What Happens In EMDR Therapy?

EMDR Therapy and Addiction

Lumiere Healing Centers

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to relieve distress associated with traumatic memories. It enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. When the system is blocked or imbalanced by a disturbing event, emotional wounds can cause intense suffering. If the block is removed the healing can resume. EMDR Therapy is an eight phase treatment containing numerous components that are considered to contribute to treatment effects including a variety of imagery and stress reduction techniques, including eye movement desensitization.

The Role of EMDR Therapy and Substance Abuse

Trauma related use of EMDR can be applied to many situations, especially addiction. Many individuals with a type of substance abuse disorder have also experienced numerous traumas. Treatment for these secondary disorders should be integrated and the use of EMDR can be helpful for some in this position. There are two specific protocols for relieving cravings and euphoria recall. (DETUR and Cycle Mode)

For some, past trauma is a contributor to their addiction, substance abuse being a means of self-medication to escape from reality. For others, people have experienced trauma during their addiction. The addiction will most likely continue unless the main source of trauma feeding the addiction can resolved.

A specific example of expanding EMDR therapies for addiction treatment is (FSAP) Feeling State Addiction Protocol. This type of therapy is related to addiction and compulsion. The FSAP method  tries to break the connection between the positive feeling and associated destructive behavior. It also helps to process the negative beliefs associated with compulsion.

FSAP is believed to be an effective source of treatment for:

  • Anger
  • Substance Abuse
  • Behavioral Addictions
  • Abusive Relationships

Why Is EMDR Important in Substance Abuse?

Not only is EMDR Therapy an excellent standalone treatment, but it can also be used in combination with other interventions such as depression, addiction and trauma. EMDR Therapy is not without its detractors, some claim the eye movement portion of EMDR is not essential. Nonetheless, there is a large foundation of evidence to support it’s role as a successful mode of therapy within addiction treatment programs.

Dr. Jamie Marich, PH.D, an expert in the field of addiction treatment and EMDR, was quoted on her viewpoint of the effectiveness of EMDR Therapy and addiction treatment. “EMDR is most effective when used as part of a comprehensive plan for treating addiction that must also include appropriate social supports and teaching of new lifestyle skills. EMDR is not the quick fix.”

Dr. Stephen Dansiger, another expert In addiction treatment and EMDR, was quoted saying: “EMDR Therapy can play a central role in addiction treatment since trauma plays a central role in addiction etiology. Many people come into addiction treatment with diagnosable PTSD, and in that case EMDR is indicated as a front line treatment.”

Let Us Help

If you have any questions about the benefits of EMDR Therapy and/or addiction treatment, please contact Lumiere Healing Centers today at 513-909-2225.





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