Comprehensive addiction treatment involves a wide range of therapies. One of the most effective options is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR. This therapeutic method can be beneficial for those with a history of trauma. However, experienced and compassionate therapists at Driftwood Recovery use it to help clients struggling with substance abuse and chronic pain.

What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing?

Just like the name suggests, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing revolves around eye movement. The goal is to reduce pain, sensitivity and trauma associated with certain memories or experiences.

EMDR gets its name for a key part of the therapy. Counselor or therapists leading the session will move their finger rapidly in front of the client’s eyes. They ask individuals to follow that finger with their eyes while recalling a stressful or traumatic event.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing works because the rapid eye movement can reduce the intensity of feelings associated with that particular event.

For example, individuals who witnessed a violent crime may feel guilt or anxiety. After participating in EMDR, the event may be less troubling to them. After undergoing treatment, they’ll feel less upset and more calm when discussing or thinking about the event in the future.

Goals for EMDR in Addiction Recovery

EMDR is beneficial in a number of different treatment environments. When it comes to addiction treatment programs at Driftwood Recovery, however, it has more specific goals. EMDR aims to heal trauma among those struggling with addiction.

Evidence suggests that past trauma plays a major role in the development of an addiction. Whether conscious or not, the feelings associated with that trauma may lead client to substance abuse. Therefore, it’s important that trauma therapy becomes a part of the overall treatment plan.

Once specific instances of trauma hold less power and influence, clients can be stronger in the face of relapse. While detox may get the ball rolling in achieving sobriety, it takes deeper, more intensive treatment like EMDR to prevent addiction from ever taking hold again.

What a Typical EMDR Session Looks Like

Because it’s typically not an effective therapy in group settings, all EMDR sessions are one-on-one. Typically, EMDR takes place in eight stages. Working through each in the right order is key to success.

Phase one starts with learning the client’s history and defining the specific problem. Phase two prepares for emotional disturbances. These two stages help our therapists establish trust so that the therapy can be more effective moving forward.

The third phase involves an assessment, or picturing a traumatic memory. Clients can describe how them feel upon doing so. The fourth phase is reprocessing, and that’s where the eye movements come into play. The fifth phase, installation, focuses on changing negative thoughts into positive ones.

The sixth phase aims to measure progress. Clients picture their traumatic memory, and counselors will conduct a body scan of cues and signals to determine tension or relaxation. The seventh phase is closure, allowing Clients to get comfortable and relax before the end of the session. The eighth and final phase, re-evaluation, ensures only positive results from the therapy.

Combining EMDR With Other Treatment Methods at Driftwood Recovery

EMDR can be extremely helpful in treating substance use disorder and during pain recovery. However, Driftwood Recovery in Driftwood, Texas understands that it will be most effective when combined with other proven methods. Some of these include:

  • Fitness therapy
  • Nutritional therapy

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing can be a big part of recovering from addiction. Call Driftwood Recovery today at 866-426-4694 to take steps toward the life you deserve.