What Is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy and How Does It Work?

eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
There is a prevalent connection between past trauma and substance addiction. Drugs and alcohol seemingly help fight the battle against the memories and negative feelings that plague a trauma victim daily, but in reality, they are double agents just adding to your already overwhelming burden.

Treatment and recovery are available through tremendous programs like those at Summit Malibu. One treatment that has successfully helped millions of people is EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy – which has proven effective in up to 90% of patients after only three 90-minute sessions.

How Does EMDR Work?

CBT, or Cognitive Behavior Therapy, is the basis of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. The difference with EMDR is the physical movement of the eyes, which professionals believe mimics the restorative process of REM sleep.

During EMDR sessions, the client is asked to focus on the most distressing and impacting details of their past trauma while they focus on the hand movement of the therapist, tracking solely with their eyes.

8 Phases of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

The process has been compartmentalized into 8 stages, but the number of sessions over which the client progresses through these stages will differ. The phases are:

  1. History: Define client triggers and develop a treatment plan.
  2. Prepare client: Explain the process and the client’s role.
  3. Ongoing assessment: Track progress and alter treatment as needed.
  4. Desensitization: Phase in which actual eye movement is included.
  5. Installation: Begin replacing negative thoughts and reactions with positivity and healthy behaviors.
  6. Body scan: Observe for other areas of tension and work to resolve.
  7. Closure: Does the client feel better?
  8. Reevaluation: Have the goals of treatment been reached? Does the client have better coping mechanisms? Are they living a better, more healthy life?

EMDR at Summit Malibu

At Summit Malibu, we can incorporate Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy with our other successful mental health and addiction recovery programs. It is time to contact us to let us help you become the best you that you can be, and ease your road to a successful recovery.