EMDR SESSION START
I) SESSION OVERVIEW
II) INSTALL TREATMENT GOALS
III) DESENSITIZE TRIGGERS
IV) INSTALL EMOTION-STATE
V) ENDING YOUR SESSION
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
UNDERSTANDING KEY CONCEPTS
SESSION TOOL SETTINGS
To wrap up your EMDR session, you will use the Session Tool one final time. This time, instead of focusing on your Addiction Triggers, you will focus on what is called your Ideal Emotional State.
In the previous step, DESENSITIZING YOUR ADDICTION TRIGGERS, we used EMDR to make your brain more receptive to behavioral change.
Now, through installing your Ideal Emotional State, you will begin to respond to being triggered not by having an urge to use or act out with your addiction, but instead with an automatic positive emotional response.
Research shows that EMDR type therapies can quickly change the brain’s acceptance of new belief patterns. This means that the old, ingrained desire to use addictive behavior to soothe life’s discomforts inevitably gets replaced with a new ability to stay sober-sometimes with little to no effort.
The old, repetitive brain message screaming out for you to use drugs or drink or compulsively act out in some way fades back and is replaced by a new positive and strong message that makes you want to stay sober. EMDR makes these new behavior changes become anchored into your brain.
Instead of having your Addiction Triggers linked to a desire to use or act out, you will start to respond to your triggers by feeling emotionally positive and stable.
FINDING YOUR IDEAL EMOTIONAL STATE
Think back in your life. Try to remember a time when you were feeling good. Maybe you were feeling powerful or assertive, maybe you were feeling in-control of life and capable.
Think of a time in your life when you felt strong, resourceful and in charge, a time when you were happy and everything felt just right.
USE THE EMDR SESSION TOOL
Go back and use the EMDR for Addiction Session Tool one final time. You may use it for as little as two minutes or for up to ten minutes or more if you feel comfortable-this time instead mentally focus on the Ideal Emotional State you identified.
Consider using the EMDR Session Tools only in short bursts of 30 seconds or 1 or 2 minutes at a time followed by short 10 second breaks. This allows you to give your eyes, ears, and nervous system a quick rest during your session.
Focus on exactly how you would like things to be instead of how they are now.
Use the EMDR for Addiction Session Tool until your Positive Emotional State feels real, believable, and attainable. The goal here is to mentally strengthen the Ideal Emotional State until your brain accepts it as being true.
Use the EMDR Session Tool now.
When you are finished, come back to this webpage and then move on to V) ENDING YOUR ADDICTION SESSION.
Be flexible and creative. If you can’t think of an incident in your own life, you can instead think of someone else you respect. Maybe someone you admire for their achievements or maybe a hero from movies, books, or television.
*If you are unsure about how to find your Ideal Emotional State, you can find examples at the ADDICTION-UNDERSTANDING KEY CONCEPTS web page.