EMDR Therapy AlbuquerqueFrank Montalvo
There are many treatment modalities utilized in today’s world of psychology. Some have origins that date back decades, while others have come about relatively recently. These techniques are backed by numerous studies and peer-reviewed medical journals, all of which collectively point to their incredible efficacy and effectiveness in treating a plethora of different mental disorders.
Different acronyms get thrown around when considering behavioral health treatment. These acronyms include CBT, DBT, and EMDR therapy.
EMDR therapy in Albuquerque is offered at Icarus Behavioral Health.
Icarus Behavioral Health is a highly rated behavioral health facility that offers many different treatment modalities in an inpatient and outpatient setting that serves the Albuquerque area.
What Does EMDR Stand For?
EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Originally a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is now efficacious in distancing patients with any adverse events of their past. The symptoms of these adverse events can manifest as depression, anxiety, and many other mood disorders.
Often times, trauma and chemical dependency can intertwine, which leads to the effectiveness of utilizing EMDR therapy in persons who are chemically dependent. According to an article on the National Library of Medicine website, “EMDR therapy provides physicians and other clinicians with an efficient approach to address psychological and physiologic symptoms stemming from adverse life experiences.”
EMDR therapy was first theorized by Francine Shapiro as she began moving her eyes as she strolled through a park and realized that it relieved the negative emotions associated with her own distressing memories.
How is EMDR Used in Therapy?
Next, it is important to understand how EMDR is used in therapy efficaciously. The process has been simplified into an 8 phase EMDR therapy treatment. According to the same National Library of Medicine article, the 8 phases are history taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reassessment.
In a summery for a different article featured on the National Library of Medicine website, it is explained exactly how EMDR is used in therapy. It says, “EMDR Therapy offers extraordinary opportunities for healing to clients suffering from various symptoms and problems…[EMDR] is ideal to gain understanding of a client’s pathogenesis in a non-pathologizing way and reach out to the suffering human being, offering a comprehensive approach, which can be tailored to the individual’s needs, whether it’s for symptom relief or for a more comprehensive treatment.”
Is EMDR Based on Science and Evidence?
Many studies have taken place since 1989 to answer the question ‘is EMDR based on science and evidence’. These studies answer the question with a resounding ‘yes, it is’.
According to another paper published on the NIH website, “Eighty-seven studies were selected for review… Results demonstrated reasonable empirical support for the working memory hypothesis and for the physiological changes associated with successful EMDR therapy.”
These peer-reviewed and scientifically-backed studies all point to the incredible application and effectiveness of EMDR therapy. As science has advanced, there seems to be more and more data pointing to the incredible efficacy of EMDR therapy which is based on science and evidence.
Where is Trauma Stored in the Body?
Another interesting avenue of study focuses on where trauma is stored in the body. Another study featured on the NIH website states, “Ever since people’s responses to overwhelming experiences have been systematically explored, researchers have noted that a trauma is stored in somatic memory and expressed as changes in the biological stress response.” Somatic memories are stored in the hippocampus.
The importance of the fact that trauma is stored in the somatic memory is that each time a person recalls these memories, it is like reliving the event for them. Stress hormones are released, and the individual goes back into the same response as when the event first happened.
It isn’t until some figurative ‘distance’ is put in between the patient and the event that the person can begin to overcome the debilitating symptoms associated with the memory and begin living a life not stifled by the effects of the trauma.
Who Benefits From EMDR Therapy?
The main group who benefits from EMDR therapy is persons suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or dual diagnosis disorders that feature an aspect of trauma or PTSD. According to a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente, “100% of single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple-trauma victims no longer had PTSD after a mean of six 50-minute EMDR therapy sessions…”
However, patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are not the only group who benefits from EMDR therapy. Anyone who has gone through adverse life experiences or have unprocessed memories are all patients who benefit from EMDR therapy.
The adaptive information processing model, which is a precursor that has guided EMDR therapy, “posits that, except for symptoms caused by organic deficits, toxicity, or injury, the primary foundations of mental health disorders are unprocessed memories of earlier life experiences.”
Defusing Trauma Triggers with EMDR
This means that any of these unprocessed memories can express themselves in a multitude of ways such as anxiety, insomnia, eating disorders, self-harm, depression, or even through substance use or addiction. People suffering from any one of these disorders may have their problems stemming from unprocessed, unpleasant, life experiences. In all of these cases there exist patients who benefit from EMDR therapy.
The fact of the matter is that there is nothing to lose by undergoing EMDR therapy, so it can be applied to just about any set of mental illness symptoms and may be beneficial. There are so many people who do not process emotions as they arise. Thus, there are immense groups of people of benefit from EMDR therapy.
What are the Steps of EMDR Therapy?
In a therapeutic setting, the steps of EMDR therapy are quite cut and dry. So just what are the steps of EMDR therapy?
The 8 ‘phases’ are as follows:
1. History taking- A discussion between therapist and patient to get an understanding of why they have decided to come to therapy.
2. Preparation- Explain EMDR and establish a set of expectations that should arise from the therapy.
3. Assessment- Identify the past event.
4. Desensitization- Begin the eye movements and apply the other techniques involved in EMDR therapy
5. Installation- Build a positive belief associated with the past event and strengthen it.
6. Body Scan- Hold in mind the event and positive beliefs newly associated with the event.
7. Closure- The client returns to the present.
8. Reevaluation- Discuss the reprocessed memory.
How Does EMDR Differ from Other Techniques?
According to the American Psychological Association website, “Unlike other treatments that focus on directly altering the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory, and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, thus reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms.”
Effective Treatment for Trauma and Dual Diagnosis
EMDR is an effective treatment for trauma and dual diagnosis in that many times the co-occurring mental health issue alongside substance use disorder can many times be treated through the EMDR therapy.
However, the symptoms may manifest, relieving emotional attachments to negative past experiences may be the answer to client issues and quite often provides long-term relief from traumatic memories.
Find Lasting Recovery from Addiction and Trauma at Icarus Behavioral Health
All studies point to the fact that lasting recovery from addiction and trauma are possible.
Many people have escaped the grasp of addiction through a multitude of different treatment options and avenues. The same is to be said of trauma.
Many times, trauma and addiction are intertwined and recovery from one depends on the other.
Icarus Behavioral Health has many treatment options that fit the needs of anyone suffering from trauma or addiction. Our facility is an extremely high-rated center with a state-of-the-art facility that utilizes cutting edge techniques, please reach out any time with questions or for more details.
If you or a loved one is suffering from any issues related to trauma or substance abuse, give our team a call today and discuss your options for getting relief now!