EMDR can be used to target urges and cravings that occur in early recovery by desensitizing “triggers.” The focus of EMDR treatment for individuals recovering from SUDs is primarily on current issues and triggers eliciting the desire to use. Underlying family of origin issues and trauma are gradually assessed and resolved as the individual is stabilized and secure in their recovery.
EMDR explores the way that painful and negative memories can be at the root of problems brought in to therapy. Unprocessed memories are often present as symptoms (and pain). EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a proven and highly effective technique for “digesting” unprocessed, or “stuck” memories that contain the negative emotions, sensations, and beliefs of traumatic experiences. By activating the brain’s information processing system, old memories can be digested. What this means is that what is useful is learned, and what useless is discarded, such that the brain “re-organizes” the disturbing or traumatic material and sores it in a way that is no longer damaging to a person’s sense of well being.