Traumatic experiences are significant triggers for substance abuse. Whether it’s PTSD or an unfavorable experience from your past, it can create triggers. Dealing with your traumatic event is vital to your mental health. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) could be the game-changer you’ve been looking for.
The Connection between Trauma and Addiction
EMDR is part of the addiction therapy services program in New Hampshire that NFA Behavioral Health offers. It acknowledges that traumatic experiences contribute to substance abuse. Maybe you suffer from flashbacks, intrusive memories, or emotions.
You wish you could turn them off, but it doesn’t work. You decide to numb yourself to get some sleep. Opioids or alcohol work for you at the moment. Of course, these are only short-term solutions.
They can also quickly create their own problems. One of them is an addiction. You now suffer from unresolved trauma and chemical dependency. That’s why EMDR therapy at the NFA Behavioral Health’s rehab facility offers real solutions.
What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy?
It’s essential for long-term recovery to deal with the traumatic situation. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, the survival of an assault, or wartime memories, you need to heal. You’ve tried doing it your way, and it didn’t work. In this case, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is a healthy way.
It’s a non-invasive psychotherapy approach that helps you overcome the emotional stress you feel. Unlike talk therapy that would take many months to help resolve issues, this therapeutic approach only takes a few sessions. However, you do have to recall some details of the event. Of course, the therapist instructs you on pairing stressful memories with specific eye movements.
In this way, EMDR therapy dilutes the effect of the stress through the sensory input. Neurofeedback shows that your brain waves also change as you combine stressful memories with stimulation. It’s fair to say that the eye movements take the edge off the distress. Therefore, it creates a functional coping mechanism that doesn’t rely on drugs or alcohol.
Most importantly, you’re in full control of the movements. You no longer feel like you’re dealing with intrusive emotions or feelings that could attack at any minute. Understanding this change then empowers you to refuse substance abuse. In simplest terms, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy removes a significant trigger for addiction.
Part of a Comprehensive Healing Experience
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is an approach that focuses intently on one drug use trigger. Even so, it can’t stand alone when dealing with substance abuse. Other modalities combine with it to create a comprehensive recovery approach. Examples might include:
- Grief and loss therapy that helps you process emotions you may not have dealt with in healthy ways
- Dialectical behavior therapy, which teaches you how to validate and embrace emotions without allowing them to take over
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that lets you develop functional coping skills for faulty connections between thoughts and actions
- Individual talk therapy that sets the tone for your various therapeutic interventions
- Process group participation for talking through tricky situations you have difficulty handling
Another treatment approach is 12 Step program participation. You don’t have to be religious to benefit from the program. Rather, you learn how to feel safe in a group and capitalize on encouragement and mutual accountability. Most importantly, it’s a group setting that helps you prevent relapse after program graduation.
Combing Evidence-Based Therapy with Holistic Treatments
Holistic treatments teach you self-care. These are activities that you can continue after you leave the facility. Case in point is meditation. It’s a stress buster.
Besides that, it helps you prevent the automatic reaction to a trigger that you’re fighting right now. Meditation encourages you to calm the body and mind. From there, you learn how to ground yourself. Finally, you understand how to go about making a healthy decision in a stressful situation.
Of course, you can’t take advantage of these modalities until you sign up for treatment. NFA Behavioral Health therapists welcome clients to residential treatment and intensive outpatient programs. We gladly explain to you how you could benefit from eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. Call 866.420.6222 right now to schedule an appointment.