EMDR For Addiction

EMDR is a game-changer in addiction treatment. The acronym EMDR is short for Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a ground-breaking scientific breakthrough. It has revolutionized how doctors treat anxiety and addiction. For addiction, EMDR is a tried and proven effective treatment that does more than treat, it resolves. Taking EMDR for addiction therapy can be the missing piece of your recovery puzzle. All the details you want and need to know about EMDR for addiction-related conditions lie in the details of this article.

What is EMDR Therapy?

Scientific studies conclude that your memory bank for impulses and desires is tied to specific eye movement patterns. Such eye movement patterns trigger these impulsive desires and indulgences. This is where EMDR comes in. Doctors have found that these eye movements and memory storage centers can be retrained and reprocessed with special medical training.

Through getting to know you and your struggles on a personal level, your doctor can know the patterns of yours that require reprocessing. Put simply, your doctor can erase these desires and addictive cravings and replace them with healthy desires and goals.

EMDR is a treatment that tackles the mental and physical symptoms of your addiction head-on by retraining the addictive personality. Amazingly, the hands-on guidance of a trained specialist can retrain your mind to remove and replace these desires.

This is because conducting certain eye movements while thinking about past traumas that cause you anxiety can distract your mind from forming that anxiety in the first place that often then causes you to exhibit negative behaviors, such as substance abuse. Thus, EMDR for addiction hones in on these seemingly irrepressible desires etched deep in your memory bank and removes them naturally and seamlessly so that you can form a healthy new lifestyle.

How Does EMDR Aid Recovery From Addiction?

EMDR for addiction is effective by getting to know the entirety of your addiction struggles from beginning to end. Many problems with addiction stem from a traumatic experience or circumstance from your past. This is where the process of EMDR comes into play. For addiction, EMDR brings out those underlying causes to the surface.

When your doctor knows the root memories or experiences that spawned your addictive behaviors, he or she can then work on neurologically retraining those mental storage centers in a way that you never thought possible. The memory will always be there, but the negativity tied to that memory will no longer be there by the latter stages of EMDR. Instead, positively reinforced thoughts will take the place of what was once a trigger for substance abuse.

What are the Stages of EMDR Treatment?

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There are 8 specific phases of EMDR treatment. Each phase consists of vital coinciding steps that cannot be skipped. Each phase leads into the other like stepping stones to the peak of your recovery.

Remember, the whole point of EMDR treatment is to not be concerned about “stage time.” Stage time in the case of recovery refers to the length of time spent in one phase of rehab.

Rest assured, because every addiction treatment case is handled on an individualized treatment basis, there is no definitive time frame for the completion of each stage of rehab. Just because you may spend more time in one or more stages does not mean you’re failing. Doctors may prefer more time in one stage to ensure each phase-based training is integrated into your natural mental process.

The best part about EMDR for addiction treatment is everything is on your terms as determined by your medical professional. These stages to follow are in successive order and cannot be done without professional assistance.

Historical Assessment

Getting to know when and where your addiction began is the most intricate detail your doctor can know to chart your successful course to a full recovery. One’s doctor gets to know when and where a person’s addiction began through the initial stage of EMDR treatment. This is called histrionic assessment. This initial stage of EMDR for addiction therapy is designed to get to know the source of a person’s addiction struggles.

By getting to the root of an issue, your doctor can weed out the entire basis of your struggles with substances. This means removing it entirely from your life.

Most recovery clinics may seek to cut the addiction “tree” at the stump or base. Harmony Ridge Recovery reaches beyond to get to the root of the problem and remove it from your life. As long as you’re straightforward about your substance abuse history, you may find, as many others have that partake in EMDR for addiction, that you may be your key to sobriety.

Recovery Path Assessment

In phase two of EMDR for addiction treatment, your therapy specialist explains the recovery path. Your therapy specialist will also explain the step-by-step approach in tackling your strongholds. Your recovery path is directly determined by your previous sessions in the initial historical assessment stage.

The compassionate experts at Harmony Ridge Recovery ensure that you are never taken by surprise at any stage of your recovery. The overwhelming majority of patients enjoy their treatment with very minimal side effects. At this point, you and your doctor know the gravity of what you’re facing. You and your doctor also know how to approach removing your trauma and substance abuse-based obstacles from your life.

Memory Targeting Assessment

In phase three of EMDR for addiction treatment, a specialist seeks to identify specific thoughts and feeling triggers that are linked to your substance struggles. This process begins by stimulating memories and thoughts directly tied to your addictive stronghold.

Stimulating these memories and mental images enables your therapist to measure neuronic frequencies that detect elevated bodily desires and cravings. These neuronic frequency levels are your doctor’s answer key to retraining how you associate your feelings with thoughts of your addictive struggle.

Targeted memories that trigger substance or alcohol abuse often stem from a traumatic event or events from your past. This is why the greatest ground-breaking method of treatment for most is EMDR for addiction and mental health struggles.

Memory Disassociation and Replacement

EMDR for addiction therapy trains you to disassociate your desire from negative targeted thoughts. It does this through a tried and true eye pattern training process.

Through specific eye movements instructed by your physician, you can naturally train yourself to distract yourself from thoughts about your past traumas. This, in turn, will help you not experience negative thoughts and feelings that will trigger the negative behavior of substance abuse. To take it a step further, your doctor replaces these negative cravings with positive sobriety reinforcement through similar eye-movement stimulation.

The greatest benefit of this stage specifically, or even the process is the fact that no medication is necessary. No artificial stimulants and no drugs, only natural eye movements. Also, unlike most other types of treatment for substance abuse, cases of EMDR for addiction can come with minimal to no side effects. Many patients have reported this stage to be among the most blissful.


The fifth phase of EMDR for addiction implements your newly trained thoughts of mental positivity through repetitive visual sequencing processes. Different variations of eye movements are conducted that are directly linked to neuronic frequencies.

You will be asked to focus on the positive thoughts amid these eye pattern exercises to instill these positive reinforcements.  Like a computer doing a complete factory reset and reinstallation process, you can do the same to your thoughts through medically-aided retraining.

Full-Body and Mind Evaluation

In the sixth phase, a full-body scan is performed to detect any mental or physical distresses when revisiting the target memories. This process is a key step in helping your doctor see if and how much further implementation training is necessary. If stress frequencies are detected, your doctor will proceed with the implementation process till neuronic anxiety is extinguished.


Reaching this seventh phase of EMDR for addiction doesn’t mean you’re finished quite yet, however, you’re close. This stage of treatment centers on reviewing and practicing the stress relief and anxiety reduction abilities you’ve learned throughout your treatment process. You will be asked to keep a log of any stressful or addiction-related thoughts tied to your substance struggles. Each session in this stage revolves around your doctor teaching you to control any stressful thoughts noted in your stress and addiction journal.

Addiction Reassessment

At the eighth and final phase, your doctor reassesses your addictive condition and how you’ve responded to therapy treatments. This final evaluation process tells you and your doctor if further sessions are needed. In addition, your therapist may schedule post-recovery sessions to check up on your status and the maintenance of your sobriety.

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The First Step of the Rest of Your Life

Making the decision to reach out to Harmony Ridge Recovery is the one step that could change your life. Any treatment from our therapy experts is sure to be the most compassionate and effective treatment you can find. Don’t hesitate in making the decision you and your loved ones know to be right. Most importantly, your choice at this moment is a decision between extending or shortening your life. This is the open door you’ve been waiting for and your opportunity at a happier life in sobriety.