Treating Addictions With EMDR Therapy and the Stages of Change PDF
Many people have experienced traumatic events in their lives which lead to substance misuse or other addictive behaviors. For instance, if someone close to you died in an accident, it might lead them to drink or take drugs more frequently to cope with stress and pain. Unfortunately, this could have serious repercussions and even put their life in jeopardy.
EMDR therapy can assist people in dealing with negative emotions by breaking them into smaller components and finding healthier ways of managing them. Furthermore, it may improve one’s self-esteem and coping abilities.
The process of EMDR therapy consists of eight phases: Phase 1 – Identification, which addresses emotional distress; Phase 2 – Imagery and stress reduction techniques; Phase 3 – Recognition of negative self beliefs, vivid visuals, and related emotions; Phase 4 – Body Scan to detect how mind and body feel while processing memories; Phase 5 – Installation with new positive emotional responses to past memories; Phase 6 – Development with strengthened emotional responses; and finally, Phase 7 – Closure/Reassessment.
Each stage can be completed in a single session or may require multiple appointments. On average, patients typically require 6 to 12 sessions of EMDR therapy for full treatment to take effect.
At each session, you and your therapist will work together to reprocess distressing memories and feelings associated with addiction. They’ll guide you through this process by using eye movements designed to help recall specific memories or experiences. Furthermore, they may ask you to report any changes in emotions, thoughts, or physical sensations experienced during a session; doing so helps track progress through EMDR therapy and guarantees that healing continues apace.
Your therapist will also spend time helping you develop self-calming techniques to manage the discomfort of reprocessing past traumatic experiences. Doing so will enable you to better manage stressful circumstances and prevent them from becoming overwhelming.
Your therapist can also help you recognize when to seek professional assistance for symptoms of anxiety or depression that may occur as a result of EMDR. They may suggest medication or other treatments to address these feelings as well as relapse prevention strategies.
Your therapist will also ask you to report any lingering effects from previous sessions so they can determine whether additional EMDR sessions are needed. It’s an important part of the EMDR process and it’s essential for remembering that their primary objective is always to keep you safe during sessions.
EMDR is an effective treatment for addictions and helps reduce cravings and urges to use substances. It has been utilized in various settings to address PTSD and other mental health issues, often combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in order to enhance outcomes and boost treatment effectiveness for those struggling with substance abuse issues.