EMDR (is an innovative treatment that helps patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to process negative memories and emotions that have been suppressed. It enables them to achieve their therapeutic goals rapidly, with recognisable changes that don’t disappear over time.
PTSD sufferers involuntarily re-experience aspects of the traumatic event in a very vivid and distressing way. This includes:
- Flashbacks where the person acts or feels as if the event was recurring
- Repetitive and distressing intrusive images
- Other sensory impressions from the event
Trauma can be one of the root causes of addiction because people who experience PTSD are more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the stressful flashbacks.
EMDR makes it possible for patients to gain self-awareness and perspective, enabling them to choose how they respond to the traumatic memories. Many controlled studies have shown that EMDR is a highly effective therapy in the treatment of PTSD.
EMDR in PTSD and addiction treatment at Castle Craig
Prior to EMDR, the therapist assesses the patient’s readiness and suitability for EMDR and develops a treatment plan. All Castle Craig trauma therapists are trained through EMDR Europe to the required level to practice safely.
During a therapy session, patients are guided to revisit the traumatic event, consciously focusing on eye movements, sounds and body sensations. This process can be complex if there are many experiences connected to negative thoughts and feelings. The EMDR therapy sessions continue until the traumatic memories and emotions are relieved.
EMDR treatment works to process all traumatic past events, current incidents that cause distress, and future scenarios that could induce a traumatic response. The overall goal is to produce the most comprehensive and profound treatment effects in the shortest period of time, while simultaneously maintaining a stable client within a balanced system.
- After EMDR processing, patients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased and that they have gained important insights into their mental processes: perception, memory, judgement, reasoning, and behaviour. Importantly, these emotional and cognitive changes usually result in behavioural and personal changes.
Our Abuse and Trauma Consultant, Linda Hill, is highly qualified with considerable experience in this area and provides expert consultancy and supervision of staff.
‘I found the work with Linda very helpful and have no doubt it enabled me to let go of things from the past and helped me to replace feelings of anger, shame, guilt with acceptance.’ – a former patient.
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Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | October 12, 2021