Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed in the late 1980s by an American psychologist, Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., as a way to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As trauma is highly correlated with substance addiction, EMDR quickly made its way into the arena of drug and alcohol treatment.
EMDR believes that when information related to a trauma is not processed appropriately it leads to unwanted symptoms and problematic behavior. In an EMDR treatment program, patients progress through a series of phases designed to help them reprocess information related to their trauma.
A typical EMDR program would encompass the following phases:
- Taking a client history and evaluating their symptoms
- Identifying the information that needs to be reprocessed
- Teaching relaxation and calming skills
- Creating desensitization to negative information so it may be reprocessed
- Installing new beliefs
- Checking to ensure the treatment worked
The middle phases of treatment involve the use of eye movement as a way to activate the portions of the brain used for the reprocessing of information. During this phase, patients will be asked to follow the lateral movement of their therapist’s fingers with their eyes.
EMDR is considered a quick-acting form of treatment, with some patients claiming to have been helped with only one session. For the right person, EMDR can be fundamental to the success of a substance addiction treatment program.
The residential treatment program at the Asana Recovery Center offers a variety of different behavioral therapy options, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Call us today at (949) 438-4504 to find out whether our drug and alcohol addiction treatment program may be the right fit for you.