Many people suffer trauma in their childhood or before they start abusing drugs or alcohol. For others, addiction put them at risk for traumatic events. In these cases, EMDR therapy helps lead to recovery from the trauma and the substance use disorder at the same time. If trauma exists in your past, this therapy provides hope for healing for you, too.
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy, eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing therapy, first developed in the 1980s. One therapist named Francine Shapiro noted the connection between eye movements and her clients’ thoughts of disturbing events in their past. Because of that connection, she started using eye movements to help them heal from their trauma.
Since that time, EMDR therapy has proven itself as effective for people from all walks of life with trauma in their past. Because of the tie between experiencing traumatic events and substance abuse, therapists started using the method on people seeking recovery.
EMDR works because eye movement affects how the brain processes information and stores it in memory. Along with using eye movements for healing, qualified counselors also help clients turn the negative memories into positive ones. Addiction often roots in abuse, victimization, injury or similarly difficult events. So using this method to heal those roots takes away a big part of the motivation to abuse substances.
EMDR therapy helps gain healing from many experiences and symptoms of that trauma, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Isolating behavior
Through EMDR, your brain stops triggering your flawed coping mechanisms of substance abuse. Instead, your thoughts connect through healthier coping methods and greater positivity.
How EMDR Sessions Work
Your EMDR sessions involve a therapist specializing in this type of treatment. You undergo EMDR therapy programs along with other addiction therapy services, including:
- Supervised medical detox
- Residential and IOP programs
- Individual counseling
- Behavioral therapies, including CBT
- Group therapy
- Family programs
- Aftercare programs
One of the key steps in EMDR therapy programs is your recall of the negative memory. You also relay to your therapist what you feel, hear, think, see and believe about these events. Your therapist leads you through eye movements or other brain stimuli while you focus on the memory. At the same time, you focus on positive thoughts about the events, under the therapist’s leadership.
This therapy continues until your bad memories affect you less. You start realizing positive things about your past, such as knowing you did the best you could in the situation. Soon, you no longer feel distressed by your trauma.
The idea behind EMDR therapy programs relates closely to REM sleep, the time of your sleep when you experience rapid eye movements. Sometimes you feel very emotional in EMDR. But by the end of your sessions, you feel much less disturbed by what happened to you. You stop experiencing flashbacks where you relive the events.
Serenity Light Recovery
Serenity Light Recovery in Angleton, Texas provides Houston addiction treatment programs on 10 acres of sunny landscape. There you gain the hope and light you need for strong, lasting recovery. Serenity Light Recovery’s holistic recovery center Houston residents trusts can adapt its accredited programs of individualized treatment to your unique needs.
You do not have to falter anymore, because of the trauma you experienced in your life. Instead, you strengthen and enter healthy sobriety at Serenity Light Recovery. If you or someone you love could benefit from our EMDR therapy program, call Serenity Light Recovery at 855.658.6109.