Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is becoming a mainstay at many addiction treatment facilities and therapists’ offices as more professionals in the area of addiction treatment are tuning in to its potential benefits.

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a treatment modality developed in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro, a clinical psychologist that has used the technique to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in numerous patients. The purpose of the therapy is to safely process traumatic memories stored in the brain through a series of bilateral eye movements. Therapy can also be conducted through taps or tones delivered through headphones. Therapy sessions are repeated until the individual no longer feels distressed by the memories, which in some cases, can be much quicker than other forms of therapy.

Benefits of EMDR

There are numerous reasons why EMDR is being incorporated into so many addiction treatment programs today:

  • Ability to explore traumatic memories in a safe environment
  • Proven method with a positive track record of success
  • May provide faster results than other treatment modalities
  • Shown to reduce the risk for relapse during recovery
  • Offers another option for individuals that have experienced past trauma

Do You Need EMDR?


EMDR is typically recommended in combination with other treatment modalities to ensure the best odds of success. It is only advised for individuals with past traumatic events that are suspected of contributing to their addiction. However, EMDR is not restricted to PTSD; it is often used for others that do not have diagnosed PTSD, but have survived some sort of traumatic event or series of events in their lives. To learn more about EMDR, contact Treatment Now.