When it comes to treating addiction, there are many things to consider, like where your addiction stems from. In many cases, addiction is the outcome of untreated trauma. Addiction can be an unhealthy learned coping method and survival skill that seemingly help to manage the overwhelming feelings of trauma.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a type of treatment used in recovery to treat trauma and help you process the events or memories associated with overwhelming negative emotions. Along with processing the events or memories, it also helps to process and control your emotions.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a form of structured therapy that can help you to process and cope with traumatic events. This treatment allows you to focus on a traumatic memory for a brief time while experiencing bilateral stimulation, typically eye movements. This encourages you to process the trauma with less emotion and reduces the vividness of the event. EMDR is particularly beneficial in addiction treatment. Through therapy, you will find that addiction stemmed from trauma and became a learned coping method or survival skill to get through the intense emotions and flashbacks of a traumatic event.
In an article posted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), they explain what EMDR is and how it differs from other methods of treatment that seek to alter emotions, thoughts, and responses resulting from traumatic experiences. Rather, EMDR therapy focuses directly on traumatic memories to change how they are stored in the brain. This helps to reduce and eliminate problematic symptoms. While EMDR can treat things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), it has also been proven to help with the effects of substance use disorder (SUD) as well.
Trauma can play a substantial role when it comes to addiction, and when left untreated, it can cause significant damage to mental health. Working through recovery can be an emotional journey, and untreated trauma only adds to intense feelings you may already be experiencing. An article posted by EMDRIA titled “Stable Enough: Using EMDR Therapy to Address Trauma and Addiction” speaks about the clear link between trauma and addiction. Addiction can begin as a survival skill that allows you to get through your traumatic experiences, but only at a great cost. The article provides a great analogy of addiction and trauma, stating, “Addiction can be seen as the smoke that comes from the fire of trauma.”
The goal of recovery is to achieve long-term success and be able to live a life of happiness free from substances. To do this, you must work on addiction as a singular task and address where the addiction may have started. To put it into perspective, how can you put out the fire when you are only pouring water on the smoke?
Treating trauma and learning to get through difficult and emotional situations without using alcohol or other substances is a vital skill that will help you succeed in your recovery journey.
EMDR can greatly help with recovery and dealing with the trauma that may have led you to addiction. Through EMDR, you are only discussing the traumatic event in small dosages over extended sessions. This allows you to move at a slower pace and eliminate situations in which you take on too much and become overwhelmed. Working through treatment can be stressful enough, and it is never the intention to add more stress to your daily routine. Along with treating trauma, EMDR can also help desensitize you to triggers that would normally cause feelings of intense fear, dread, or anxiety.
Pairing EMDR with other treatment methods can also benefit your recovery. At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer many different types of treatment that include conventional and holistic approaches to recovery. We aim to build a treatment plan that is specific to you and you alone, and we greatly encourage you to blend treatment methods. By involving yourself in more than one style of therapy or treatment method, it can help you work on yourself as a whole.
Learning to cope with traumatic memories can be difficult, especially in recovery. When working toward long-term success, you have to start somewhere, and a lot of times, that first step includes confronting the trauma that may have led to addiction. Luckily, EMDR therapy provides you with a safe outlet to process that pain and trauma without the fear of having to face it all at once.
At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer EMDR treatment alongside other programs to help you reach long-term success in recovery. We also as provide the guidance you need to heal and grow from that trauma and addiction.
Trauma can greatly contribute to addiction, and when left untreated, it can cause further issues down the line. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is a type of treatment that helps those in recovery address and cope with their trauma while also experiencing bilateral stimulation, typically through eye movement. This helps to reduce the vividness of traumatic experiences and allows you to reprocess them without feeling overwhelmed. EMDR treatment can be highly beneficial to those who have learned addiction as a survival skill to handle trauma. At Healing Pines Recovery, we have experienced professionals that are there to help you manage your trauma as well as help assist you in your recovery journey. If you are a male and interested in EMDR and other treatment options, please reach out to us at Healing Pines Recovery today at (720) 575-2621 for more information.
The first step can be the hardest. Fill out the form or call us at 720-706-7980. You will be connected with a Healing Pines Recovery specialist who can answer your questions and help you get started.