What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy treatment developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories or events. EMDR therapy is done through bilateral stimulation, commonly through eye movements, which is used to allow the brain to reprocess and ultimately reinterpret the meaning of traumatic memories and emotions. Throughout multiple therapy sessions, a trained EMDR therapist guides the client through a total of eight phases.
There are many benefits of the therapeutic methods that may be surprising for potential therapy clients. Continue reading to learn the benefits of EMDR therapy.
It is more common than not that people who have gone through trauma tend to keep their experiences to themselves. Those who have experienced trauma may feel that communicating their trauma experience will cause them to be retraumatized or triggered resulting in being judged, targeted, or burdensome to others.
EMDR encourages individuals to communicate their experiences step-by-step with a therapist and encourages individuals to finally be able to notice and verbalize their memories, physical responses, thoughts, and emotions. Without judging thoughts throughout the EMDR session, the brain is given the opportunity to heal itself. The comment you will hear often from your therapist is, “just notice.”
Reshapes Past Events
EMDR helps to build connections between the physical body and the psychological mind. As traumatic events are broken down during sessions, individuals can take a step back and see another viewing angle of the incident or incidents, reshaping or reframing what occurred.
This different view provides individuals control over the current life adaptations the trauma has created and can help reduce symptoms related to PTSD.
Acceptance Creates Mental Strength
The therapeutic process helps individuals feel more powerful and eager to face anything else that keeps them from feeling their best. EMDR provides a calm, quick, and confident environment to learn to accept the past and move forward.
After acknowledging the past and coming to terms with acceptance, the mental strength gained from the process can lead to no longer feeling intimidated. Becoming aware of the past without leading to a sudden reaction or response which occurred previously can be very empowering. This often leads to an empowered positive belief about oneself.
The Brain’s Ability to Heal and Remember
A common EMDR therapy benefit is having more accessible memories. EMDR therapy can awaken the brain, stimulating access to vivid detailed memory as well neural connections to other memories that have become linked to the initial targeted event. Many EMDR clients report clear memories of their childhood.
The brain can update old, negative perceptions with positive resolutions, resulting in the brain healing and changing in real-time. With the brain’s ability to change and heal itself, EMDR typically offers quicker results than other therapy modalities. This is a major benefit for those struggling with PTSD and anxiety, as living day-to-day without relief can be crippling.
Improve Your Life With EMDR
The greatest benefit of all is that EMDR therapy helps to improve the lives of those who were negatively affected by mental triggers. As with any other type of therapy, the benefits experienced in EMDR will be reflective of the effort the person puts into it. However, EMDR therapy allows the person to “just notice” what thoughts come to mind and removes a potential barrier of having to come up with something to share in the therapy session.
How to Get Started
If you or someone you know is impacted by trauma, our therapists at Illinois Healing Center are EMDR trained and here to help. For support, visit our website at www.ILHealingCenter.com or call us at 773.570.0770 to schedule an appointment.
Addictive behavior and addiction have a variety of origins. They can stem from family history, mental health diagnoses, peer pressure, use of highly addictive substances, and others. An environmental fact that is often linked to addictive behaviors is trauma. An underlying traumatic incident in someone’s life may lead to behaviors associated with addiction. Trauma can occur in the form of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, witnessing violence, family of origin distress, emotional neglect, academic failures and/or disabilities, and more.
Trauma and Addiction:
Research has shown a correlation between trauma, especially trauma that occurs in childhood, and addictive behaviors. When someone experiences a traumatic event(s) the brain does not fully process the event or store it effectively causing the feelings associated with that trauma to manifest in maladaptive ways. Oftentimes, that person will try to keep those feelings and emotions in check by self-medicating through alcohol, drugs, sex or other acting-out behaviors. These substances can dull the painful feelings and allows the person to feel better in the short term. Unfortunately, as tolerance builds and the negative consequences of using drugs and alcohol or other addictive behaviors increase people will take greater risks and/or progress their negative behaviors. At that point, it’s when the pain of using the drug of choice becomes worse than the pain of the trauma that people will begin to seek help.
Prevention and Getting Help:
There are effective ways to prevent addiction when the risk factors are identified. Though there is no guarantee that preventative measures will work, being cognizant of potential problems is important. Dealing with emotions associated with a trauma that occurs at any age is a critical step. Implementing useful tools and strategies to cope with trauma is a great first step. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of intervention.” Seeking professional help as soon as trauma is identified will go a very long way. When unable to manage these feelings, qualified professional help should be utilized. Trained mental health professionals utilize proven therapeutic interventions to cope with extremely difficult circumstances. The team at Illinois Healing Center for Trauma and Addiction has the experience and expertise needed to help in recovery and long-lasting good mental health.
Addiction affects people in many ways. It can slowly grab a hold of the important things in life and push those aside. Feeding the addiction takes over the top of the priority list, while everything else takes a back seat. Over time, addiction affects various and many aspects of one’s life, eventually becoming the only thing that defines who they are. This article will discuss 4 ways that addiction can affect your life.
4 Ways Addiction Can Affect Your Life
Addiction affects the addicted person and those closest to them lives in profound ways. Often, one does not even realize addiction’s toll on everyday things. Here are 4 important, but not all, ways that addiction can affect your life.
Help is Needed and Available
Addiction is something that people need support overcoming. As seen above, it can and will overtake your life in about every area. The positive thing to remember is that help is available. Proper treatment from trained professionals can break the hold of addiction through therapy and other forms of intervention. It is up to you to recognize that you need help, and then take the first step in seeking it out. The experienced team at Illinois Healing Center for Trauma and Addiction is available to start the healing process. Click here to contact IHCTA today.
Health and Wellness
Addiction affects your life in ways that are hard to imagine. Things can get out of control quickly. The positive news is that treatment and help are available. Your goal should be overall good health and wellness. Get help to achieve this goal today. Once you start on this journey, the things that were affected in a bad way will begin to heal.
Healing from Addiction
Addiction is an all-consuming disease that affects each aspect of someone’s life. It takes over control of decision making, but more importantly risks the long-term health of those afflicted. Having an addiction is lonely and without professional help and/or peer support, can be virtually impossible to control. Getting help or treatment for addiction should be viewed as a process. You cannot go to a doctor for a prescription, and all is good. In fact, addiction treatment is a series of steps and a process that is ongoing. This article will outline that process.
5 Steps in the Process of Healing From Addiction
There are many different programs with a varying number of steps or stages to help addiction. The programs or theories have similarities and differences. This article will focus on DiClemente & Prochaska's Stages of Change. DiClemente and Prochaska were researchers who developed these stages in the early 1980s. It’s officially called the Transtheoretical Model and is a useful tool in the treatment of addiction.
Recovering from Addiction is not Easy
Getting through these five steps in healing from an addiction is not easy, and the timeline is different for everyone. Knowing about the steps is just a guideline to help you understand the process a loved one struggling with addiction will go through, but it is not linear. The important thing to remember is that there is help available during each phase.
Get Help Today
Recovering from addiction requires professional intervention. Trained and experienced therapists have the tools needed to effectively stop addiction and create a roadmap for ongoing sobriety and health. The experienced team at Illinois Healing Center for Trauma and Addiction have expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of addictions. The team prides itself on having a compassionate, data-driven approach to working with those who suffer from this debilitating disease. For more information, and to get help today, visit the IHC website by clicking here today.
Addiction is a common issue that can affect anyone. There is a wide range of definitions for addiction, but it is a disease. This disease causes changes in a person’s brain that lead to the compulsive use or need to use a substance or some other outside variable such as gambling or sex. This article will list out some of the particularly important reasons why help should be sought for an addiction.
5 Reasons to Get Help for an Addiction
Addiction affects people in diverse ways, however, when there is an addiction there are symptoms and characteristics that are universal to anyone suffering. Without help, addiction will alter decision-making, and be the central point of someone’s life. Here are 5 reasons to get help.
Help is Available
Addiction can feel very lonely and insurmountable, but it does not have to. Help is available. The experienced team at Illinois Healing Center for Trauma and Addiction have expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of addictions. The team prides itself on having a compassionate, data-driven approach to working with those who suffer from this debilitating disease. For more information, and to get help today, visit the IHC website at https://www.ilhealingcenter.com/.
On Your Way to Being Healthy Again
As discussed, addiction is a disease that needs to be treated just like any other illness of the body. Oftentimes, making that first phone call or inquiry for help can be daunting. That should not get in the way of getting help and getting healthy. Understanding the need for therapy and treatment is the first step in achieving long-lasting health.
Understanding Shame’s Impact in the Cycle of Addiction
Yankie Greenberger, LCSW CSAT
Written in memory of Rabbi Dr Abraham J Twerksi
“Why should I? What’s the point? I’m not capable of doing this. I am just gonna let people down, hurt people, feel terrible about myself. It’s just not worth it.”
The cycle of addiction is profound and complex. It is a cycle that contains multiple micro-cycles that spiral and lead to deeper more self-sabotaging micro-cycles. Of all these micro-cycles none is more damaging to the addict than the Guilt/Shame Cycle. It is this cycle that continues the addictive thinking which ultimately leads to the addictive behavior.
To find resolution for the Guilt/Shame Cycle we need to first understand the difference between guilt and shame. Second, we’ll need to search for the origins and the preceding beliefs and thoughts of the addict to begin the reduction of this self-destructive cycle and begin a renewed healthier recovery-oriented way of thinking. Guilt is for something a person does whereas shame is for the way a person believes he/she is. As Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski points out, “Guilt can lead to corrective action. Shame leads to resignation and despair.” The difference between an addict and a non-addict (or an addict living a life of recovery) is non-addicts often use their guilt as a motivating tool to apologize, make amends, or ask for forgiveness. Active addicts use their guilt as evidence that they are the negative belief they have of themselves which in turn leads to the despairing shame. You can say, in simpler terms, that where others develop and feel guilt addicts develop and feel shame.
Why? Why is that some people feel guilt while others feel shame? There is a lengthier nature versus nurture discussion that can be explored. However, in efforts to be brief, let’s approach this from a program of recovery (12-Step Program) and psychotherapy approach.
The addiction cycle begins with a flawed and distorted core belief about oneself. “I’m not good enough. I’m worthless. I’m damaged. Etc.” This isn’t necessarily unique thinking to addicts. In fact, we all have distorted thinking, some more overwhelming than others. Where the cyclical thinking differs is the addict does not believe that there’s hope, reprieve or comfort AND they found a way to alleviate the intense feelings of shame due to their cognitive distortion about their essence. This may be through alcohol, marijuana, opioids, benzodiazepines and/or other prescription medications, gambling, food, and other compulsive acting out behaviors. Rabbi Dr. Twerski gave an analogy of someone who’s car starts to have mechanical issues. He takes the car to the mechanic to be assessed and fix the part that has become defective. If later, another part breaks followed by another followed by another he may conclude, rightfully, that there’s no point in putting more money in to the car. This is the addictive shame-filled thinking of an addict. While apologies, amends and forgiveness may conquer the guilt it will not take away the shame because the shame is so incredibly internal and a representation of who the person believes he is. These corrective behaviors will not change the defectiveness the addict believes about himself. Anyone who has experienced the life of an addict can attest to the remorse, tears, promises, apologies that the addict feels. Those are truthful expressions of guilt. Yet, it does not undo the shame the addict feels about who he is. The 12-Step program teaches and practices methods of rectifying negative behaviors while accepting the disease of addiction as being the catalyst of their cognitive distortions and not the true definition of who they are as a person. Once acceptance has been achieved and the willingness to integrate the program of character redefinition along with abstinence the addict will learn how to transform shame into productive guilt. The guilt allows for full responsibility of behavior while leaving the shame behind. Recovering addicts will make a “searching and fearless moral inventory”, own their destructive behavior, make proper and direct amends, learn to immediately resolve resentments with proper communication and continuously spiritually connect with G-d and others. This creates the cycle of recovery.
Therapy, concurrently or otherwise, allows for exploration of the origins of the cycle of addictive thinking and its distorted negative self-determination. Skilled clinicians help pinpoint the development of the unhealthy and unproductive schema in which years of misappropriated beliefs followed. The therapeutic journey then embarks in reinterpreting past events and experiences which have fostered, bolstered, and promoted the integration of shameful beliefs about oneself. Once the door of possibility to the idea that we have unjustly mistreated ourselves with false beliefs about ourselves, we are able to understand a plethora of false truths for what else those experiences may have been. We turn “I’m worthless” into “I’m worthy.” We turn “I’m not good” into “I’m good enough.”
Our job as parents, is to evoke and instill the positive beliefs and eliminate the cataloging statements of shame. It’s our responsibility to promote accountability of behavior without shaming the essence of the developing child. Shame is not reserved for addicts and addiction only. Shame holds, or at the very least slows, a young person’s confidence and ability to take healthy risks. Being able to take risks and chances allows for proper and effective achievement of their fullest capacity and potential. Let us laud the accomplishments and achievements of others while carefully not simultaneously shaming our children. When our children make mistakes, let’s focus of the mistaken behavior not on the “bad” character of the child. Our focus when faced with disappointing mistakes of the child needs to be on learning from the ordeal and encouraging them to make the better choice when faced with a similar opportunity in the future.
We are not our negative or unwanted behavior. We are good because G-d is good. Progress. Not perfection.