Studies have found that those who have suffered a traumatic event at some point in their lives are more likely to develop problems with alcohol and drugs. Some turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain and stress of the trauma. Someone who has suffered trauma in his or her lifetime may experience the intrusive and disturbing thoughts, unmanageable emotions, night terrors, and flashbacks characteristic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One may also have difficulty forming healthy relationships, and relive or repeat elements of the initial trauma.
What is EMDR?
Developed by Dr. Frances Shapiro in 1987, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a recommended treatment for trauma. It is a psychotherapeutic treatment that utilizes dual stimulation to enable individuals to reprocess harmful or damaging memories.
How does EMDR work?
Often times when a traumatic event occurs, we are unable to properly process it. It remains, in a sense, “stuck” inside our memory. The very nature of trauma represents a violent break from ordinary, everyday events and, as a result, overwhelms the brain’s cognitive abilities, causing us to improperly or incompletely process the event. During an EMDR session, the patient recalls a traumatic memory or a disruptive or distressing belief while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus—this may include bilateral eye movements, tones, or taps. The dual stimulation “frees” the memory or belief, allowing the patient to reprocess it, diminishing the intensity of the memory. This in turn affords the patient the opportunity to alter his or her response to the memory.
How it can help you
Addressing past traumas is an integral part of drug and alcohol treatment. Untreated trauma may pose a threat to your sobriety. EMDR allows you to reprocess information surrounding a traumatic event and, by doing so, takes away the power that memory or belief has to disrupt your life and the relationships you have with others. In addition to treating PTSD, EMDR has proven to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Recovering Souls can place you in a treatment center with therapists certified to practice EMDR. We work with treatment facilities that utilize a variety of therapeutic modalities to treat trauma and addiction. We believe that treatment must address and treat those issues and behaviors that would derail us in our recovery.
If you are tired of suffering and want to begin a new way of living, contact Recovering Souls today.