EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

For clients who have experienced trauma, Cornerstone Healing Center provides Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. EMDR is often used for treating post-traumatic stress disorder and can be effective in treating those with addiction and/or a history of trauma.

EMDR is a psychotherapy approach that complements group therapy and 12 Step programing at our Scottsdale treatment center. Each client's addiction treatment plan is individualized to meet their unique needs. Not all clients in our outpatient rehab program will require EMDR, but for some, it can be highly effective for long-term recovery.

What Is EMDR?

EMDR therapy uses the client's rapid eye movements to process trauma. Compared to what many picture as traditional “talk therapy,” EMDR relies more on physical movement during each session.

In the beginning phases of EMDR therapy, an EMDR therapist records a thorough history of the client and develops a treatment plan. In  treatment, the client will discuss history that led to addiction and behaviors that have resulted due to trauma experienced. The therapist will create a treatment plan that addresses:

  • Specific targets to focus on during EMDR therapy

  • What past and present situations are creating an inbalance

  • The strategies that will help the client overcome past trauma and addiction

The client can be as general or specific as they'd like when describing their history and current situation.

In subsequent sessions, the EMDR therapist will move their fingers back and forth in front of the client's face. The client follows those movements with their eyes, while at the same time recalling a traumatic event.

Gradually, the client will be asked to recall more pleasant events, as the therapist uses different physical movements. EMDR therapy techniques are used to decrease the power of traumatic memories and change the way memories are stored in the brain.

Benefits of EMDR

As the way traumatic memories are stored changes, EMDR can help diminish stress and anxiety. This helps clients in addiction recovery combat negative feelings that can lead to substance abuse and relapse. If a client was using drugs or alcohol to deal with trauma, the weakening of disturbing memories can eliminate the need to use substances to cope.

One of the largest studies on child abuse, neglect and well-being later in life found that traumatic experiences in childhood increase a person's risk for developing substance abuse. The research shows a significant relationship between trauma and addiction. That's why EMDR trauma therapy can be instrumental in helping addicts recover.

Learn About All Our Outpatient EMDR Program

The mind-body-spirit connection in addiction treatment has been proven through extensive research of substance abuse counseling. When clients can process the trauma that affects their lives today, they gain tools to help them live healthy lifestyles and avoid relapse.

Cornerstone Healing Center offers a comprehensive treatment curriculum. Each program is tailored to each client's unique needs. Learn about our addiction and trauma programs.

Get help for a loved one or for yourself today. Call 1-800-480-1781 or click Live Chat to talk with one of our caring staff members.