At Wellness Counseling and Residential Detox in Stuart, FL, we understand that part of our substance abuse detox and recovery program has to address the underlying causes of addiction. To do this, we incorporate both traditional psychotherapy and newer approaches, such as EMDR therapy. What is EMDR? This article strives to answer that question as well as show you the benefits it has for those with substance abuse disorders.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR helps you work through trauma in your past that may have led to your substance abuse disorder. Pioneering work by Dr. Francine Shapiro led to this new approach to treating panic attacks, flashbacks, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTDS).
EMDR therapy is also used to alleviate the following symptoms:
- Lack of motivation
- Fear of being alone
- Interpersonal behaviors
- Anxiety or depression
- Inability to trust others
What is EMDR? After reading this, so far, we know the benefits of EMDR therapy. Let’s take a closer look at the EMDR process itself.
How EMDR Therapy Works
Here’s a summarized version of the steps involved in EMDR.
1. History. Your therapist learns more about your past, what triggers your condition, and how to lead you in the EMDR.
2. Preparation. Your therapist explains how disturbing memories stick in your mind. EMDR uses eye movements or auditory cues to help you reprocess the memory.
3. Assessment. You define a target that includes:
- A mental image of the traumatic memory
- Painful or panicky feelings associated with the memory
- Body sensations the memory evokes
- Any negative images of yourself associated with the memory
4. You process the target with bilateral stimulation using your eyes. This could involve moving your eyes from one side to the other. Some therapists use their fingers or a light bar.
Once the bilateral stimulation begins, the therapist directs you to recall the target scene. You rate the distress you feel between 0 and 10, with 0 representing no distress and 10 representing the highest intensity.
Purpose of Bilateral Stimulation
When people ask, “What is EMDR?”, this is the core of the EMDR approach. During this process, you activate the target scene and associate it with the bilateral stimulation.
The therapist will check in with you using the following questions or similar ones:
- Has the level of intensity changed?
- Do you have any fears, worries, or concerns?
- Has the memory changed?
- Do you remember further details?
You must be truthful with the analyst in order for the process to work. If you aren’t sure, just say so. Your brain is busy processing the scene. Meanwhile, your therapist will watch your reactions to determine the best way to help you heal.
What is EMDR? Ultimately, it’s a cyclical process requiring one or more sessions to get at the root of your fears. As part of our alcohol and drug detox and recovery programs, it can help you overcome PTSD or other trauma from your past. Further, it can give you the freedom and confidence needed to avoid a relapse.
EMDR Therapy Program in Florida
Contact Wellness Counseling and Residential Detox in Florida to take advantage of a number of approaches to substance abuse and addiction. Our specialized programs focus on your specific dependency, including our benzo detox program and our methadone detox program.
If you have PTSD or other trauma in your past, you could benefit from our dual diagnosis treatment program in Florida. This enables you to receive therapy that addresses your mental and substance abuse disorders simultaneously. Call us at 772.324.4130 today to ask any questions you have about EMDR therapy and other services offered at Wellness Counseling and Residential Detox.