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EMDR Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Phase One: History-taking and Treatment Planning

The therapist and client collaborate to identify treatment targets, including memories, current triggers, and future goals. The therapist also explains the treatment and introduces the client to the procedures, ensuring they have the necessary resources for affect management.

The therapist activates the targeted memory and assesses its various components, including image, cognition, affect, and body sensation, using measures such as the Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) scale and the Validity of Cognition (VOC) scale.

The client focuses on the targeted memory while engaging in eye movements or other BLS, reporting any new thoughts that emerge. The therapist uses standardized procedures to determine the focus of each set of BLS, continuing the process until the memory is no longer distressing.

The therapist strengthens the preferred positive cognition to solidify its impact.

Clients are asked to observe their physical response while thinking of the incident and their positive cognition, identifying any residual somatic distress. Standardized procedures involving the BLS are used to process any reported disturbance.

Closure is used to end the session, providing containment and ensuring safety until the next session if the targeted memory is not fully processed. The therapist evaluates the client’s current psychological state and re-evaluates treatment effects, working with the client to identify targets for the current session.

The next session begins with re-evaluation, during which the therapist assesses the client’s current psychological state, treatment effects, and any memories that have emerged, and collaborates with the client to identify targets for the current session.

The following session begins with phase eight, re-evaluation, in which the therapist assesses the client’s current psychological state. They check if treatment effects have been sustained, explore any new memories that may have surfaced since the last session, and collaborate with the client to establish goals for the current session.

How Can EMDR Therapy Help Treat Substance Abuse?

EMDR therapy is primarily known for its effectiveness in treating trauma-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which develops as a result of traumatic events. However, some therapists have explored its potential application in treating addiction as well. While research in this area is still evolving, here are some ways in which EMDR therapy may be beneficial in addressing addiction:

Trauma Resolution

Many individuals with addiction have experienced traumatic events in their lives, and unresolved trauma can be a contributing factor to the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors. EMDR aims to help individuals process and integrate traumatic memories, reducing the emotional charge associated with them. By addressing underlying trauma, it may contribute to a decrease in the need to self-medicate with substances.

EMDR therapy can target specific traumatic memories or situations that trigger cravings for substances. By desensitizing the emotional charge associated with these triggers, individuals may experience a reduction in the intensity and frequency of cravings, making it easier to resist the urge to use substances.

Addiction often involves difficulties in emotional regulation. EMDR can help individuals develop more adaptive ways of coping with emotions by reprocessing the negative emotions linked to past traumas. This may lead to improved emotional regulation and a decreased reliance on substances for emotional relief.

EMDR involves identifying and reprocessing negative core beliefs that individuals hold about themselves. These negative beliefs may contribute to low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness, which can be associated with substance abuse. By challenging and reprocessing these beliefs, individuals may develop a more positive self-concept, reducing the need to self-soothe with substances.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy incorporate elements of mindfulness, which can be valuable in addiction treatment. Mindfulness techniques can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and feelings without judgment, providing them with healthier ways to cope with distress.

EMDR is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment approach that may include other therapeutic modalities and support services. Individuals considering EMDR for addiction treatment should consult with mental health professionals experienced in both mental health disorders and substance use disorders to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for their specific needs. Fortunately, Immersive Recovery is here to address co-occurring substance abuse and mental health conditions using therapeutic approaches such as EMDR.

Our EMDR Therapy Approach

At Immersive Recovery, we understand that addiction is often rooted in past trauma, and our EMDR therapy can help address these underlying issues. Our programs are designed to meet you where you are on your journey to recovery, whether you need intensive care or ongoing support.

EMDR Therapy in Our PHP

Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) provides a higher level of care, with structured programming throughout the day, while our IOP and OP programs offer flexibility for those who need to maintain work or family commitments. And our sober living homes provide a supportive community for those transitioning back to independent living.

The PHP at Immersive Recovery is designed for individuals who require a higher level of care. This program provides structured programming throughout the day, including group therapy, individual therapy, and experiential therapies such as art therapy, yoga, and meditation. Our PHP program is ideal for individuals who require intensive care and support as they begin their journey to recovery.

Our intensive outpatient program is designed for individuals who require flexible care. This program provides therapy and support that allows individuals to maintain work or family commitments while still receiving the care they need. Our IOP includes group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy, as well as experiential therapies such as equine therapy, music therapy, and adventure therapy.

Our outpatient program is designed for individuals who require ongoing support as they continue their journey to recovery. This program provides therapy and support that allows individuals to maintain their independence while still receiving the care they need. Our OP program includes group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy, as well as experiential therapies such as hiking, surfing, and rock climbing.

Our sober living homes provide a supportive community for those transitioning back to independent living. Our homes offer a safe and comfortable environment where individuals can continue their recovery journey while building connections with others who are also on the path to recovery. Our sober living homes offer a range of amenities, including fully furnished apartments, on-site laundry facilities, and a 24-hour staff.

At Immersive Recovery, we believe that addiction is a treatable disease, and we are committed to helping you achieve lasting recovery. Our team of professionals is dedicated to providing personalized care that addresses your specific needs and goals. In addition to EMDR therapy, we offer a range of evidence-based therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

Let Immersive Recovery Help You Overcome Addiction

Overcoming co-occurring disorders can be challenging. It’s difficult to address the uncomfortable emotions and traumatic experiences that come with addiction and mental disorders. But with the right support and care, lasting recovery is possible.

Here at Immersive Recovery, we offer evidence-based therapies such as EMDR, as well as a range of programs that are designed to meet you where you are on your journey to recovery. Our team of professionals is dedicated to helping you achieve lasting recovery and a better quality of life. To learn more about our aftercare services, contact our team today.

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