There are many forms of treatment that successfully help clients heal from addictions, compulsions, anxiety, unhealthy relationship dynamics, self-esteem problems and other behavior difficulties. Some of the most helpful therapies include: CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, 12 Step programs and body-oriented therapies such as Somatic Experiencing and EMDR Therapy. As an integrative psychotherapist, I have great respect for many of these psychotherapy modalities, and have had real success using some combination with my own clients. I find EMDR therapy to be the most effective form of therapy to address alcohol use, substance and behavioral addictions, compulsions, eating disorders and any underlying traumas that may have contributed as a root cause and to maintaining these behaviors.
Dr. Robert Miller developed a protocol called the Feeling State Addictions Protocol or FSAP that uses EMDR therapy to focus on a very important piece of alcohol and other addictions. Pleasure. Mainly, that people rely on substances or behaviors because of the intense positive feeling it gave them initially and continues to give them. The pleasurable aspect becomes the "target" in the EMDR treatment process. The exact "feeling state" and behavior is identified during sessions and the fixation on that feeling is the focus using a specific protocol. When the fixation is broken, urges and cravings no longer need to be managed with the substance or behavior. Treatment also includes sessions that focus on other aspects of client functioning-support and goals that don't involve EMDR in addition to the focused EMDR protocol therapy.
If you're struggling with addictions (substance or process addictions--gambling, drugs, food, spending, alcohol) anxiety, negative thoughts and images, abuse, betrayal, trauma and PTSD, "feeling stuck" in your life, relationship problems, grief, and other troubling behaviors, contact me to learn more about psychotherapy combined with EMDR therapy.