At Acqua Recovery, we pride ourselves on providing a range of evidence-based treatments tailored to our clients’ individual needs. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is one of the most exciting therapies we offer, and it’s been garnering significant attention lately due to its effectiveness for trauma, addiction, and mood disorders.
EMDR is a specialized, scientifically backed type of psychotherapy that’s recognized as an effective treatment for trauma by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
The technique involves the client processing distressing memories in the safety of the therapist’s office, while the therapist guides their eye movements. This bilateral stimulation, which can also involve tapping or auditory tones, is believed to facilitate the brain’s innate healing process. It is, in essence, a safe and effective way of speeding up emotional processing. According to our Clinical Director Gloria Anderson, “EMDR is a modality that focuses on reducing the impact of traumatic experiences. The process works to ‘unfreeze’ traumatic experiences and memories, allowing a person’s neuropathways to reconnect with new pathways. It’s a very powerful modality because it’s working to rewire someone’s brain.Because of the power of this modality, we at Acqua ensure a patient has developed the appropriate coping skills, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance before beginning EMDR.”
Through EMDR, the power of distressing memories is diminished, decreasing the intensity of associated emotions and symptoms. This, in turn, allows individuals to replace negative beliefs and emotions with more positive ones, a transformational experience that can be particularly useful in overcoming addiction and mood disorders.
The Relevance of EMDR in Addiction and Mood Disorders Treatment
While EMDR was initially developed for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), research over the past two decades has indicated its value in treating a broader range of conditions, including addiction and mood disorders.
Addictions often arise as maladaptive coping mechanisms for trauma or distress. EMDR helps uncover and address these underlying issues. It allows individuals to confront and reprocess traumatic memories, break the cycle of addiction, and embrace healthier coping mechanisms.
Similarly, mood disorders such as depression or anxiety can be triggered or exacerbated by unresolved trauma. EMDR provides a way to address these core issues, leading to sustainable recovery.
What to Expect in an EMDR Therapy Session at Acqua Recovery
At Acqua Recovery, our compassionate therapists will guide you through the eight phases of EMDR treatment, ensuring a safe and supportive environment throughout.
Initial sessions will focus on taking your detailed history, preparing you for therapy, and establishing trust. We will then move on to the assessment phase, where you will identify specific memories that will be the focus of reprocessing.
During reprocessing, you will be asked to concentrate on the distressing memory while the therapist initiates eye movements or other bilateral stimulation. It’s normal to experience a range of emotions during this process. However, the aim is not to dwell on these memories but to see them in a new, less distressing light.
Our EMDR therapy in Utah concludes with a period of closure, ensuring you leave each session feeling stable. Finally, in the re-evaluation phase, we assess your progress and determine the way forward.
The Benefits of EMDR Therapy
By directly tackling the root causes of addiction and mood disorders, EMDR has several potential benefits. First, it offers a holistic approach to healing by addressing both psychological and physiological symptoms.
Second, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy can accelerate the therapeutic process. Unlike traditional talk therapies, which can take years to produce results, EMDR often brings about significant change in fewer sessions.
Finally, EMDR is a non-invasive and drug-free therapy, making it a safe option for a broad range of individuals. It can be used in conjunction with other therapies or medication, providing a comprehensive treatment strategy.
The EMDR Experience: Real Stories, Real Change
Our work at Acqua Recovery is characterized by our clients’ real-life stories of transformation. Through EMDR therapy, many have managed to rewrite their life stories, exchanging narratives of despair and addiction for those of resilience and recovery.
These stories are a testament to the power of EMDR and its potential to process buried traumas and aid in the transformation of deeply ingrained negative beliefs and behaviors. As one client put it, “EMDR helped me reach parts of my past that were previously inaccessible. I feel lighter, freer, and more in control of my life.”
As soon as I stepped through the doors at Acqua I was welcomed into a family – I was treated with dignity and respect. It was the first time in a while I felt like I belonged, which helped me take an honest look at myself. I learned how to love myself again and for that, I am forever grateful.
Matt B. Northeast USA
We all deserve to live lives free from the debilitating effects of trauma, addiction, and mood disorders. At Acqua Recovery, we believe in your capacity to change, grow, and recover. With treatments like EMDR therapy in Utah, we’re equipped to guide you through this transformative journey.
Imagine a future where addiction doesn’t hold sway, and where mood disorders don’t define your days. That’s the future EMDR therapy at Acqua Recovery can help you build. It’s not just about surviving; it’s about thriving, experiencing life in all its beauty, complexity, and joy.
Don’t let addiction or mood disorders control your story. Call today to find out if EMDR therapy at Acqua Recovery can revolutionize your life and help you start a new chapter of freedom and wellness.
Who can benefit from EMDR therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is utilized to treat a myriad of different mental health issues, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and addiction. Individuals who have experienced unresolved trauma symptoms at any point in their lives may benefit from EMDR therapy. Furthermore, implementing EMDR for substance abuse has rendered significant results.
Is EMDR therapy effective?
Yes. EMDR has been shown to be an effective form of trauma treatment in numerous practice guidelines worldwide.
How long does EMDR therapy take?
The length of EMDR therapy can vary depending on the individual’s history and specific needs. Some individuals may experience significant improvement after just a few sessions, while others may require more extensive treatment.
What can I expect in an EMDR therapy session?
Whether you seek EMDR therapy in Utah through Acqua Recovery or find a therapist via an internet search for “EMDR therapy near me,” you might be wondering what to expect.
In a typical EMDR therapy session, the therapist will move their fingers from left to right and ask you to follow these hand motions with your eyes. Alternatively, they may give you “EMDR tappers” or buzzers to hold, which produce vibrations that stimulate one hand, and then the other. The EMDR therapist will have you recall a distressing event while the bilateral stimulation is taking place. Gradually, the therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more pleasant ones, allowing the powerful charge of the distressing memory to fade.
Is EMDR therapy safe?
Yes. EMDR therapy for drug addiction is considered to be completely safe with fewer side effects than medication. As with any therapy, distress can be temporarily increased when focusing on traumatic memories, but the therapist will have techniques to help manage and alleviate any distress that may occur.
Can EMDR be used in conjunction with other therapies?
Yes, EMDR can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, along with other forms of therapy, medication, and support strategies.
How do I know if EMDR is right for me?
As with any therapy, deciding if EMDR is right for you should be a conversation between you and your healthcare provider. If you are struggling with symptoms related to past trauma, EMDR could potentially be a beneficial part of your treatment plan.
Dr. Pickrell is a board-certified psychiatrist with interests in addiction and psychiatry. He strives to identify the underlying cause of substance use. His understanding of addiction as the overlapping symptoms of biopsychosocial development is the foundation to his care model. He is committed to helping both patients and families understand that addiction is a treatable medical illness. He has been involved in the treatment of addiction for the last 17 years and completed his residency training at the University of Utah.