Addiction treatment can include a range of therapies and services. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is one of them. It's an ideal treatment for people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other co occurring disorders to addiction. Learn more about the EMDR therapy Houston TX employees before seeking treatment to ease any concerns about what to expect.

What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy?

Counselor working with patient using EMDR therapy Houston TX

As therapy for PTSD, EMDR helps people access traumatic memories so that they can resolve lingering distress. Psychologist Francine Shapiro developed this therapy in 1987. His goal was to teach the brain to cope with upsetting memories in a new, positive way.

According to the Accelerated Information Processing model, the brain stores memories in a network of emotions, images, and thoughts. Shapiro designed EMDR therapy around the theory that trauma can overwhelm coping mechanisms in the brain. When trauma occurs, the brain doesn't store the related memories properly.

Because of that, people experience brain dysfunction that causes mental health issues such as PTSD. By thinking about traumatic memories while focusing on an object or sound, people can reprocess the memories. After EMDR therapy Houston TX, they often feel relief and less distress. Events, thoughts, people and places that previously triggered flashbacks no longer have that effect.

How EMDR Helps With Addiction

EMDR therapy is useful during addiction treatment because trauma is a common underlying cause of that disorder, too. Many people don't know how to handle the symptoms of trauma. When they don't get professional help, they may use alcohol or other drugs to relieve the symptoms.

The drugs provide temporary relief, and they have to keep taking them to maintain the effects. Over time, the drugs lead to tolerance, which eventually progresses into dependence and addiction. Meanwhile, the trauma transforms into PTSD because they never addressed the initial problem.

Since PTSD can lead to addiction and vice versa, people who suffer from both need comprehensive care. They must find a treatment center that provides addiction recovery and EMDR therapy Houston TX. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an appropriate treatment alongside EMDR. While EMDR works on cognitive processes, CBT works on both cognitive and behavioral patterns.

What Are the Phases of EMDR Therapy?

There are eight phases to EMDR treatment. The goal is to help people overcome negative memories of traumatic events, cope with triggers and develop stress-management skills. The following steps are necessary to achieve those goals.

During the first phase of EMDR therapy Houston TX, therapists identify the traumatic incidents patients need to reprocess. The patients may discuss the events leading to the trauma and their related emotional distress. Therapists also review behaviors and skills that patients will learn.

In the second phase, therapists teach patients techniques to relieve stress. Then, they discuss how patients can use the skills between sessions.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth phases of EMDR therapy focus on the specific trauma. Therapists challenge patients to identify a trauma-related image and the physical emotions. They also ask patients to pinpoint a negative feeling about themselves. Then, the patients recognize a positive belief about themselves or the trauma.

EMDR therapy Houston TX continues with the patients picturing the image while they focus on the therapists' external stimuli. It often involves following the therapists' finger or another object with the eyes. Therapists repeat these steps until the patients' distress levels ease. Then, the patients think about the positive belief they have identified.

Phase seven focuses on closure for the patients. They keep a journal of the memories or emotions that arise and practice stress-relief strategies. In the final stage, they review their progress with their therapists. They also prepare for potential events that may require coping skills in the future.

EMDR Therapy for Substance Abuse in South Houston

Do you have trauma or PTSD co-occurring with an addiction? Kemah Palms Recovery® can help you overcome the trauma with EMDR. We also offer many programs and services for addiction recovery, including:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Medical detox program
  • Mental health treatment
  • Meditation therapy
  • CBT

At Kemah Palms Recovery®, we also understand that physical and mental trauma can lead to physical pain. Along with EMDR, we use several services to treat chronic pain. Some of our holistic options include acupuncture, yoga, and physical fitness.

Don't let trauma or addiction continue to rule your life. Regain control and relief through EMDR therapy Houston TX. Call 713-568-1210 to learn more about treatment at Kemah Palms Recovery®.