What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapeutic technique developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. in 1987 and later formally presented as a paper in the Journal of Traumatic Stress (1989). By understanding that specific eye movements reduce the severity of a number of stress disorders (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety), EMDR therapy permits patients to discharge memories of negative emotional experiences from the brain. As negative feelings and thoughts are let go, parts of the consciousness that have been constricted or blocked are re-integrated in support of maintaining a healthy mind/body balance. Clearpoint offers EMDR therapy for drug and alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders at our private rehab facility in Westport, CT.

What is EMDR Used For in Addiction?

Traumatic past experiences such as physical abuse or losing a child can contribute significantly to the development of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Without effective stress management techniques and coping skills, many people attempt to dull their anguish with drugs or alcohol as a way to find relief. EMDR can effectively and safely produce hope to those suffering from addiction and chronic relapse.

EMDR treatment typically includes the client focusing on a lightbar while recalling traumatic events that currently intrude into their daily experiences. Treatment with EMDR can also be helpful in reducing panic attacks and depression. Clients can address past traumatic experiences and release them through guided eye movement, thereby re-processing old memories in a more detached and less fear-provoking manner.

EDMR Treatment Session

Unlike other forms of therapy utilized to address past incidents of trauma, EDMR aspires to reexamine the traumatic event and speed up the processing of information by the individual. During the therapy session, the therapist presents light, images, physical sensations, and thoughts to the client. He or she responds in a natural way to these stimuli until the memory or incident becomes less agitating or alarming. The goal of the session is to desensitize the individual to both the past traumatic event and the current triggers of it.

Positive Results From EDMR Treatment

Releasing the negative memories and emotions stored in the central nervous system allows people to identify, process, and release them. With the development of new coping skills, EMDR treatment can provide lasting results for an individual who was previously impeded by the traumatic experience.

EMDR at Clearpoint Recovery Center

If you, or someone you love, is dealing with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, we can help. Our staff is equipped to facilitate assessment, treatment planning, and clinical recommendations. Since addiction and substance misuse are highly individualized diseases, treatment must also target the client’s specific needs. When we discuss providing EMDR sessions for our clients, Clearpoint clinicians do so as part of their overall, individualized program of recovery. We provide a number of similar therapeutic techniques falling into the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy category, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and other solution-focused therapy. To find out more about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, our admissions counselors are available to speak today.

To schedule a comprehensive alcohol or drug evaluation, call us today at 1-203-293-1723.