EMDR as Recovery Treatment

Many alcoholics and drug addicts use the escapist techniques of addiction behavior to suppress painful memories.
The human brain is a fairly remarkable computer. Its best skill is in absorbing information and retaining it.

The mind is connected directly to the optic nerve, so what a person sees each day is quickly and efficiently transmitted to the brain, where it is sorted and catalogued overnight.  This process happens during dreaming.  People who are able to remember their dreams, even partially, can enjoy the brain’s process of sorting and categorizing memories and observations, inside a story it makes up!

For some people, the memories that they store are accessible quite easily and the brain’s cataloguing mechanism works well for them.  The observations, records and sensory impressions which the body has encountered throughout the day are sorted out at night, and only the items which are needed are retained.  For other people, the sorting process doesn’t work as well.  Either memories are not retained which could be helpful or memories are retained, but are never fully processed, sorted and indexed by the brain.

The treatment therapy referred to as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) has been shown scientifically to help a person in recovery with unprocessed, traumatic or repressed memories to reclaim those memories and learn from them.  This process can take just a few sessions over a couple of weeks or it can take multiple years, depending upon the patient in treatment.  The guided process, which is generally relaxing and not experienced as a trauma, allows the patient to re-experience the memory, analyze it consciously and turn it into a learning experience.  Sometimes the clues gained from this process allow the addict in a recovery treatment program to deal with the sources of their underlying anxiety and stress, explaining the origin of their addiction behavior.

Many alcoholics and drug addicts use the escapist techniques of addiction behavior to suppress painful memories.  The use of EMDR therapy allows the patient to regroup.  By recognizing those painful memories as opportunities, they are given back, in effect, a portion of their own identity.  Feelings of insecurity, shame, guilt or fear, often from early childhood, will have a lasting impact on many people.  The destructive or undesirable behaviors that result can often get in the way of the progress and emotional growth for the adult.  EMDR uses a simple and relaxing approach of tapping on the patient’s hands, using guided eye movements, or playing tones to help the patient access repressed memories.

EMDR is not for everyone, and it’s not a cure-all for people suffering from addiction or alcoholism.  The platform is best used in conjunction with another more broad-based form of addiction treatment, like CBT or DBT.  For those patients who are dealing with traumatic life events, particularly those that occurred in early childhood, a qualified, professional and licensed addiction treatment program will offer these therapies in order to help the patient regain a grasp of their life.  The opportunity for an addict to investigate what may be the source of their behavior can be incredibly valuable.


Distributed by Client Initiatives

Media Contact
Company Name: Cold Creek Behavior Health
Contact Person: Scott
Email: scott@addictionfree.com
Phone: 866-523-3596
Address:PO Box 640
City: Kayville
State: Utah
Country: United States
Website: www.addictionfree.com