Dealing with addiction involves more than most people think. It’s not enough to just tackle the physical dependency. It’s also important to deal with underlying issues that may cause or prevent people from overcoming addiction. One example of a therapy that helps people deal with past issues is EMDR therapy.

What Is EMDR Therapy?

woman undergoes EMDR therapy with doctorEMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. EMDR therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses bilateral stimulation to help people process distressing beliefs and memories.

Therapists can use many techniques to represent bilateral stimulation. The most common method is a focal point such as a finger to move people’s eyes back and forth. However, other therapists use methods such as hand tapping to stimulate the same effect.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

During EMDR therapy, therapists ask people to recall specific traumatic memories. They look for memories that overwhelm the brain’s normal coping mechanisms. While people recall the information, therapists use bilateral sensory input. This process helps synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain to cope with trauma.

Does This Type of Therapy Really Work?

Many scientists heavily debate the effectiveness of EMDR therapy. Many cite lack of quality evidence that it works. This lack of evidence, however, isn’t because the therapy causes lackluster results. Instead, it’s because researchers show bias when it produces quality results.

In either case, therapists agree that EMDR therapy works better than simply doing nothing about past trauma. At the very least, it gets people to open up and talk about the incident. Studies also show that this therapy helps alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Does EMDR Therapy Help People Who Suffer From Addiction?

Therapists typically use this type of therapy to help people get over traumatic events. For example, individuals typically develop PTSD because of trauma in their past. Failure to cope with PTSD often leads to self-medicating for relief. As a result, people turn to drugs and alcohol to cover up their symptoms.

Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol only provide temporary relief. To continue to get this relief, they have to keep taking the drugs on a regular basis. These drugs do nothing to fix the root cause of the problem. Eventually, people develop an addiction to the drugs that they abuse to cover up their problem.

EMDR helps people deal with the underlying cause of addiction. Failure to do so can lead to relapse. With this issue still present, people continue to return to drugs for relief.

Can EMDR Replace Other Types of Therapy?

Most therapists agree that people shouldn’t receive EMDR as a replacement for other forms of therapy. Individual, group, family and cognitive behavioral therapies all have their roles in helping people overcome addiction. However, proper rehab support typically involves multiple forms of therapy.

Get Rehab Help at Denver Recovery

If you struggle with drug addiction, it’s important that you get the help that you need. At Denver Recovery, we focus on providing custom rehab programs. We use a 12-step program that’s spiritual but not religious. We believe strongly in treating not only the body but also the mind and spirit.

Also, we place a strong focus on holistic treatments. We incorporate outdoor activities such as hiking to reduce stress. Beyond that, we offer many clinical programs such as:

Fight back against your addiction with the help of Denver Recovery. Let us create a custom treatment plan that fits your individual needs. Reach out to our friendly staff today at 844-307-2955 for more information about how we can help.