As an acronym, EMDR stands or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. As a therapy, it is a modernized nontraditional technique designed to help patients process trauma.
This article discusses trauma, substance use, and PTSD. Additionally, this article mentions physical and sexual assault, and may be triggering to some readers.
Reader’s discretion is advised.
Call now to ask questions about treatment for yourself or a loved one. Our helpline is free and confidential. Call (888) 906-0952
To understand EMDR treatment, understanding what EMDR is must come first. Furthermore, EMDR’s popularity is growing, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD often occurs after an individual experiences military combat, physical assault, sexual assault, car accidents, and other traumatic experiences.
When you first look, EMDR unusually approaches psychological issues. This therapy does not rely on talk therapy or medication. Instead, EMDR uses the patient’s rapid eye movements to dampen the intensity of traumatic events.
Using EMDR, you can work through the negative emotions connected to any past trauma you have endured throughout your life. Self-medicating is often a way to cope when you do not know any other way to cope with your past trauma.
However, learning how to live instead of just surviving offers you the opportunity to break the cycle of addiction and have a happy, safe, productive life.
Whatever you have gone through does not have to define you. Your past, however violent it may have been, is a part of you but is not who you are. Let us help you break that cycle; together, we can find the real you.
Call us at (405)583-4390, so we can find the best EMDR specialist for you and the program that will continue to help you in all areas along the way.
By understanding what EMDR is, you have the opportunity to become who you want to be.
EMDR is a relatively safe and effective therapy. Therefore, organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recommend it for people with PTSD.
Francine Shapiro, an American psychologist, developed EMDR therapy in the late 1980s. Rapid eye movement therapy was initially used to treat individuals with traumatic memories but is now successful in treating phobias, PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, and depression.
The treatment consists of eight phases. During these phases, people recall traumatic experiences while moving their eyes back and forth. Then, the therapist will direct the rapid eye movement therapy.
The purpose is to allow people to process and integrate these traumatic memories with their standard memories, removing the significance and horror of the trauma.
The theory is that remembering times of distress while distracted is less upsetting. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another PTSD treatment that is similar but without distraction.
It does involve remembering or discussing the traumatic event to identify and alter the thoughts. The processes for both are called exposure and cognition.
Traumatic memories make changes in the brain. These changes stop the mind from processing information correctly, which is the cause of anxiety and intrusive, upsetting thoughts about the trauma.
While recalling traumatic events during rapid eye movement therapy, the brain can reprocess the memory. EMDR treatment also treats symptoms that accompany traumatic experiences, such as self-harm, stress, and anger.
Practitioners today use it to treat many other conditions and issues, including the following:
Beginning research supports its application for some of these issues. Sometimes, people may choose to do EMDR therapy alongside other treatment options for the best overall results.
Many individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) struggle with an inability to cope with emotions from a traumatic event.
Because of this, drugs and alcohol become a way for the individual to escape distress or discomfort. Unfortunately, those traumatic events include childhood abuse and neglect.
PTSD is a mental health disorder after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event.
Some traumatic events that can cause PTSD are:
Some symptoms of PTSD include:
The increase of developing PTSD symptoms in adulthood comes from chronic emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and neglect in childhood. Often, the childhood trauma is from home in constant crisis because one or both parents are struggling with addiction.
Unfortunately, many individuals fail to realize their unrealized trauma contributes to their SUD.
The bottom line is that individuals who have experienced trauma are a significant factor in developing a SUD.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy can help someone cope with their trauma, provide life coping skills, and maintain their mental health.
The brain and emotional body appear to work similarly to wound healing. In other words, they both can heal and give off warning signs of an infection. EMDR therapy helps clear any trauma-processing blocks and brings mental and emotional relief.
EMDR therapy delivered to individuals experiencing an immediate and intense mental health crisis shows significant improvement in the individual’s likelihood of having continued problems.
Most individuals receiving EMDR therapy take less than ten sessions to cope with the traumatic event entirely. Excitingly, this provides an individual with the tool to move forward and leave the past behind while learning effective coping strategies as life progresses.
This technique has prevented admissions into mental health hospitals, reduced anxiety-related medical issues, decreased suicidal thoughts, cost savings, and reduced drug use.
Most participants in EMDR treatment required less than ten sessions to improve their emotional and physical responses to their trauma significantly.
For example, anxiety levels lowered by more than 50 percent, and post-intervention was down by more than 75 percent.
Lessened PTSD, depression, and suicidality are also an excellent reward for the hard work of EMDR therapy.
This technique allows individuals to:
Overall, the research supports a trauma-focused approach as an intervention, suggesting EMDR therapy as a recommended treatment to reduce PTSD, suicidal ideations, anxiety and depression, and trauma.
Moving forward, the actual implementation of EMDR treatment for SUDs and many other devastating issues is critical.
EMDR is currently mainly intended to treat PTSD from a traumatic event. However, although this therapy is in the infant stage compared to treatment like CBT, EMDR is also effective in other areas.
EMDR treatment prevents avoidance and promotes growth in a positive direction for you.
As many as 90 percent of trauma survivors have no PTSD symptoms after just three sessions: some as many as twenty. Each person is different and is affected differently by EMDR.
Most importantly, your well-being and healing are the priority. Not only is EMDR shown to be effective immediately, but it also has shown its benefits to persist over time.
Of course, not everyone seeking help for a substance use disorder is a candidate for EMDR. It is an intense therapy that takes an average of eight sessions to heal compared to years when just talking it through effectively. A good example is driving a car representing your healing at about 100 miles per hour.
The best individuals for EMDR participating in SUD treatment are:
This therapy is done in conjunction with traditional SUD treatment and should be considered a supplemental approach. With EMDR therapy, the ability of the mind to heal and process information is impressive.
The transformation you could have from depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol use to suppress memories and emotions to quick insights and positive thinking could be fantastic.
There is a program for you that will bring on this transformation. Help yourself reach your dreams by calling us today at (405)583-4390. We are here to help you start your journey to positivity and success!
 Finding Rehab for Complex PTSD and Substance Use Disorder (SUD)-abtrs.com
 Veterans and Substance Abuse-abtrs.com
 EMDR therapy: Benefits, effectiveness, and side effects (medicalnewstoday.com)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: A Conceptual Framework – PMC (nih.gov)
 Self-Medicating to Cope with Trauma: How EMDR Therapy Can Help in Substance Abuse Treatment | For Better | US News
Have Questions About Addiction Treatment? Give us a call at (888) 906-0952
New articles about addiction, treatment, and recovery sent directly to you!
Reading Time: 7 minutes If you are currently in a relationship with someone who struggles with addiction, it’s may be a relationship with codependent attributes.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Alcoholic neuropathy is nerve damage that occurs in someone who drinks alcohol excessively.
Reading Time: 7 minutes Published: 12/16/2022Updated: 3/9/2023 One of the biggest fears many individuals have is getting fired from a job due to substance use. Whether you use it