Our Therapy Practices

Through the groundbreaking use of integrative evidence-based therapies, like EMDR, our Veterans Rehab Centers help develop individualized treatment plans to meet your needs.

EMDR Therapy for PTSD

client participating in individual therapy session.

What is EMDR?

Our Veterans Detox Center and Rehabs use EMDR Therapy for PTSD. EMDR was developed in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro, a psychologist who found that using this method helped relieve negative thoughts. She adapted it into her work and found similar results in her clients struggling with anxiety and unresolved trauma.

EMDR therapy sessions consist of a one-on-one therapy session in which the therapist instructs Veterans to follow the movements of their fingers, hand motions, or flashing lights with their eyes. Then the therapist will have the client engage in a form of exposure therapy, recounting the images, thoughts, and feelings during the disturbing event that caused their anxiety or trauma. After a while, the therapist will slowly steer away from the negative thoughts and emotions towards more positive ones. The entire session will last about 60 minutes.

Studies have shown that EMDR therapy for PTSD is an effective alternative in treating Veterans. Many Veterans experience success in their treatment with EMDR sooner compared to previous types of psychotherapy. It was widely believed that recovery from a severe traumatic event would take years. This form of exposure therapy proves that psychological trauma can be healed as quickly as it recovers from physical trauma.

The 8 Phases of EMDR

Phase I

The first phase of treatment involves an assessment of the client and from there, create a treatment plan that is best suited for the needs of the client. Together they will pinpoint areas that trigger the patient’s distress. These could include memories or present events. The therapist emphasizes the skills and behaviors that the patient will use to work through triggering situations.

Phase II

With the second phase of treatment, the therapist teaches the client various ways of managing their trauma. The therapist shows the client techniques to reduce stress and other symptoms. The client uses these techniques to create effective behavioral and psychological changes, while at the same time maintaining stability.

Phase III, IV, V, VI

Phases three through six identify a specific target and use EMDR to process it. While the patient focuses on the image, negative belief, and the emotional and physical sensations, the therapist will stimulate the client with eye movement, taps, and musical tones.

Phase VII

Closure. The therapist may ask the client to keep a log or journal throughout the week. The patient will document which self-calming techniques have helped them when they have been triggered. They will also take note of any significant or related changes they may experience.

Phase VIII

Phase eight looks at the progress the client has made and makes sure that all of the triggers have been addressed. It will also include preparation for any incidents that could happen in the future and the appropriate responses to those incidents.

How the Brain Recovers Using EMDR

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The brain is a processing system for information that will naturally guide towards positive mental health. When a person is confronted with a negative experience, the brain will work to process information quickly and then discard it. However, when a traumatic event occurs, it becomes an “infected wound”, causing harmful effects.

To resume the natural process, the block in the brain is removed. Traditionally this has been done with talk therapy and medication use. With EMDR therapy, clients learn to activate the brain’s natural healing process. The leads to processing of trauma and learning how to cope with PTSD Flashbacks.

The ultimate goal at our Veterans Rehab is to do what is right for the client to give them their best chance at recovery. With eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, Veterans heal from traumatic events. Learn how you can be treated for your PTSD or anxiety disorder. Our Veterans Rehab can help you take the first step to a life of limitless possibilities.

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