EMDR THERAPY at Southern Sky

South Carolina EMDR Therapy

Substance abuse and addiction have their roots in a variety of potential underlying causes. For many people, one such cause is exposure to a seriously traumatic life event. In the wake of this exposure, you may start drinking or taking drugs. You may also increase your existing level of substance use. The end result in some cases is the onset of a substance use disorder (SUD). 

During SUD treatment, enduring trauma can make it much harder for you to keep your recovery on track. For this reason, effective options for easing trauma may be crucial to your rehab success. The list of these options includes a unique method called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR uses a multistep process to help you work through past traumas and heal. 

Do you or your loved one need EMDR as part of your treatment for drug or alcohol problems? In the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire, turn to our top-rated drug rehab in Bluffton, Southern Sky Recovery. Our South Carolina EMDR services can help you deal effectively with the ongoing impact of past traumas. As a result, you may find it much easier to restore emotional balance and make real progress in substance rehab.

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The Basics of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR therapy was developed in the late 80s as a way to help people affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is perhaps the quintessential trauma-related mental health condition. It produces multiple effects that combine to make you feel highly distressed and reduce your ability to function. Today, EMDR is also used to help people whose trauma symptoms don’t meet the criteria for PTSD. 

At its core, EMDR is a form of psychotherapy. However, it differs from other therapies in important ways. As its name implies, the focus is on processing traumatic memories that remain ‘stuck’ in your thoughts and emotions. When these memories are unstuck, their effects on you can decline and fade away.  

EMDR is a multistep procedure. It begins with a series of preparatory actions that include:

  • Taking a complete medical history
  • Making sure that you’re a good candidate for EMDR
  • Choosing specific traumatic memories to target later on in the therapy
  • Explaining the details of how an EMDR session works

Next, your therapist will assess the ways in which you’re affected by a given traumatic memory. These effects can include such things as:

  • The images you picture when that memory comes to mind
  • Your thoughts and emotions regarding that memory
  • The bodily sensations you experience when recalling that emotion

Next comes what’s known as the desensitization phase of EMDR. During this phase, you move your eyes back and forth in a rhythmic pattern. At the same time, you focus your attention on the targeted memory. While doing these two things, you tell your therapist about any thoughts that come up. 

Your therapist then helps you choose a positive thought to attach to that memory. As you focus on this thought, your therapist helps you increase its strength. While keeping your memory and your positive thoughts in mind, you turn your attention to the sensations generated in your body. The goal here is to identify any physical distress tied to the memory. If you’re experiencing this distress, your therapist will take extra steps to help you work through it. 

You may or may not completely process the targeted memory by the time you’re done with a given EMDR session. If you do process it, you move on to the next one. If not, your therapist will show you how to deal with it until you start your next session.

Have more questions about EMDR or any of its individual steps? Consult the helpful staff at Southern Sky today.

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How Long Does EMDR Therapy Last?

The typical weekly session of EMDR therapy can last anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour and a half. In all cases, only you and your therapist participate. Some people start to feel better soon after they start EMDR. However, your total time in therapy may last up to three months or so. 

What affects your treatment timeline? Factors that may have an impact in your case include:

  • The seriousness of your trauma symptoms
  • The number of memories you must process during EMDR
  • How well you respond to the therapy

For more details on the potential duration of EMDR and our Bluffton addiction treatment options, contact us today.

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EMDR’s Role in Substance Treatment

How can an EMDR treatment center help you recover from substance abuse or addiction? To answer this question, we must first consider the potential impact of unresolved trauma on your drug or alcohol use. As it turns out, this impact can be substantial.

Studies show that people who live through trauma may start self-medicating themselves with drugs or alcohol. That’s true whether or not they qualify for a diagnosis of PTSD. Specific problems that may lead to drinking or drug use include:

  • Unwanted memories of a past trauma
  • Trauma-related emotional distress
  •  Sleep difficulties

There are two unfortunate potential consequences of using drugs or alcohol in these circumstances. First, you may end up putting yourself on the fast track to substance abuse/addiction. To make matters even worse, self-medication with drugs or alcohol has a limited effect when it works at all. In fact, your actions may have the opposite effect and increase your future trauma risks. 

Trauma therapies are known for their ability to support recovery from substance problems. They work by removing one of your potential motivations for drinking or using drugs. When this motivation is gone, you may find it easier to halt your substance intake. You may also find it easier to make progress in your drug or alcohol recovery program. 

EMDR is widely viewed as an evidence-based option for trauma treatment. In other words, its results are backed by substantial research and study. Some studies suggest that it can produce even better results than cognitive-behavioral therapy, another common choice for trauma-related recovery.

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Turn to Southern Sky Recovery for South Carolina EMDR Services

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is one of the newer options for evidence-backed trauma treatment. Over the past few years, it’s grown in popularity. However, not all rehab providers offer it. Think you or your loved one may benefit from EMDR therapy? You’ll need to find facilities in your area that include it among their recovery resources. You’ll also need to make sure that your chosen therapist is well-trained in the therapy’s methods.

At Southern Sky, we feature Southern Carolina EMDR services among our many options for addiction recovery. Every day, we rely on these services to support drug and alcohol treatment plans. In all cases, we make sure that customized EMDR fits in well with other aspects of your particular plan. Contact us today to find out more.

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