effects of prescription drug abuse

EMDR Therapy for Addiction Treatment: How Does it Work?

Many people lead stressful lives. Between work and family, individuals must deal with many circumstances that push them to the limit. In fact, a number of individuals have experienced traumatic events that have negative impacts on their lives. As people face stress, their bodies automatically go into a fight-or-flight response. In other words, a person’s heart, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration increases. This fight-or-flight response only increases when an individual faces trauma. In fact, the body and brain can have such a dramatic response to trauma that it causes individuals to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Co-occurring EMDR for anxiety therapy can help such individuals.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that the more a person is exposed to stress, the more he or she is likely to self-medicate in a dangerous manner that may lead to addiction. Not only can using substances to cope with stress and trauma lead to addiction, but it may also worsen a person’s stress and anxiety. 

When that happens, individuals should receive EMDR for anxiety.  If you live in Florida are looking for EMDR therapy near me, we here at Florida Center for Recovery offer EMDR for anxiety and addiction to patients that are simultaneously suffering from trauma and addiction. 

What is EMDR Therapy and How Does it Work?

Therapy EMDR, or eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing, therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals heal from trauma. In other words, EMDR for addiction uses a person’s mind to heal from past trauma.

EMDR therapy works by making patients do specific eye movements or follow certain objects with their eyes while thinking about past moments of trauma. The theory behind EMDR for anxiety is that making a person conduct certain eye movements while thinking about past traumas will eventually get that person’s brain to dissociate stress and anxiety from the mere thought of his or her traumas. By helping people deal with their past traumas, EMDR therapy will also help people no longer feel the need to use substances to cope with those past traumas. 

EMDR therapy is a recognized treatment for PTSD, anxiety, and other stress-induced disorders. For this reason, it is also a successful therapy for individuals with substance misuse disorders that are brought on by stress or anxiety. If you or a loved one have been using substances to cope with stress and anxiety and are trying to find a way to no longer need to do so, search for EMDR therapy near me.

What Risks Come from Using EMDR Therapy?

There are some possible psychological side effects of EMDR therapy. For example, it is possible for an individual to experience emotional pain during treatment. This is due to the fact that he or she is working through traumatic memories. Ultimately though, EMDR therapy should never be overwhelming.  

It’s also important to note that during EMDR therapy, a person will often recall memories that have not been dwelled on for a long period of time. Therefore, it is possible to experience strange dreams after a session.

When is a Person Ready for EMDR Therapy?

The first determination of a person’s readiness for EMDR for anxiety and addiction is understanding whether a person can tolerate his or her emotions. If an individual shuts down while confronting emotions, it may not be best for that person to begin receiving EMDR for anxiety, trauma, and addiction. 

EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction relies on the mind’s ability to process feelings. By and large, it is possible to work with a regular talk therapist in preparation for this treatment so that the results from the therapy are as successful as possible.

Various Phases of EMDR Therapy

Markedly, EMDR therapy focuses on a person’s past, present, and future. 

During EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction, a therapist targets past memories that cause disruption in the person’s brain and all of the events that are related. A person can also apply EMDR therapy to current situations that cause him or her to distress. That way, a person develops positive skills and attitudes for the future. 

EDMR therapy involves an eight-phase treatment approach.

Phase 1 of EMDR: History and Treatment Planning

During the first phase, a therapist assesses a patient’s readiness so that a successful treatment plan can be set into place. In particular, an EMDR therapist and a patient work together to target distressing memories and current events that cause the patient to feel stress and anxiety. The patient then learns skills and behaviors for future use. 

At first, EMDR processing is linked to things that occur in a person’s childhood. Once the patient gains insight, emotional stress is resolved so that future behaviors are changed. Generally, this first phase of EMDR therapy lasts a few hours.

Phase 2 of EMDR: Preparation

Throughout the second phase of EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction, a therapist makes sure that a patient has numerous ways to handle emotional stress. For example, an individual may use imaging or different stress-relieving techniques between sessions. In fact, the goal of this phase of EMDR therapy is to achieve fast and effective behavioral changes while the patient maintains balance in between sessions.

Phase 3 of EMDR: Assessing and Determining Target Trauma

In essence, the third phase of EMDR therapy brings a patient’s trauma to light. Thus, the EMDR therapist will ask the patient to visualize experiences and relevant feelings that relate to a stressful event. Once a patient identifies positive and negative emotions to describe the event, he or she will rate both the positive and negative emotions.

Phase 4 of EMDR: Reprocessing and Desensitization

During this phase of EMDR for anxiety and addiction, a patient deals with past memories. Thoughts are processed and associated with sensations, and memory disturbances are resolved. As things start to unblock, a person slowly moves closer to resolving his or her past traumas. During desensitization, the EMDR therapist uses eye movements and other types of stimulation to shift the patient’s focus reduce stress levels.

Phase 5 of EMDR: Installation

For the most part, the fifth phase of EMDR for anxiety and addiction begins at the point where a patient has processed stress and trauma and is on the road to resolution. Usually, at this point in the EMDR therapy process, the patient starts to feel empowered. That’s because the patient will have better control over his or her feelings during this phase of treatment. Also, the patient’s thought processes are much more positive during this phase of EMDR therapy.

Phase 6 fo EMDR: Body Scan

During the sixth phase of EMDR therapy, a patient is prompted to think about his or her past traumas again. This phase of EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction is tilted as the “body scan.”

When the past traumas and negative thoughts enter the patient’s mind, the EMDR therapist will confirm whether or not there are still any lingering feelings of negativity surrounding the past traumas. Hopefully, at this point, there are little to none. That way, stress and eventually residual negativity will no longer fill the patient’s mind.

Phase 7 of EMDR: Closure

The seventh phase of EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction is the phase in which the patient receives closure. Ultimately, the EMDR therapy patient is supposed to leave each therapy session feeling better and better until that closure comes. 

EMDR therapists will then end each meeting with a few closing exercises. By the end of this phase, the patient should feel in control of his or her emotions so that he or she can continue working toward a total resolution. 

Phase 8 of EMDR: Re-evaluation

The eighth phase of EMDR therapy re-opens up each of the EMDR therapy sessions. Positive results are carried over. Also, the EMDR therapist and patient can pinpoint new areas that need focus. 

In fact, this phase of EMDR therapy leads the therapist through all things that must be dealt with so that the patient’s issues are resolved. With time, this last phase of EMDR therapy determines how much success has been reached.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

Therapy There are many benefits of EMDR for anxiety and addiction. Some of these benefits are discussed in detail below.

1. EMDR Helps Recognize Thoughts about Trauma 

Through EMDR therapy, a person recognizes thoughts, emotions, and feelings that are related to past stressful events. By and large, EMDR therapy doesn’t make the individual get used to the traumatic event. Instead, the storage of re-organized memories in the brain is targeted. In the end, emotions or anxiety are not closely associated with past traumatic memory. Thus, EMDR therapists learn how to control a stressful event.

2. EMDR Teaches the Person How to Let Go 

EMDR therapy teaches a patient to release the negative pattern of anxiety or worries that come with memories that are traumatic or stressful. Thus, a person learns how to let go of sadness or anxiety that weighs him or her down. EMDR therapy patients should leave each therapy session feeling lighter and moving forward in life.

3. EMDR Therapy Brings Enhanced Positive Beliefs 

Overall, EMDR therapy helps patients alter their internal belief systems. It also helps provide resolutions for stressful events. EMDR therapy even helps patients clear their perspectives about themselves. In other words, this form of therapy allows people to have healthier relationships, enjoy more uplifting life perspectives, and make better life choices. 

Also, a person’s mood and confidence become heightened over the course of experiencing EMDR therapy. Through EMDR therapy, a person experiences the world differently.

What Makes EMDR Therapy Effective for Treating Drug and Alcohol Misuse Disorders?

For one, EMDR therapy makes it possible to address the core of the problems that lead to drug or alcohol misuse. Thankfully though, a patient can overcome negative experiences and begin healing so that sobriety is attainable.

EMDR was first introduced to treat people who had experienced stress from traumatic events. For example, it was used to help people with PTSD and similar conditions. Today, it is helpful for the treatment of substance abuse.

EMDR therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are important tools, especially in drug addiction treatment. In fact, EMDR therapy may be part of individual or group addiction treatment programs. In order to resolve addictive behavior, a therapist approaches each patient’s situation from a trauma-informed standpoint. 

EMDR for Addiction in Fort Pierce

If you live in or near Fort, Pierce Florida, and are searching for EMDR therapy near me, look no further than Florida Center for Recovery (FCR). We here at Florida Center for Recovery contain an experienced staff that helps individuals deal with addiction in a comfortable environment. EMDR therapy is one of the therapy options that we offer. 

We here at FCR understand that stress and trauma are often at the root of many problems, including substance addiction. That’s why we also realize how helpful and effective EMDR therapy can be in regaining long-term sobriety. In short, EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction is safe, effective, and delivers successful recovery in a short period of time. For more information, contact us today.