According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately half of the people who have substance abuse disorders will also develop a mental health condition. Additionally, people with mental health disorders often go on to abuse drugs or alcohol. That’s why it’s critical to address both the drug or alcohol addiction and mental health disorders during treatment. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a treatment that has proven successful in helping substance abusers who struggle with their traumatic past.

EMDR, in combination with a cognitive behavioral therapy St Augustine FL residents trust, can provide the backbone of a comprehensive holistic treatment program for addiction.

What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)?

man studies his eyes which is a technique used in emdr therapy for addictionFrancine Shapiro discovered EMDR inadvertently in 1987. During this time, she noticed that negative memories that were bothering her were less effective when she moved her eyes rapidly from side to side. Wondering if this was a coincidence or if she was on to something, she went on to study this with 70 volunteers. As a result of her studies and further research, she developed a more systematic method for achieving results using rapid eye movements.

In 1985, Francine published a textbook that outlined the stages or steps of this new form of psychotherapy. Since then, many organizations and medical professionals, including the American Psychiatric Association and the Department of Defense, have adopted the practice. Many addiction treatment centers have begun including EMDR along with other holistic addiction therapies.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) seeks to break through negative memories, emotions, and trauma in a quick amount of time by going straight to the wound and healing it. The thought behind EMDR is that when negative things happen to people, such as traumatic events or abuse, damage occurs to the person’s inner self. However, most people block out the trauma by repressing it, numbing it, or disassociating. They often use drugs or alcohol to accomplish this. EMDR is one method used during trauma and addiction counseling to help people overcome these events and emotions.

Through EMDR, the therapist is able to get to the wound caused by the trauma and allow healing to begin. Healing doesn’t take as long when you can expose the wound effectively as EMDR does.

The Steps of EMDR

Every therapist may perform EMDR slightly different, but the main steps are as follows:

  • You lie down on a comfortable couch and the therapist moves his or her fingers or an object back and forth rapidly. Note: some therapists use rapid-sounding tones instead
  • You will watch the rapid movements while at the same time recalling an incident in your life that caused you distress
  • The therapist will guide your thoughts by talking or asking questions
  • You will talk about your emotions and body sensations while you recall the hurtful event
  • The therapist then guides your mind to a more pleasant experience, and you’ll focus on your emotions and body sensations

Through the sessions, you will learn how to calm yourself when negative emotions or memories flood into your mind. EMDR Programs in St Augustine FL also help you process stored painful trauma and memories. Unprocessed pain is the cause of dysfunction, distress, and some mental health disorders. So, it makes sense that through guided processing of past memories, you will find relief.

How to find EMDR in St Augustine FL?

If you or a loved one is looking for a therapy option that is evidence-based with proven results, then you will want to try EMDR in St Augustine FL. At Pearl of the Sea Retreat, we offer EMDR as part of our luxury addiction treatment therapies. Other therapy options can include:

Our master’s level therapists are ready to make your stay one that changes your life. Don’t let drugs or alcohol harm your life. You can overcome your addiction by engaging in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy at a quality drug rehab. Contact us 855.763.2545, and we’ll get you started on the journey of hope.