Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy in Trauma-Based Addiction Treatment

A woman smiles during a therapy session.

10% of US adults have struggled with a drug use disorder sometime in their life. Without question, drug addiction is a growing epidemic that hurts millions of lives. However, it’s important to understand that each addict’s road to recovery may look different. In other words, not all recovering addicts respond to the same treatment options. Some addicts may struggle with substance abuse and trauma, while other individuals may have depression and abuse drugs to cope with their symptoms. In this article, you’ll learn more about eye movement desensitization and reprocess therapy in trauma and how this treatment may help you on your journey to sobriety.

Hammocks on the Edisto is a leading women’s treatment center in South Carolina that provides a one-of-a-kind, women-specific treatment to help patients achieve sobriety. We offer a comprehensive range of addiction treatment programs to help as many patients break free of addiction once and for all. 

Ready to start your road to recovery? Contact us today!

What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocess therapy in trauma (EMDR) is a type of nontraditional psychotherapy that aims to use a person’s eye movements to help desensitize and reprocess any traumatic events or experiences they’ve endured in the past. The aim of EMDR is not only to reprocess this trauma but also to reduce the emotional stress and feeling that stems from those traumatic events of your past.  

Because EMDR deals with targeting and reducing emotions from traumatic events, EMDR is typically used to help patients struggling with PTSD. However, EMDR in addiction can also be highly effective, especially if you are abusing substances to cope with feelings of pain or distress that stem from past trauma. 

How EMDR for Trauma-Based Treatment Works

So, how exactly does eye movement desensitization and reprocess therapy in trauma exactly work? 

As the name suggests, EMDR uses eye movements to reduce negative emotions that may stem from disturbing past life events or experiences. EMDR is led by a trained therapist who will ask you to recall and focus on your traumatic experience(s), thus bringing up certain emotions and feelings. Then, while you are focusing on your traumatic experiences, your therapist will use eye movements (i.e. fixing your sight on a moving object), sounds, or taps that the individual will then pay attention to. As the individual focuses on their traumatic experience while simultaneously doing certain eye movements, this allows the individual to reprocess their trauma, and also reduce the negative emotional charge of that event. 

Benefits of EMDR for Addiction

EMDR for addiction can significantly help individuals struggling with trauma and/or substance use issues. Below are some of the many ways eye movement desensitization and reprocess therapy in trauma can help you progress along your sobriety journey:

  • Target traumatic experiences causing negative emotions
  • Reprocess trauma to then reduce addictive behavior to cope
  • Provides a safe space for you to address your trauma
  • Can be done at your own pace 
  • Integrates well with other treatment options 

EMDR for trauma based treatment can be a highly effective treatment option, especially if you abuse drugs or alcohol to cope with the trauma you’ve endured. While facing trauma can be overwhelming and painful, it’s critical that you instead of ignoring your trauma learn to better manage your trauma symptoms so you can lead a happier, healthier quality of life. Unfortunately, trauma left untreated can cause many people to turn to unhealthy coping strategies, like abusing drugs and alcohol, to temporarily relieve these negative trauma symptoms. 

Start Your Road to Recovery Today 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocess therapy in trauma offers a safe and effective treatment for patients who struggle with both trauma and addiction. While EMDR for addiction is a somewhat non-traditional treatment option, it can help individuals struggling with traumatic memories and overcome them so they can effectively progress on their road to recovery.

At Hammocks on the Edisto, we are a top-rated South Carolina drug and alcohol rehab that’s helped many women safely and effectively overcome addiction. You should never feel too afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Our compassionate team is here to help you every step of the way to take back control over your health and quality of life.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you on your road to sobriety.

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