If you’re struggling with addiction, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy might be an option. Addiction therapy programs all over the country offer alternative treatments like EMDR that might be an option for helping many overcome a substance use disorder. It is also effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more information on how EMDR works, contact an addiction treatment program, like the one at Palo Verde Wellness, to learn more.
What Is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy is a form of psychotherapy focusing on specific eye movements that desensitize you to traumas associated with substance disorders and other disorders like PTSD, anxiety, and eating disorders. The eyes follow objects left-to-right while pulling up traumatic memories associated with their addiction. With repeated treatment, the impact of these negative memories is reduced and even eliminated in some cases. This clears the way for more positive memories and forward-thinking outlooks on recovery.
EMDR is especially helpful for those with PTSD and other mental health disorders because of their dependence on drugs or alcohol. Plus, it has been shown to work faster than traditional therapies. The trauma associated with these negative thoughts and memories can be a major stumbling block to effective recovery.
While trauma can typically lead to addiction, an existing addiction can also make you more sensitive to the effects of traumatic events while you are already battling a substance use disorder.
Many people are in denial that they have even experienced a traumatic event. This only contributes to their need to disassociate from the trauma and turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their emotional pain. Trauma can result from various events ins a person’s life. These include:
- A life-threatening illness or injury
- Sexual or physical assault
- Child abuse
- Verbal or emotional abuse
- Divorce or failed relationships
- Death of a loved one
- Active military service
- Natural disasters
- Worldwide pandemics
- Acts of terrorism or mass violence
EMDR Therapy Programs in Palm Springs
A typical EMDR therapy session can last between one and 2 hours and include anywhere from one to a dozen sessions a week, depending on one’s needs.
The phases of EMDR therapy include:
- Managing stress through imagery and relaxation exercises
- Constructive discussions of the traumas that have led to addiction – such as events or situations that cause stress
- Focusing on and visualizing a specific memory that may have triggered the addiction
- Recognizing and addressing the negative feelings tied to a traumatic memory
- Guided eye movement exercises that focus on the reactions to those memories
- Accountability and self-reflection through regular journaling after the session
- Keeping track of triggers, symptoms, and reactions to the trauma and associated memories
Contact Palo Verde Wellness to Learn More About EMDR Therapy
At Palo Verde Wellness, our clinical team understands the addiction and recovery process as they have experienced it themselves firsthand. Their experience has led them to their roles in helping others overcome addiction and carve their path to recovery. In addition to EMDR therapy, we offer a wide range of therapies as part of their picturesque home-like campus in Palm Springs, California, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Meditative therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Person-centered therapy
- Group therapy
- Anger management
Give Palo Verde Wellness a call today at 760.209.6683 to learn more about addiction therapy options in Palm Springs. Our caring and compassionate team is standing by to answer your questions about EMDR therapy and more.