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EMDR Therapy

EMDR Therapy in Colorado

At Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado, we’re proud to offer EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as an integral part of our outpatient addiction treatment programs. EMDR is a form of therapy used to help individuals process and work through emotional stress and trauma brought on by difficult life experiences, which can trigger and/or deepen addictive and self-destructive patterns.

EMDR has been getting a lot of attention in the medical community because of its proven effectiveness as an adjunct to traditional talk therapy. Repeated studies show that by using Denver EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.

Especially in the case of trauma, severe emotional pain can require a long time to heal. With EMDR, the mind can heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.

When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. With EMDR Therapy, a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes that are often the underlying causes of addiction.

What is EMDR Therapy?

The brain’s processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause problems. Once the block is removed, healing can resume. Using EMDR, our clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes and reduce the cravings and triggers underlying their addictions.

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements or other somatic feedback are used (like tapping on the legs or hands) during one part of the session.

After an initial interview, the therapist determines which traumatic memory to focus on first. The client is asked to recall and hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his or her eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision.

As this happens, internal associations come to the surface and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In EMDR therapy, painful events and traumatic memories are transformed. For example, an abuse victim may shift from feeling horror and self-loathing to holding the belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.”Unlike talk therapy, the insights gained in EMDR therapy result from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional healing.

Overview of the 8-Step EMDR Therapy Process in Denver

Phase 1: The first phase is a history-taking session(s). Our therapists will assess your readiness and develop a treatment plan.

Phase 2: During the second phase of treatment, the therapist ensures you have different ways of handling emotional distress between sessions, such as guided imagery or mindfulness.

Phases 3-6: In phases, three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR therapy procedures in Denver, CO. These involve you identifying three things:

  1. A visual image related to the memory (for example, a room or specific person)
  2. A negative belief about self (for example, “I am worthless”)
  3. Related emotions and body sensations (for example, numbness or tingling)

The therapist will guide you through recalling the memory in conjunction with physical stimulation and then help you “replace” the negative thought, feeling, or emotion with a positive one.

Phase 7: In phase seven, closure, the therapist asks you to keep a log during the week. The log should document any related material that may arise.

Phase 8: The next session begins with phase eight. This consists of examining the progress made thus far.

How Does EMDR Help in Substance Abuse Treatment?

EMDR is specifically designed to heal traumatic experiences and memories so people don’t feel victimized and unable to cope and can create more positive ways of navigating life’s challenges. It also helps disrupts the connection between addictive “pleasure” and harmful behavior.

Our Certified EMDR counselors Will Help You Heal From Your Substance Abuse in Denver

Call us if you’d like to learn more about EMDR Therapy or incorporate it into your treatment program. Our Denver EMDR therapy certified and licensed counselors will discuss with you if you’re a good candidate for it and guide you through the process as part of your outpatient addiction rehab.


If you would like to apply for Pre-Admissions into our Treatment Program, see our Pre-Admissions Section for enrolling In Treatment. 

If you have any questions about our Comprehensive and Holistic Approach to Treatment, you can Contact Us to get the Information you Need!


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