Mental health treatment using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, also called EMDR therapy, began in the 1980s. Therapist Francine Shapiro noticed the movements of patients’ eyes helped reduce the effects of past trauma. She started experimenting with her trauma patients with PTSD or other problems, using eye movement techniques. The treatment worked then, proving itself effective for many years and now potentially as part of your rehab treatment.

What is EMDR Therapy?

woman participating in an EMDR Therapy ProgramEMDR therapy involves you reflecting on specific experiences of past trauma in your life. These are the experiences causing you the most stress, grief or other emotional reaction. At the same time, your therapist guides you to follow their hand movements with your eyes. They quickly move their fingers from side to side in your visual field.

The quick eye movements you experience in EMDR therapy are called saccadic. These quick, jerky movements redirect your line of sight for following a moving object with your fixed vision. Doing this while reflecting on past traumatic events helps you reprocess the bad experience and calms your emotional response. Even people with severe PTSD, such as from combat service or sexual assault show benefit from EMDR.

But EMDR therapy does not work solely through eye movements. It also uses principles from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other behavioral methods. These womens addiction treatment services and methods all work together as part of a complete, customized EMDR therapy program.

Your EMDR therapy program is complex. This formal process takes time and requires the services of a therapist trained and certified specifically for EMDR therapy program treatment. But most people gain remarkable, life-changing success in 12 to 20 sessions.

How EMDR Works

Your EMDR therapy program focuses on your current emotions and reactions as part of daily life, instead of on past experiences. But the past trauma created or fed into your reactions, so the past and present merge in this therapy to a certain extent.

EMDR therapy program treatment varies from therapist to therapist and rehab to rehab. But for most providing this helpful therapy, the process completes as part of eight clear steps or phases. These phases include:

  • Phase I – Your History and Background
    In Phase I, your therapist discusses your background to gather information and build your individual treatment plan. You discuss specific targets for the treatment, such as traumatic events or other problems.
  • Phase II – Treatment Preparation
    You and the therapist work together to help you learn ways of dealing with your trauma effects. Methods of Phase II include breathing and relaxation.
  • Phase III – Assessment
    In Phase III, you and the therapist interact to identify the targets as related to your emotional effects. You work with your EMDR therapist to learn more new coping skills for stress and other negative emotions.
  • Phase IV – Desensitization
    The fourth stage of EMDR starts the actual eye movement work. You work with the therapist to tie positive emotions with your memories.
  • Phase V – Installation
    In this phase, you do more work to develop positive feelings for your memories. You also work on how you deal with daily life experiences.
  • Phase VI – Body Scan
    During Phase VI, you and the therapist find any remaining tension caused by your target memories. You deal with this tension to reprocess it.
  • Phase VII – Closure
    In Phase VII, the therapist reassesses your reactions to ensure your treatment worked. The therapist also measures how you feel as a result of your EMDR.
  • Phase VIII – Reevaluation
    This final phase involves reevaluating your entire EMDR process. You ensure you met your treatment goals and cope with everyday stress better. If you struggle with any remaining issues, your therapist goes back to an appropriate phase to work through those problems.

EMDR in Fairview, NC Addiction Treatment for Women

In Fairview, NC on a peaceful former horse farm, women just like you gain the treatment needed for freedom from substance abuse and past trauma. Programs and services of The Willows in Fairview include:

At The Willows, you gain the therapies you need for strong, lifelong recovery. This treatment includes EMDR therapy and other methods designed for true rehabilitation. Contact The Willows now at 855-773-0614 for more information about putting your past trauma and substance abuse behind you.