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EMDR Therapy in Denver, Colorado

EMDR Therapy in Denver, Colorado

At Continuum Recovery Center of Denver, Colorado, we are proud to offer EMDR Therapy (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) as an integral part of our outpatient addiction treatment programs. EMDR is a trusted, evidence-based form of therapy. It is used to help individuals process and work through emotional stress and trauma brought on by difficult life experiences. These experiences can trigger and/or deepen addictive and self-destructive patterns. 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 as much as the body recovers from physical trauma.

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 is specifically designed to heal traumatic experiences and memories. This helps lessen the feeling of being victimized or 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.

This type of trauma treatment 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. What follows are the actions that have proven to make EMDR as effective as it is. 

The Eight Steps of EMDR Therapy 

In order to conduct an effective, transformative EMDR session, there are a number of steps that the client and the mental health professional have to take.

Phase One: Client History and Treatment Planning

The first phase is a history-taking session. This includes sharing your mental health history and possibly some medical history. Our therapists will gain a stronger understanding of you and you needs while also assessing your readiness and develop a treatment plan.

Phase Two: Preparation

During the second phase of treatment, the therapist puts forth reasonable expectations and helps ensure that you have different ways of handling emotional distress between sessions. Some of these coping skills include guided imagery or mindfulness, to name a few.

Phase Three: Assessment

In phase three, you and your therapist will determine a specific memory to recall for the session. Once the recalling begins, you will be instructed how to replace negative reactions and thoughts to this memory with positive ones.

Phase Four: Desensitization

As the chosen memory is being recalled, phase four can begin. This occurs when the therapist encourages you to continually recall this memory and take note of the thoughts that come along with it while looking at a light, being tapped, or undergoing another somatic action. 

Phase Five: Installation

The therapist, having helped you recall the desired memory and desensitize you to it, will then work to install positive beliefs into your thought process surrounding the memory. This is done in an effort to replace the negative reactions associated with the memory.

Phase Six: Body Scan

You will be asked to take a scan of your body. This  means that you should take time to think of what your physical response to this memory is. You might feel tightness in your chest, a pounding heart beat, or a knot in your stomach. Vocalizing what you come up with during the body scan allows the therapist to help you begin altering your physical response.

Phase Seven: Closure

Closure is the seventh phase. The therapist will close out the session by helping you activate some techniques that can keep you emotionally stable and comfortable. The therapist may ask you to keep a log during the week. The log should document anything related that may arise.

Phase 8: Reevaluation

The final phase consists of examining the progress made thus far. You and your therapist will discuss where you have found success and what areas still need further work. 

Benefits of EMDR Therapy in Denver, Colorado

As mentioned before, EMDR therapy is an evidence-based treatment. This means that it has been studied and proven effective in treating trauma and other related disorders. It is commonly used in addiction treatment centers, as nearly half of all recovering addicts and alcoholics have a mental illness and/or a history of trauma. Continuum Recovery in Denver, CO utilizes EMDR Therapy to help treat our patients.

Some of the ways that EMDR benefits individuals include the following:

  • Reduces symptoms related to anxiety, depression, and panic disorder, three of the most common mental illnesses in the country
  •  Offers a non-pharmacological alternative to helping treat symptoms of a mental illness or trauma
  • Reduces stress, which improves heart health as well as general wellness
  • Helps individuals process big, overwhelming emotions in a more manageable, comfortable manner

EMDR can help you address the underlying issues related to your substance use disorder. It can also help a mental illness, and/or a traumatic experience. Those experiences may be standing in the way of your success and wellbeing.

EMDR Therapy in Denver, Colorado

Call us right now if you would like to learn more about EMDR therapy or incorporate it into your treatment program here in Colorado. Our certified and licensed counselors will discuss with you if you’re a good candidate for it. The team will guide you through the process as part of your outpatient addiction rehab.


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

If you have any questions about EMDR Therapy or our Comprehensive and Holistic Approach to Treatment here in Colorado, you can Contact Us to get the Information you Need!


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