clients will need for future conditions. This planning stage usually takes just one therapy session but could take more.

Phase Two

Therapists ensure that their clients have ways to handle emotional distress in the second stage. They might teach a range of stress-reduction strategies to use during and between sessions. The objective is for their clients to maintain balance as they experience quick and effective change.

Phases Three to Six

The next four phases initiate the procedures of EMDR therapy. The clients must recall a vivid image of the trauma and identify negative and positive beliefs about themselves. They also have to recognize the emotions and physical sensations that they felt at the time of the incident.

Next, therapists have the clients rate the negative and positive beliefs. Then, they have the clients focus on the memories, negative beliefs and sensations. Meanwhile, therapists use bilateral stimulation such as tones, taps or eye movements. The length and type vary depending on the clients’ needs.

After the stimulation, therapists instruct their clients to let their minds go blank and observe whatever happens. Then, they choose the next stimulation based on what the clients report. Therapists repeat this process numerous times in a single session. They follow established protocols to help clients get back on track if they have trouble progressing or feel distressed.

When clients report no distress about their traumas, therapists have them think about the positive beliefs that they identified. The clients can modify these beliefs for other distressing events. As EMDR treatment progresses, the ratings for the negative beliefs should decrease. At the same time, the ratings for the positive beliefs should increase.

Phase Seven

Closure is the premise of the seventh phase of treatment. Therapists ask their clients to keep a journal. It should include anything of importance that arises during the sessions. The journal serves as a reminder of the self-calming techniques that they’ve mastered.

Phase Eight

The final phase starts the next EMDR therapy session. It involves examining the clients’ progress so far. It also assesses their past, current and future events.

How Long Does EMDR Treatment Last

Most of the time, a single session takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The number of sessions that clients need depend on the severity of the traumas. However, five sessions are the average. Those who have suffered multiple traumas also require more sessions than others.

Santé Center for Healing Uses EMDR Treatment

If you’ve developed an addiction after self-medicating because of a trauma, EMDR therapy could help you recover. Santé Center for Healing can determine whether or not this treatment is ideal for you. We’re able to do this because we spend three days evaluating your situation. Doing so allows us to devise a treatment plan that starts with detox programs and continues through rehab and an aftercare program.

Santé Center for Healing provides more than EMDR treatment. Our range of services includes many programs and therapies, including:

Don’t let addiction or a past trauma dictate how you live. EMDR can help. Overcome your problems with help from Santé Center for Healing. Contact our detox and rehab center at 866-238-3154 now to begin your new life.