Last evening, we held our first in-person Pathway Session in 16 months. It was a great success. The audience, made up of mostly parents and recovery coaches, heard Linda Rost, LCSW speak about both trauma and EMDR Therapy. (EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This therapy has been gaining notoriety and popularity recently. The hype appears to be grounded in results. Linda noted a 90% success rate during her 15 years of experience with the therapy.
Linda started off by defining both big T and little t traumas. She also talked about the link between trauma and addiction. Following her intro, her patient Chris stood up to discuss his story using EMDR to treat trauma. Chris is a man in long-term recovery from addiction, who recounted his childhood trauma that took a toll on him for many years. Even after being sober, he had struggled with prolonged periods of anxiety and irritability. Through a friend in his twelve-step fellowship, Chris found Linda and accessed the EMDR Therapy virtually. Chris participated in weekly 1-hour sessions for about 4 months. During the evaluation phase (see below) it was determined that he had found significant relief from his physical pain and distress.
There was significant Q&A afterwards. Many parents were interested whether the therapy could be used for loved ones still misusing drugs. The answer was that while therapy could be started, not until there was some commitment to moderate and/or end drug use could the therapy phases be completed.
See background below. Call or text Paul Reinhardt (203-564-6374) if you’d live to view the replay.
Background: EMDR therapy uses a structured eight-phase approach that includes: Phase 1: History-taking Phase 2: Preparing the client Phase 3: Assessing the target memory Phases 4-7: Processing the memory to adaptive resolution Phase 8: Evaluating treatment results. Processing of a specific memory is generally completed within one to three sessions. EMDR therapy differs from other trauma-focused treatments in that it does not include extended exposure to the distressing memory, detailed descriptions of the trauma, challenging of dysfunctional beliefs or homework assignments.
In the News: Prince Harry is seen using EMDR Therapy to process trauma in AppleTV’s The Me You Can’t See, Ep. 3. In addition, Gabor Maté’s new documentary The Wisdom of Trauma has just been released. Finally, Hope Payson, LCSW a noted EMDR Therapist based in Winsted, CT, just released a new documentary about trauma, addiction and recovery called Uprooting Addiction.