According to the EMDR International Association, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been successfully used in the treatment of trauma. EMDR works to help patients suffering from the recall of traumatic events move forward by helping them get their brain out of the feedback loop that repeats the traumatic images. Because remembering a trauma can be almost as bad as experiencing the trauma for the first time, EMDR helps patients move beyond the sights, images, smells and feelings of the original experience. The EMDR International Association reports that the treatment method “seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information.” Once normal processing returns after an EMDR session, the person dealing with the trauma is able to move past the feedback loop of the feelings, images and sounds that are remembered when the trauma is brought to mind. EMDR seems to be similar to what happens naturally during REM, (rapid eye movement) sleep.
EMDR treatment is broken down into eight distinct phases. Each phase plays a role in the entire desensitization process. The length of time treatment lasts depends on the individual being treated and how easily each phase of treatment is completed. The goal is to treat the patient aside from a specified amount of time. The eight phases of EMDR are as follows:
EMDR is an effective treatment for drug addiction and mental illness for many people. Learning to cope in positive ways with past traumas that may be responsible for present issues helps those who struggle learn to live a drug-free life. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free helpline, available 24 hours a day, to speak to an admissions coordinator about treatment options.