When it comes to addiction treatment, there are multiple traditional cognitive behavioral therapies focused on clients’ mental and physical health. However, EMDR offers a faster and more effective way to process traumatic experiences related to substance abuse.

At Atlanta Recovery Place, we offer comprehensive drug addiction treatment in Georgia designed around providing the best and most supportive therapy options. Check out Atlanta Recovery Place and our EMDR treatment program.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a therapy designed to alter how individuals process memories, specifically traumas. 

EMDR is a treatment prescribed by a doctor. When starting an EMDR treatment program, which typically lasts an hour to an hour and a half, clients will address specifically determined targets, including past events, current stressors, or skills necessary for future success. These predefined targets will be the focus of the session. 

What is EMDR Used to Treat?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing are used to help individuals process traumatic memories. EMDR is used in treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, addiction treatment, and through several treatments to process complex mental processes that impede mental growth.

An individual with post-traumatic stress disorder struggles with processing traumatic experiences so much that they can cause panic attacks, fear responses, and psychosis. An EMDR treatment program helps clients address specific traumas and associate them with a positive association to reduce the likelihood of PTSD responses. For example, a police officer that is shot may have a traumatic reaction when hearing a gun being discharged. EMDR will encourage the officer to address the memory while associating it with a positive association, like “I survived this situation” or “I am a survivor.” Through this connection, individuals can better process traumatic experiences by connecting them to positive emotional responses.

Regarding addiction, EMDR can help clients address specific traumas related to use. An estimated 60% of individuals experience trauma related to substance abuse. Overdose, assault, sexual assault, accidents, and illness are highly correlated with addiction, whether as the initiator or as a side effect. 

What Are the Benefits of EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing are more effective than standard trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Through the adaptive information processing model, EMDR therapy effectively promotes the processing of repressed and unprocessed memories that cause triggering effects in individuals. 

EMDR is also a more gentle process than other traditional treatment styles. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy requires multiple sessions of verbal description and processing of the experience and homework outside the treatment. EMDR does not require homework, and through the eight-step process, individuals are guided back to neutral before leaving their session, not opening them up for additional trauma processing independently. 

EMDR is seen as a beneficial therapy treatment for individuals with adverse childhood experiences. ACEs impact how an individual processes experience. Through EMDR treatment, clients can thoroughly process those experiences and make positive associations for personal growth. An EMDR treatment program is also effective in supporting and addressing family traumas.

What Does an EMDR Therapy Session Entail?

During an EMDR therapy session, individuals will use a scale to evaluate their current feelings on the subject. This is to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. Then they will be exposed to desensitization. This includes rapid eye movement, tapping, or bilateral stimulation. This should continue while the individual transitions down to a lower level of distress relative to the rating on the beginning scale. Once the body is calmed, a new positive association is installed. Holding this positive while experiencing the negative makes an association between the two that allows the individual to process the trauma better. At the session’s closure, the doctor will ensure the client is free of disturbances before the session ends. 

Atlanta Recovery Place Offers EMDR in Georgia

Atlanta Recovery Place offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs to support individuals through addiction and dual diagnosis treatment of a co-occurring mental health disorder. EMDR for dual diagnosis is especially helpful for clients in processing any traumatic experiences related to use. A Georgia addiction recovery center, at Atlanta Recovery Place, we offer expansive treatment options focused on providing support at every step of the recovery process. Clients who choose Atlanta Recovery Place have access to intensive treatment options for initial care through outpatient and sober-living care. Through a combination of traditional and alternative treatment options. Learn more about EMDR therapy at Atlanta Recovery Place.

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