Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition in which an individual experiences intense stress or anxiety after witnessing or being engaged in a traumatic event. Any psychological, physical, or sexual trauma that leaves the individual feeling powerless and out of control may lead to PTSD. PTSD can cause intense anxiety, intrusive memories, and flashbacks that often interfere with daily life and lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Many individuals who struggle with these symptoms turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to numb their pain or to avoid the painful and intrusive memories. When substances are used to manage PTSD symptoms, the symptoms only become more severe. Serenity Now believes it is crucial to address our clients’ PTSD in order to help them heal and recover from both the trauma and their chemical dependency.
Distressful memories, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and emotional pain can be temporarily “managed” with substance use. Many survivors also use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate sleeplessness and nightmares induced by trauma. These methods of self-medication with substances only work temporarily; it is not long before the individual starts to develop negative consequences due to the concurrent trauma and substance abuse.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is recognized as an effective form of trauma therapy by numerous practice guidelines around the world, including the Department of Defense and the American Psychiatric Association. Serenity Now is proud to offer this beneficial and effective therapy from a certified EMDR therapist. EMDR therapy attends to three different time periods — the past, present, and future. Focus is given to any past traumatic events, the current situations that cause distress, and developing coping skills for the future.
EMDR therapy is a comprehensive, integrative therapeutic approach to treat PTSD and any other trauma-related concerns. This treatment is individualized and provided on a one-to-one basis to meet the needs of the individual client. When a traumatic or negative event occurs, emotional distress may cause information processing to remain incomplete. This prevents the individual from connecting the trauma to more adaptive information that is held in separate memory networks. Thus, the memory is dysfunctionally stored, without appropriate adaptive cognitive connections and with many aspects left unprocessed. Through these therapy sessions, our certified EMDR therapist helps the client to alleviate their PTSD symptoms and to heal from the trauma.
Addicts are also at risk for various traumatic experiences as a result of the adverse consequences of prolonged substance use. These may include, but are not limited to: loss of relationships, financial problems, incarceration, hospitalization, unemployment, physical or sexual assault, unwanted pregnancies, accidents, loss of children, and homelessness. Continued trauma issues or retraumatization often perpetuate the vicious cycle of addiction and other self-destructive behaviors. Because of the high comorbidity rate of trauma and addiction, and the complications trauma can present a recovering addict, Serenity Now, CMHC developed this EMDR therapy program to address any trauma issues our clients may be facing.
Call Serenity Now, CMHC today at 866.802.5868 to begin healing from your trauma and substance addiction.