What Is EMDR and How Is It Used in Ohio Drug Rehab?

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Updated 02/20/2023

Just about everyone experiences some level of trauma at some point throughout their lives. Whether they were the victim of abuse, lost a loved one too soon, or have been involved in a traumatic accident, such incidences can have lasting negative effects on a person’s emotional and mental state.

PTSD and Substance Abuse

While many people are able to get over these situations on their own, others struggle to get past them and may end up suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental or emotional issues. It is common for such traumatic experiences to cause nightmares, flashbacks, fear, and general feelings of uneasiness that linger. People who suffer from mental and emotional disorders may intentionally avoid specific situations that remind them of their past trauma.

Some victims of past trauma may seek out help to deal with these issues while others will self-medicate by abusing drugs or alcohol. Those with a co-occurring disorder – which involves both a mental health disorder along with substance use disorder – require professional assistance to help them get over both of their issues, and one effective method of treatment is EDMR.

What is EDMR?

Many therapists make use of EMDR to treat the trauma behind an addict’s abuse of alcohol or drugs in addition to traditional behavioral therapies and pharmaceutical drugs to help addicts in Ohio drug rehab.

EDMR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is based on the premise that the brain is overwhelmed by trauma, leaving it unable to adequately deal with it appropriately. As such, past memories associated with the trauma are not properly stored in the brain, which inevitably leads to negative effects such as flashbacks and nightmares.

This type of psychotherapy is used to treat PTSD and focuses on tapping into traumatic memories and properly processing them in an effort to alleviate the stress associated with the past traumatic events. This is done by involving eye movement to allow the brain to easily access negative memories associated with the traumatic events that have occurred.

EMDR therapy sessions involve therapists asking patients to think about a certain negative memory while keeping their eyes locked on the therapist’s hand as it moves about. The subsequent eye movement allows the patient to focus their attention on other things while subconsciously focusing on the negative memory. In addition to inducing direct eye movements, some therapists also implement external auditory stimuli as well.

Patients may also be asked to think of positive thoughts or phrases so that the memories are associated with something healthier. With the implementation of EMDR therapy, patients can reprocess the information associated with past traumatic events until it no longer causes psychological distress.

EMDR therapy in Ohio drug rehab involves eight phases until the desired effects are achieved. Throughout the sessions, patients are able to let go of the distressing memories associated with the past trauma, better cope with everyday stressors, and establish healthy and effective coping techniques. At the end of the day, EMDR therapy can help addicts not only overcome their past trauma but also learn how to deal with everyday triggers without using drugs or alcohol.

Overcoming Addiction and Mental Health Issues in Ohio Drug Rehab

Anyone suffering from both mental distress and substance abuse should seek help from an Ohio addiction treatment facility. In addition to EDMR therapy, addicts can take advantage of several other treatment options and have a program specifically customized for their particular situations.

If you are struggling to overcome addiction triggered by PTSD or other mental health disorders, do not hesitate to get help today.

Find out more about how rehab can help and contact us today.

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