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Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a one-on-one form of psychotherapy that reduces trauma-related stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It also improves overall mental health functioning. It makes a difference in the life of addiction clients, meaning it shows long-term efficacy toward continued sobriety. As a result, BoardPrep Recovery is proud to offer an EMDR therapy program for professionals. EMDR therapy for addiction can significantly improve the client’s chances for long-term recovery. To learn more about our EMDR therapy for medical professionals and other board-certified specialists near Clearwater, Florida, call BoardPrep Recovery Center® today at 866.796.4720.
Why Is EMDR Therapy for Addiction Necessary for Long-Term Recovery?
Unfortunately, many individuals with substance use disorders also have experienced one or more traumatic events or experiences. These events can play a role in the person’s addictive behaviors. Many clinicians believe that addiction cannot be fully overcome without addressing those issues. This is not to say that EMDR is the only way to alleviate trauma or that it is a cure-all approach. EMDR combined with a 12-step foundation, group therapy, CBT, and other techniques provides a foundation for clearing out the old, addictive pathways or patterns and establishing new coping behaviors or functional pathways.
Addiction and trauma are often integrally linked. One example of this is with first responders. They see and experience some of the worst things that happen in society on a regular basis. The frequency and intensity of what they experience can lead to secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD). EMDR is an effective way to treat STSD. It can also address other underlying symptoms of trauma, such as:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Anger and rage
In addition, EMDR is a very useful tool to use in conjunction with 12-step recovery programs, as it allows clients to find non-denominational tools to handle their addiction and subsequent trauma.
What Is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR therapy for professionals helps reprogram limiting beliefs and overcome negative emotions stemming from trauma that keep people trapped in addiction. It is an advanced form of treatment that utilizes dual stimulation exercises as its primary approach to addiction recovery.
One of the challenges in overcoming trauma is that reasoning logic and emotional logic work separately. For example, a person may be able to understand that they are no longer in danger. However, on an emotional level, they are not able to move on and still experience the fear of being in imminent danger. EMDR for professionals works by isolating a harmful emotion in the brain and reprocessing it. The client can then create a more neutral feeling about the traumatic event, alleviating the extreme emotions that can lead to panic attacks, feelings of hopelessness, and depression.
Most patients that undergo EMDR treatment find it easier to arrest addictive urges. In addition, they learn newer, healthier ways of coping with and viewing past traumas and emotionally painful incidents. This can lead to an improved quality of life overall, in addition to lasting addiction remission.
How Does EMDR Therapy Support Long-Term Recovery?
It’s thought that up to 60% of those recovering from drug and alcohol addictions are also the victims of extreme trauma. It’s also been theorized that when a given patient has a history of repeated unsuccessful attempts at rehabilitation, untreated trauma is likely at least part of the equation. Such traumas can include but are not limited to:
- Childhood abuse
- Difficult experiences related to wartime service
- Being a witness to catastrophic events
- Being the victim of violence and abuse
EMDR is a treatment that is often recommended to those that have dealt with these traumas and others like them for a reason. It doesn’t just treat the addiction. It also treats the emotional pain that is contributing to that addiction, lowering the likelihood of relapse at some point in the future.
What Patients Do We Recommend EMDR Therapy for Addiction to?
We may recommend EMDR therapy for healthcare professionals in Florida and the surrounding regions. In addition, other people that most often benefit from this type of treatment include:
- Police officers
- First responders
These are people in high-stress professions that potentially expose them to repeated emotional trauma.
What Happens During Our EMDR Therapy Program for Professionals?
EMDR can alleviate the symptoms of trauma in just one session. In most cases, working with trauma is like peeling an onion and can take between two to eight sessions.
The most common motor task used in EMDR is side-to-side eye movements that follow the therapist’s finger. However, alternating hand tapping or auditory tones delivered through headphones can be used. The exercises are repeated until the client reports no emotional distress.
The EMDR therapist then asks the client to think of a preferred positive belief regarding the incident and to focus on this positive belief while continuing with the exercises. The exercises end when the client reports with confidence that they have comfortable feelings and a positive sense of self when recalling the target trauma. The therapist and client review the client’s progress and discuss scenarios or contexts that might trigger psychological distress. These triggers and positive images for appropriate future action are also targeted and processed.
How EMDR Improves Your Quality of Life
The ability to finally get the better of a debilitating addiction is only part of the possible outcome of EMDR therapy for healthcare professionals near Clearwater, Florida. Getting a handle on long-standing traumas and residual emotional pain from the past often improves the patient’s quality of life in ways they don’t expect. This is especially prevalent in the case of people living sober life.
As a result of EMDR therapy for addiction, the client’s self-esteem tends to improve, as does their ability to cope with stresses of any kind. In many cases, an improved ability to maintain healthy relationships and be productive in their professions are also common results.
Does EMDR Therapy for Addiction Reduce Likelihood of Relapse?
When it comes to drug and alcohol rehab, no one plans on having to repeat the process at a later date because of a relapse. However, avoiding relapse can be far more difficult for some people than others. EMDR therapy for nurses, doctors, and other board-certified professionals comes attached to one of the lowest rates of relapse available. Even those with a lifelong history of substance abuse find that they finally achieve lasting success when they give EMDR therapy a try.
Learn About Our EMDR Therapy Program for Professionals
If the client has completed the acute withdrawal phase of their recovery, then they are likely a good candidate for EMDR therapy. EMDR is not appropriate for clients with a seizure disorder. Are you in need of an effective EMDR therapy program for professionals near Naples, Florida? If so, contact BoardPrep Recovery Center® today at 866.796.4720 for more information. Our team provides eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy that you use to begin the healing process.
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