Though initially developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has become critical to the effective treatment of many people with substance use disorders (SUDs). Traumatic memories and the long-term effects of past trauma dramatically affect people’s ability to live their lives and make them much more likely to seek symptom relief through drugs or alcohol and, thus, more vulnerable to addiction. An EMDR therapy program is a crucial addiction treatment for people coping with past or ongoing trauma. Whether you have an SUD or not but suffer from PTSD, EMDR is one of the best options.
At Apex Recovery Nashville, our EMDR therapy for PTSD and addiction is provided by skilled, highly trained therapists in a caring and safe environment. To get answers to “What does EMDR therapy treat?” and “How does EMDR therapy work?” as well as other questions, reach out to Apex Recovery Nashville today by completing this form or dialing 615.703.4639.
What Is EMDR Therapy Used For?
In any situation in which a person has experienced past trauma that continues to affect their daily lives and ability to function, EMDR can be highly effective. This therapy helps reorganize the way the brain holds onto traumatic memories by using bilateral movement—most commonly eye movements. This may sound mysterious, but remember, the brain is characterized by remarkable neuroplasticity, meaning it can change in response to internal or external stimuli by reorganizing its structure, functions, and connections.
Thus, EMDR can help people heal from the emotional turbulence and distress of PTSD. EMDR is effective in a much shorter period than the traditional therapy models previously used for trauma.
Based on the brain’s ability to heal, EMDR transforms the lives of people who experience it. In addiction treatment, EMDR helps people recover from the symptoms of PTSD so they can begin recovery from a more vital place and without the symptoms that so tormented them that they could not envision life without drugs or alcohol.
How Does EMDR Therapy Work?
In the highly goal-oriented process of EMDR therapy, you will work with a therapist through the following steps.
Discuss past or ongoing trauma with your therapist, and if there is more than one incident of trauma, choose an area to target. This is often the most challenging session for clients because they are asked to revisit their trauma. However, EMDR therapists know how to help you manage this part of the process and can suggest strategies you can use during the exploration:
- Learn stress reduction skills from your therapist. These will be helpful to you between sessions.
- Several sessions will be devoted to using bilateral brain stimulation through eye movement. This will help you process your trauma and shift the targeted experience and associated memories to a part of the brain that will no longer trigger flashbacks and other retraumatizing experiences.
- Creating positive beliefs and amplifying healing and pleasant emotions will become increasingly possible. You will focus on this for the duration of your EMDR therapy.
- Writing about the EMDR experience helps you recognize additional information, emotions, and insights you can review and process with your therapist. You will also write about what your future will look like from now on.
- You and your therapist will test the success of your EMDR treatment by confirming that traumatic memories no longer trigger you. The memories are still there, but they have no more power to activate or dismay you.
Regardless of your trauma, whether sexual abuse, domestic or other violence, natural disaster, wartime combat, subjugation, tragic loss, or any other possibility, you can proceed through life without fear that your trauma will hold you back. If you are dealing with a substance use disorder, you can begin recovery in earnest because you have cleared the trauma’s ongoing effect on your life.
Find Relief with EMDR Therapy at Apex Recovery Nashville
EMDR therapy for anxiety, PTSD, and depression, as well as a focus of EMDR to treat addiction, is available at Apex Recovery Nashville. What is EMDR therapy used for? It is used to heal people like you who are still oppressed by past trauma. Let Apex Recovery Nashville help. Call us at 615.703.4639 or contact someone on our staff by completing this form.