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
One of the first things you will do in any EMDR for Addiction Session is to prime your brain and ready your nervous system by placing what are called your Positive Treatment Goals into the forefront of your thinking.
This is done by using the EMDR Session Tool while mentally focusing on a pre-selected positive goal. This practice shifts your brain into a positive state, and makes you more receptive to the EMDR treatment.
This process, called Installation, is part of every EMDR session, whether online or in a therapist's office.
SELECTING POSITIVE TREATMENT GOALS
Ask yourself. What would you like to get out of your EMDR sessions? How would you like things to be instead?
Imagine, as specifically as possible, seeing yourself in the future living the life you want.
Imagine anything happy, joyous, or positive: being with your children and family, doing an activity that you love, or maybe living a lifestyle you have always wanted. It is up to you, but your goal should be realistic, achievable, magnetic and compelling-not an unattainable fantasy.
Imagine a life where you are functioning, coping, and living in a positive successful way.
While abstinence from your addiction is not a required Positive Treatment Goal for EMDR for Addiction to work effectively, if you would like, you can imagine yourself being completely free of your addiction as part of this process.
A Positive Treatment Goal must be just that-positive, NOT negative. Therefore things like “not getting drunk” or “not losing all my money through addictive gambling” will not work here. Instead, it needs to be something more along the lines of “living an amazing life without drinking” or “having lots of extra money after beating a gambling addiction.” Avoid using language like “I will no longer be…” or “I won’t have to do…” Ask yourself, what will you be doing instead?
Create a mental Target Image. Build a picture, movie, or scenario in your head- see yourself having already achieved it. This mental image is your Positive Treatment Goal.
For beginners, you may want to take the time to write your Positive Treatment Goals down as reference points for future sessions.
*If you are unsure about how to select your Positive Treatment Goal, go to the ADDICTION-UNDERSTANDING KEY CONCEPTS page to see some examples.
USE THE EMDR SESSION TOOL
Now that you have your Positive Treatment Goal firmly locked into your mind, it is time to access the EMDR for Addiction Session Tools.
Pick a session tool and use it for at least 2 minutes, and up to as much as ten minutes while mentally focusing on your Positive Treatment Goal.
Follow the moving visual object with your eyes and listen to the tones while you keep your goal locked in mind. Remember to take breaks or rest your eyes whenever needed.
Your mind may start to wander off. That is complete normal. Just gently bring your focus back to your Positive Treatment Goal and continue using the Session Tool
Becoming effective at using the EMDR Session Tool may take some practice-don't be surprised if you feel awkward or uncomfortable during your first few sessions.
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.
After each Short Burst take a stop and ask yourself:
When you are ready, select an EMDR Session Tool. Adjust the settings to your preference and begin. For the duration of your session, listen to the audio tone as it moves from ear-to-ear and follow the moving visual object closely with your eyes. Mentally focus on your Positive Treatment Goals. As you become more experienced at using the EMDR Session Tool, you will be able to complete longer sessions and experiment with different settings.
*If this is your first EMDR for Addiction Session, click for instructions on how to use the ADDICTION EMDR SESSION TOOL SETTINGS. Return to this page when you are finished and ready to move on.
Access and use the Session Tool now.
When you’re finished, and when you feel like your Positive Treatment Goal is firmly planted in your mind, you are ready to move on to the next step in your session DESENSITIZING ADDICTION TRIGGERS.