Beaches Recovery provides a comprehensive approach to overcoming chemical dependency, alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Many clients come to Beaches Recovery with a history of trauma. As part of our addiction therapy services, Beaches Recovery has therapists specially trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR to treat clients seeking to work on their trauma issues.

What is EMDR?

Perhaps the most simplistic way to describe Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is to say that it is a series of left-to-right eye movements that can help painful memories recede.

This therapy was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, a woman who begin using rapid eye movements to help rid her own mind of damaging and traumatic thoughts. Since 1990, many other doctors and therapists have begun using this form of therapy to help their clients rid themselves from the dangers of trauma. EMDR doesn’t try to repress negative emotions or memories, which rarely works in the long term. Instead, it aims to help patients become less sensitive to painful memories of traumatic events in their past.

What to Expect From Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Clients who decide to participate in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can expect to take part in weekly, one-on-one sessions with someone trained in this form of therapy. Unlike some prolonged methods of therapy and counseling during addiction treatment programs, EMDR often only lasts for 10 weeks or less, as results are often rapid.

EMDR therapy typically involves clients sitting in a reclining chair or lying on a flat surface. Then, a therapist will ask them to think about their strongest negative emotions or memories. While doing so, clients will follow the therapist’s finger or a light overhead with their eyes. This light or the therapist’s finger, and therefore the eyes of clients, will move rapidly from left to right. Over time, this process may be able to help clients feel more positive about their trauma or at least feel fewer negative emotions and outbursts.

The Link Between Trauma and Addiction

There’s no one specific reason that individuals become addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, it’s necessary to note that addiction isn’t a choice but rather an illness, and one that can be caused by a wide range of factors. Perhaps the most common link between those suffering from addiction is a history of trauma.

Trauma can manifest itself in many different ways, and it can be caused by countless things. Some common reasons for ongoing trauma and resulting PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, include the following:

  • Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Participating in military combat
  • Being the victim of a violent crime
  • Witnessing a violent crime
  • Being involved in a natural disaster

Each of these events, as well as many more, can lead an individual to struggle with PTSD. That, in turn, can lead to wanting to escape from the prison of flashbacks, reliving trauma and having nightmares. Drugs and alcohol may seem like an escape, but they only worsen the situation by leading to addiction.

Benefits of EMDR in Rehab Facilities

Since many clients struggle with a history of trauma as well as addiction, it helps when rehab facilities offer EMDR to patients. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has the power to relieve clients of their traumatic memories and decrease negative emotions associated with that trauma. As a result, it will be easier to tackle addiction once and for all.

To treat addiction fully and with lasting results, use all the resources available to you. At Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida, EMDR is just one of the therapies used in treating clients. Call 866.605.0532 today to learn more about how our Jacksonville drug rehab center can help you get on the track to addiction recovery.