EMDR Therapy In Knoxville, TN

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it is an alternative therapy that has been gaining popularity in the addiction treatment world in recent years. EMDR has been shown to help people who have experienced trauma by stimulating their vision while they discuss these experiences in a therapeutic environment. This stimulation is thought to help the brain reprocess these memories, reducing the intensely negative emotions associated with them.

The link between trauma and addiction is one that has been established for many years. As the evidence of the effectiveness of EMDR grew, addiction treatment facilities began incorporating it into their programming. At Tennessee Valley Recovery, we offer EMDR therapy in Knoxville, TN as a way to more effectively treat our clients with a history of trauma, ensuring a higher rate of success in their sobriety.

emdr therapy knoxville tn

How Does EMDR Work?

While no one understands exactly how EMDR works, many years of research since its discovery in the 1980s has reinforced its effectiveness. There seems to be a connection between our eye movements and our association with negative emotions. Changing these eye movements somehow reduces the negative feelings associated with traumatic events in our lives. The most effective way to treat addiction is to get to the root cause of it. Since so many people with PTSD or a history of trauma end up with an addiction, EMDR can help significantly increase the chances that these people can overcome their addiction and maintain their sobriety.

One of the biggest benefits of EMDR Therapy in Knoxville, TN is that it does not use any medication. This means there is no time lost trying to get dosages right or dealing with adverse side effects. Instead, it relies totally on the use of visual stimulation. Some therapists may use specialized equipment. Others simply use a small penlight. Both methods are valid approaches to EMDR. Essentially, your therapist will have you talk about your trauma while using the light to alter your eye movement. While this may seem like a simple process, it is in fact a very sensitive time for clients. You may experience mood shifts, outbursts, and other intense emotions. This is why it is extremely important that you only seek EMDR therapy from a qualified therapist. Also, make sure they have the training necessary to administer the therapy in a safe and effective way.

What are the Phases of EMDR?

The overall focus of EMDR will be the therapist working to understand both the client’s history and how it affects their actions and reactions in the present. While EMDR therapy can vary from provider to provider, it typically involves eight different phases. These include:

Phase 1

EMDR begins with digging into the client’s history and background. This usually takes one or two sessions. This helps the therapist find out what they need to target in figure sessions. This can include both traumatic events and other problem areas.

Phase 2

The therapist will prepare the client for treatment by explaining exactly what they will be doing. They will also instruct the client on techniques to help them deal with the stress of reliving their trauma. This includes breathing and relaxation exercises.

Phase 3

During this phase, the therapist and client will work together to identify traumatic events. They will also discuss the emotions they result in. The therapist will help the client learn ways to deal with the stress these emotions cause in a healthier and more positive way.

Phase 4

This is the phase at which the actual work of the EMDR begins. The client will be asked to relate their traumatic events and the negative emotions that it led to. More positive emotions will be encouraged to replace them.

Phase 5

During phase 5, the therapist works on more reprocessing to further instill positive feelings about both the past and about current strides they have made in overcoming their addiction and dealing with normal everyday experiences.

Phase 6

At this point, the therapist and client go back to check for any remaining stress or tension related to the targeted trauma. If there is any, more reprocessing is done to address it.

Phase 7

During this phase, the therapist reassesses the client’s reactions to the events to make sure that treatment has been successful, and that the client feels the positive effects of the therapy.

Phase 8

Once again, the therapist and client reevaluate the work they have done to make sure they have met the goals set at the beginning of treatment. If there are any lingering issues, they will go back to the appropriate phase to continue working toward the goals. If all goals have been met, the treatment is completed.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

The most effective way to treat addiction is to get to the root cause of it. Since so many people with post-traumatic stress disorder or a history of trauma end up with an addiction, EMDR can help significantly increase the chances that these people can overcome their addiction and maintain their sobriety. Many people who use EMDR experience a reduction in their trauma symptoms, including flashbacks. Some report no longer experiencing symptoms of trauma after completing EMDR. 

Another big benefit of EMDR Therapy in Knoxville, TN is that it does not use any medication. This means there is no time lost trying to get dosages right or dealing with adverse side effects. Instead, it relies totally on the use of visual stimulation. EMDR takes place over a limited amount of sessions rather than continuing for several months or years at a time. 

EMDR also proves useful in treating other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, and substance use disorders. Someone who experiences one or more of those conditions alongside trauma often finds they receive multiple benefits from EMDR.

How Do I Know I Need EMDR Therapy In Knoxville,TN? 

If the negative emotions spurred by your trauma are taking a toll on your day-to-day life, EMDR therapy can help. These painful feelings can put stress on you, making it hard to effectively address your addiction. For EMDR therapy to be successful, you must be ready to process the emotions associated with traumatic events. During treatment, you will be discussing them thoroughly and explaining how this trauma made you feel—if you are not ready to talk about the past, then you could quickly become overwhelmed. However, you can prepare for treatment by confronting these uncomfortable memories beforehand. That way, when you start EMDR therapy, you are in a place to voice what has happened to you and how it has affected your addiction. If you are still uncertain whether or not EMDR therapy is right for you, it is best to be evaluated by a mental health professional. They will talk through your trauma, how it affects your quality of life, and how it aggravates your struggle with addiction.

EMDR Therapy in Knoxville, TN

While EMDR may not have been originally intended for use in treating addiction, its usefulness has been supported by many different studies. Because trauma can both make you more likely to become addicted and make getting clean more complicated, addressing that trauma in a way that helps reduce the effect it has on your daily life is extremely important to successful addiction recovery. It is important to also receive other forms of addiction treatment alongside EMDR Therapy in Knoxville, TN, as it is most effective as a complementary therapy rather than a stand-alone one.

If you or someone you love has a history of trauma and is struggling with addiction, contact us today. Our varied treatment options mean that every client gets to design an addiction recovery plan that addresses their needs in a highly individualized way. We are here to help guide you through every step of the healing process until you are ready to go back to your everyday life. See the difference that overcoming your addiction – and your trauma – can make for your happiness and quality of life.

A New Day Begins with Tennessee Valley Recovery

It is time to put your health and wellbeing first. Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you put a stop to your active addiction and begin living a life of recovery.

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