What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy was developed in 1987 to treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also help people with other trauma-based mental health disorders. In addition, EMDR for addiction can provide vital help for people in recovery from substance use disorders. A therapist must train in providing EMDR before beginning to provide this service. How EMDR works involves the therapist directing a person to use specific eye movements while they discuss the trauma they experienced. The therapist may also use lights or instruct the patient to perform certain hand movements or tapping motions during the sessions.
EMDR is a painless, non-invasive therapy that takes place over several phases that must be done in order. The phases include:
- History-taking and Treatment Planning: Discussion of past events and identifying treatment targets.
- Preparation: The therapist explains the treatment and introduces the person to the directed movements.
- Assessment: Identifying and activating things like memories, images, and sensations related to the trauma.
- Desensitization: The person becomes desensitized to the trauma memories as a result of using eye movements.
- Installation: This phase strengthens the preferred cognition.
- Body scan: The person identifies any residual distress they physically feel when thinking of their trauma, and treatment focuses on correcting that.
- Closure: Discussion to make sure all targets have been met.
- Reevaluation: The therapist evaluates how the entire treatment went and the person’s changed psychological state of mind.
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How Does EMDR Therapy Help With Addiction?
Often, when someone has been through one or more traumatic events, they find themselves unable to cope with what happened. They may turn to drinking alcohol or using drugs in order to feel relief or mask the side effects caused by trauma. This approach can inadvertently turn into an addiction. When this happens, receiving treatment for trauma proves as important as getting help for a substance use disorder.
In fact, when a person begins to heal from PTSD, it typically helps decrease their need to abuse drugs and alcohol. As well, becoming sober makes the individual more capable of addressing trauma and moving past its negative effects.
When a person discusses traumatic events under the guidance and direction of a trained therapist performing EMDR, it can provide a real healing process. By the time the treatment sessions have been completed, people commonly report a reduction in symptoms of PTSD. As well, many people report some of their symptoms have stopped altogether. They don’t relive the trauma the way they used to because they have now reprocessed the memories of what happened. For example, they can feel a sense of healthy detachment when thinking or talking about what happened. Much relief can be found in having neutral reactions instead of triggering, negative ones.
What to Expect During EMDR Therapy in Los Angeles, CA
A lot of people come to us having experienced trauma and in need of help to overcome a substance use disorder. We assess each person to understand their needs. We include EMDR for addiction therapy as part of the treatment plan for a lot of our patients. This gives them an increased chance of meeting their treatment goals. This includes improving both their physical and mental health.
The individual is paired with a therapist trained in performing EMDR therapy. The entire process of EMDR will be explained ahead of time so the person knows what to expect. This type of therapy is non-invasive and painless. The person gets to spend time talking to the therapist before the formal sessions begin. This allows a partnership to develop and helps put the person at ease.
Begin EMDR Therapy for Addiction in Los Angeles, California
Do you know that the trauma you experienced is holding you back? If you want help dealing with this along with treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, we have the right program for you. Renewal Health Group offers a highly effective EMDR for addiction program that gives people a leg up in recovery. Our trained EMDR therapists provide this motivational, non-invasive therapy for those with a background of trauma in their lives. We make it a part of our residential and outpatient programs for those who need it.
Visit our admissions page now and see how easy it is to get more information. Our friendly staff is standing by to answer any questions you have.