EMDR Therapy

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Introduction to EMDR Therapy

At Florida Addiction and Recovery Center, we embrace Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy as a transformative approach to healing. This powerful therapeutic technique has proven effective in helping individuals recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences. In this article, we will delve into the mechanics, benefits, and practical applications of EMDR therapy, offering insights from our firsthand experiences.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment designed to alleviate the stress associated with traumatic memories. Its unique approach involves the patient recalling distressing events while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input, including side-to-side eye movements.

How Does EMDR Work?

The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these traumatic memories thoroughly, reducing their lingering effects and allowing individuals to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. This process is believed to be associated with the mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, aiding in naturally processing traumatic memories.

The EMDR Therapy Process

Phases of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy consists of eight distinct phases, starting with the history and treatment planning, moving through the preparation, assessment, and treatment phases, and concluding with evaluation.

Phase 1: History and Treatment Planning

We gather comprehensive personal histories and identify specific memories to target during the treatment.

Phase 2: Preparation

In this phase, we introduce our clients to the EMDR therapy process and teach them stress-reduction techniques to use between sessions.

Phase 3: Assessment

Here, we identify the vivid visual image related to the memory, a negative belief about self, related emotions and body sensations.

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How it works


Medication Management

Medication management is a technique that involves collaborating with patients and their caregivers to develop a comprehensive and precise list of medications through the "brown bag" method.


Self-care is crucial for both mental health and overall well-being. It's heartening to observe an increasing number of individuals treating their mental health with the same importance as their physical health.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a therapeutic technique used in mental health treatment. This approach entails directing your eye movements in a particular pattern as you recall traumatic memories.


CBT treatment typically focuses on modifying thought patterns. This process may involve: Identifying and understanding one's flawed thinking that contributes to issues, and subsequently reassessing these thoughts based on reality.

Mid-Stages: Desensitization, Installation, and Body Scan

Phase 4: Desensitization

This stage focuses on the client’s disturbing emotions and sensations as they are processed and their distress is reduced.

Phase 5: Installation

The positive belief is strengthened and installed to replace the negative thoughts associated with the traumatic memories.

Phase 6: Body Scan

After the installation, the client is asked to think of the incident along with the positive cognition and to notice any residual tension in the body.


Conclusion of Therapy

Phase 7: Closure

Ensures the client leaves at the end of a session feeling better than at the beginning.

Phase 8: Reevaluation

At the beginning of the next session to ensure that the positive results have been maintained, assess if additional sessions are needed.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

Effectiveness in Treating Trauma

EMDR has been extensively researched and proven effective for treating trauma. It is recognized as an effective form of therapy for trauma by organizations such as the American Psychological Association.

Beyond Trauma

Apart from trauma, EMDR therapy has been helpful in treating anxiety, depression, and other psychological stress.

Client Experiences with EMDR at Florida Addiction and Recovery Center

Our clients often express significant relief after undergoing EMDR therapy. Many have reported profound changes in how they relate to past traumatic events—changes that have positively influenced their overall well-being.

Incorporating EMDR into Your Recovery Plan

As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, EMDR can significantly enhance the healing process. We encourage those struggling with trauma to consider this powerful therapeutic option.

Results can vary, but many clients feel relief after just a few sessions.

Yes, when conducted by a trained professional, EMDR therapy is safe and has no known side effects.

Absolutely, EMDR has been adapted for children and has been used effectively.

No, detailed discussions of the trauma are not necessary for EMDR to be effective.

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