The theory behind EMDR is that we all have negative and positive neural networks in our brains. The negative neural networks get reinforced by our experiences and may lead to negative emotions and behaviors when they are triggered.
During an EMDR session, your therapist will use resourcing techniques to help build your positive neural network that helps you function at your best. Your therapist will incorporate bilateral stimulation of eye movements or tappers to stimulate the right and left sides of your brain to desensitize you to traumatic memories or unhelpful thought patterns. As this happens, your positive thought patterns will gain strength. Research shows that this is highly effective at reducing the negative thoughts, feelings, and strength of past memories.
EMDR changes the emotions and responses you have to your memory network. For trauma-focused EMDR, this helps to reduce the impact of this trauma or negative belief system. For addiction-focused EMDR, it reduces the negative feelings about the self, pertaining to the addiction by addressing the shame involved, desensitizes the response to triggers that would potentially lead to relapse, and raises awareness about the negative consequences of continued addiction.
At our Louisville EMDR treatment center, we will help you determine what memories need to be addressed and walk you through each one. It is also possible that you will determine another memory affects you that you are not currently aware of.
EMDR has been shown to have high levels of effectiveness with lasting results. No long-term side effects have been identified in patients who have used EMDR, and the process is completely safe when working with a competent professional.
You should not attempt EMDR on your own or with anyone who is not a trained therapist with experience in using the EMDR method. As part of the EMDR process, you will bring traumatic memories to the forefront of your mind, which can bring about strong emotions. It helps to have a trained professional lead you through this process and help you reassociate the memories with better emotions. If you try on your own, you could potentially come out of the experience feeling worse than before.
EMDR is useful in treating addiction because it addresses the underlying trauma that often leads to addiction which also reinforces addictive behaviors. Using this method allows us to get to the source of the problems and heal it. EMDR can help reduce the impact of these memories thus eliminating the need to use to numb this pain.
EMDR is also useful in treating addiction memory, which is more of a general feeling of being out of control or being unhappy due to addiction. This type of painful memory can often be seen in those who suffer from prescription medication addiction. These people did not seek out drugs or begin using them to handle any traumatic experience. Instead, they became addicted while using drugs to treat pain or another condition. Recently, this type of addiction has become common in those who were using opioids to treat pain.
EMDR also will help with instances that addiction was reinforced through positive experiences. This often happens when individuals begin using to connect to others, deepen relationships, or to “have fun”. Often, the individual will minimize the consequences of addiction because they do not want to sacrifice the positive experiences that they enjoy when using. In this instance, EMDR will raises awareness of the consequences to help balance the perspective.
EMDR addressed the shame of addiction, the triggers that reinforce use, and increases awareness about one’s choices. Research has shown that EMDR is highly effective at reducing the risk of relapse when done in a safe and effective manner. It is likely that your therapist will want to use addiction-focused EMDR until you have achieved sobriety and have strong support systems in place to help when we address any trauma-focused issues.
These memories of feeling out of control can be just as damaging to a recovering addict as specific traumatic memories. We can make use of EMDR to address addiction memory, transforming the feelings of helplessness into something more positive.
If you are interested in EMDR in Louisville KY, your therapist can evaluate you to see if it is a good fit. Many individuals need additional resources and help building the positive neural network before beginning EMDR to ensure they are ready to cope with the intense emotions that may occur in session.
If you are ready to overcome your anxiety, depression, or addiction, Solutions Counseling Center is here to help. By enrolling in our outpatient program in Louisville, you can take control of your life. We make use of EMDR to address many issues. Contact us today to learn more.
If you are struggling with addiction, we will evaluate you to determine if you are appropriate for our intensive outpatient program (rehab), outpatient program, or a combination of the two.