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What Is EMDR Therapy?

woman in sweater talking with man in maroon shirt about what is emdr therapy

If you are searching for addiction treatment options, then you have probably already seen that there are many different types of programs out there. A comprehensive addiction treatment program is one that takes into account the best possible therapies for each individual’s needs. One of the forms of therapeutic care these programs can include is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. This relatively new type of therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a number of mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Knowing more about this exciting new treatment modality can help you make a more informed decision about your own care.

At Athens Addiction Recovery Center, we offer an EMDR therapy program as well as a wide range of other treatments to suit our clients’ specific requirements. We incorporate the most advanced treatments and therapies and are continually training to improve the level of care we can deliver to each client. As a family-owned outpatient treatment center, the health and wellness of our community is of the utmost importance. Contact us at 844.959.4998 to speak to one of our intake specialists today.

What Is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy is a type of therapeutic care that was developed in the late 1980s to help people cope with and recover from emotional distress and trauma. Clinical trials have proven that it’s an effective treatment option for people suffering from anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, and addiction. The goal of this therapy is to resolve emotional processes that have become “frozen” in place due to stress.

EMDR therapy relies on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, a theory about how the brain processes normal and traumatic memories. When a person experiences disturbing or stressful events, the brain stores traumatic memories in a way that doesn’t allow for recovery and healing. Newer experiences can reinforce that traumatic memory, causing negative symptoms, emotions, and behaviors. In a sense, EMDR therapy can help a client reprogram their brain, allowing them to:

  • Overcome traumatic memories
  • Regulate distressing emotions
  • Change negative behaviors
  • Improve their self-image and self-esteem

Who Benefits From EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy can be used with clients of all ages. Licensed and certified therapists may use EMDR therapy to address a number of different mental health conditions and issues:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other stress-related issues
  • Substance use disorders and addiction
  • Grief and loss
  • Sleep disturbances

It is important to note that EMDR therapy should only be offered by properly trained and licensed mental health clinicians. There is no way to perform this therapy on your own at home.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

An EMDR therapy program usually has one or two sessions per week for six to 12 sessions in total over the course of the program. EMDR therapy uses a structured eight-phase approach that includes:

  • Phase one: History-taking
  • Phase two: Preparing the client
  • Phases three to six: Assessment, desensitization, installation, and body scan
  • Phase seven: Closure
  • Phase eight: Evaluating treatment results

During EMDR therapy, the client focuses on a disruptive or negative memory and identifies the belief they hold about themselves. For example, victims of abuse may wrongly feel that the abuse was their fault. EMDR allows them to change that type of self-destructive thinking. This is achieved through bilateral stimulation. As a client explores their traumatic memories, they also focus on a stimulus that switches or moves from left to right, mimicking the eye movement that happens during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Learn More About EMDR Therapy at Athens Recovery

If you think that you or someone you care about would benefit from EMDR therapy, the team at Athens Recovery would be more than happy to guide you through the process. We provide high-quality treatment programs for those struggling with addiction to:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Benzos
  • Stimulants
  • Prescription drugs

Our mission is to provide the highest level of personalized care and treatment to every client, using advanced therapies and treatments to aid in recovery. Contact us at 844.959.4998 to learn more about EMDR therapy or any of our other treatment programs.