What Is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy stands for Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing is the process of directing
an individual’s eyes in specific patterns and movements with an
object while he or she is thinking about past traumas that cause him or
The purpose of making a person think about his or her past anxieties or
traumas while following an object with his or her eyes is to cause the
action of moving one’s eyes in a certain pattern to make the person
dissociate the thought of past traumas with anxiety and instead associate
it with the eye movements. This will ultimately cause the thoughts of
past traumas to no longer contain such anxiety-ridden effects on individuals.
In turn, EMDR therapy will also cause fewer people to abuse substances.
This is because individuals won’t need to cope with the thoughts
of their past traumas and the anxieties that they give them anymore.
EMDR therapy essentially helps people healthily cope with the thoughts
of past traumas and the anxieties that such thoughts give them. Thus,
EMDR therapy is a great form of treatment for
PTSD. In general, though, EMDR therapy can help treat all anxiety and stress-induced
Phases Of EMDR Therapy For Addiction
There are various different phases of EMDR for anxiety and addiction. The
descriptions of each of the phases of EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction
are given below.
Phase 1: History and Treatment Planning
The initial history and treatment planning phase of EMDR therapy is when
EMDR therapists assess the conditions of their patients. It’s also
during this phase of EMDR therapy that therapists will work with their
new patients to target the past traumatic memories that cause the patients
to experience anxiety.
EMDR therapists will even teach their patients basic skills and behaviors
that they can use to help them manage their trauma-induced anxieties during
this phase of treatment. The history and treatment planning phase of EMDR
therapy usually lasts around a few hours.
Phase 2: Preparation
The second phase of EMDR for anxiety and addiction is the preparation phase.
During this phase of treatment, EMDR therapists will ensure that their
patients have learned different stress-relieving techniques and coping
mechanisms to help them during the main phases of EMDR therapy.
EMDR therapists are also helping their patients achieve fast and effective
behavioral changes. These behavioral changes will help EMDR therapy patients
cope during the future phases of treatment. These changes will also help
the patients cope while they’re in between the different EMDR treatment phases.
Phase 3: Assessing and Determining Target Trauma
During this phase of EMDR therapy, therapists will ask patients to actively
identify, recall, and describe their past traumatic memories. At this
time, EMDR patients will also identify and recall the feelings that arise
within themselves when thinking about past traumas.
During this phase of EMDR treatment, patients must then rate the level
of intensity of the negative and positive emotions that they feel while
recalling past traumas. Doing this will really help the EMDR therapists
choose which traumatic memories to target during treatment.
Phase 4: Reprocessing And Desensitization
During phase 4, EMDR therapists will make the patients move their eyes
in certain patterns while recalling their past traumas. That way, the
patients’ past traumatic thoughts are processed and associated with
sensations rather than anxiety.
During this phase of EMDR for addiction and anxiety, patients should start
to resolve their past traumas. That way past traumas will no longer have
so much power over EMDR patients.
Phase 5: Installation
The installation phase of EMDR therapy begins after patients finish processing
most of their past traumatic memories and anxieties. Thus, this phase
of EMDR for addiction and anxiety only further helps patients resolve
their anxiety-inducing issues by engraining therapy into their psyches.
It’s often during the installation phase of EMDR therapy that individuals
start to feel empowered and more positive.
Phase 6: Body Scan
During this phase of EMDR therapy, patients must, once again, think about
the past traumatic memories that cause them anxiety. The purpose of the
body scan phase of EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction is to check
and see if a patient’s past traumatic memories still induce negative
feelings or high levels of anxiety.
Phase 7: Closure
Once evidence shows that the past traumatic memories of EMDR patients are
no longer causing them to feel anxiety or intensely negative emotions,
the patients are in the closure phase of treatment. This phase of EMDR
therapy basically allows patients to become less and less affected by
past traumatic memories.
Phase 8: Re-evaluation
During the re-evaluation phase of EMDR for anxiety and addiction, patients
and therapists will review the results of all the phases of EMDR. In doing
so, EMDR patients and therapists can pinpoint what worked during the therapy
process. The goal of the re-evaluation phase of EMDR for anxiety and addiction
is to ensure that patients receive closure.
EMDR Therapy For Alcohol And Substance Use Disorders
As briefly mentioned earlier in this article, people that struggle with
anxiety disorders often abuse substances to cope. Thus, it’s very
common for individuals to end up simultaneously suffering from an alcohol
or drug use disorder and an anxiety disorder.
Luckily, EMDR therapy is not only used to help individuals overcome anxiety
disorders and past traumas. It’s also often used to help treat people
with co-occurring anxiety disorders and substance addictions.
Substance use disorders are not simplistic. Thus, there are almost always
underlying reasons for why people begin to abuse substances, whether those
underlying reasons be mental illness, biological factors, environmental
factors, or a combination of these different factors.
EMDR therapy can help people overcome the underlying issues behind their
substance use disorders. This is particularly true if those underlying
issues have to do with anxiety disorders and/or past traumas. EMDR therapy
can also help people that suffer from alcohol and drug use disorders cope
with their addiction triggers. Thus, many rehab centers, such as
Grace Land Recovery, offer EMDR therapy to their patients.
Receive EMDR Therapy For Addiction At Grace Land Recovery
Grace Land Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center located near Memphis,
Tennessee. As a dual diagnosis treatment center, Grace Land specializes
in treating co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Thus,
it should be no surprise that Grace Land offers the highest quality EMDR
for anxiety and addiction.
Here at Grace Land Recovery, we know how often mental illness and substance
use co-occur. That’s why we’ve made a conscious effort to
provide our patients with a wide variety of evidence-based rehab programs
for individuals that suffer from dual diagnosis disorders.
Because we know that anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental
illnesses in the world, EMDR therapy for anxiety and addiction is a staple
at our treatment center. PTSD happens to be an anxiety disorder. Thus,
if you’re struggling with anxiety issues such as PTSD and
alcohol and drug use disorders, you should receive EMDR therapy at Grace Land Recovery.
To learn more about Grace Land Recovery and all of the dual diagnosis alcohol
and drug rehab programs that we offer,
contact us today! Our phone lines are open 24/7.