EMDR is also known as eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing. This specific form of therapy is offered to those who suffer from past trauma or neglect, PTSD, or adjustment issues. They refine the technique of using lateral eye movements to help people process the effects of trauma. During the procedure, the therapist has the individual think about certain aspects of the trauma associated with stress and emotional reactions. The therapist moves their fingers back and forth in front of the visual field and they follow with their eyes. Now it is being used for people with addiction to help them work on the challenges that accompany this disease, along with mental health issues and past trauma.
How EMDR Developed
Originally designed to treat trauma that results in emotional adjustment issues, EMDR lists disorders under the heading Trauma and Stress-Related Disorders in the DSM-5. This manual outlines various clinical diagnoses. EMDR was intended to help with PTSD, adjustment disorders, and stress disorder, but there are more uses being found for this therapeutic technique than ever thought possible. The way EMDR works is by creating a treatment package for the person seeking support. This includes:
- Session assignments and homework to practice in session and at home to deal with emotional issues more effectively
- Develop a strong therapeutic alliance to have more success in treatment if the person trusts them
- Exposure treatment as part of reprocessing trauma, especially when the people are instructed to visualize and hear aspects of the experience involving the senses
- Cognitive restructuring, focused on re-conceptualizing attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs that are realistic and functional, borrowing some techniques from CBD therapy
Supporting Addiction Recovery
The belief of the use of EMDR is that treating trauma is about helping the person who suffers from addiction so they have less compulsion towards substances. Therapists who use EMDR approach addiction from a trauma-informed perspective. EMDR can play a central role in addiction treatment. Many people who suffer from substance use disorders have diagnosable PTSD. This makes EMDR a front-line therapy and logical choice that helps people reduce the risk of relapse. It is also effective in treating what is called addiction memory, where the general memory of the loss of control or drug-specific memory of the effects remains and leads to drug use. There is hope and healing available for people who struggle with trauma, addiction, and past issues with abuse. The hope is that healing is available for those who seek the opportunity and desire to be healthy and well with the use of advanced techniques in EMDR and other trauma-informed therapies.
Oceanfront employs the use of EMDR techniques, alongside other therapeutic techniques from a trauma-informed perspective. Our goal is to give you the best individualized care you need for your treatment program to help you recover from drug abuse. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295