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
You must be completely clear on what you will be focusing on in your EMDR session if you hope to make a breakthrough with your addiction.
In order to be successful with EMDR for Addiction therapy, you must understand and be comfortable with the following Key Terms and Concepts.
1) IMPULSE RATING
This is the level of your desire to use in your addiction (drink, use drugs, over eat, etc.) measured on a scale of 0-10 at a particular moment. An Impulse Rating of 1 means you hardly have any addictive impulse right now, while a level of 10 means you are desperate to use.
2) POSITIVE TREATMENT GOAL
In order to be successful with Addiction EMDR, you must now exactly what it is that you want as a desired outcome of the process.
It is not necessary that sobriety be a goal in your EMDR treatment, but it can be helpful.
Everyone has heard stories of war veterans returning from overseas drug addicted, but once they got back they were able to quickly get sober and stay sober. Or what about the stories of addicted women who, once they have a baby, are able to stop using completely for the well-being of the child? These stories illustrate the brain’s power over the human body. Where the brain fully accepts change as a must, the change becomes easier.
So. Ask yourself. What would you like to get out of using EMDR for Addiction? How would you like things to be instead?
Imagine, as specifically as possible, seeing yourself 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 (even with hard work), 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 the chains of addiction.
Create a mental Target Image. Build a picture, movie, or scenario in your head- see yourself having already achieved it. This is called your Positive Treatment Goal.
Remember, a Positive Treatment Goal is NOT a negative. You can’t use things like, “not getting high anymore” or “not addictively overeating.” Instead, it would be something more along the lines of living an amazing life without using or losing lots of weight because you beat your food addiction behavior.
Here are some examples of possible Positive Treatment Goals:
The sky’s the limit and it’s totally up to you. The important thing is that you create a detailed mental image of exactly what it would be like to live your Positive Treatment Goal.
3) ADDICTION TRIGGERS
A trigger is anything that stimulates you in such a way that it causes a desire to engage in addictive activity. Most addicts have been living with their addictive behaviors for long enough that their triggers are already quite clear to them. Ask yourself, what regular life situations make you want to use or act out?
Some examples of Addiction Triggers are:
4) IDEAL EMOTION-STATE
Think back over the course of your life and zero in on a time when you felt amazing. Think of a time in your life when you felt strong, like a leader or inventive, a time when everything in life was just right. How did you feel? And how exactly would you feel if you were living your most ideal life? Happy? Confident? Powerful? Free? Excited?
This feeling is called your Ideal Emotional State. In your EMDR for Addiction Sessions, try to capture the feeling as much as possible in your mind. Have a clear mental picture of what it would be like to be experiencing your Ideal Emotional State.
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. It is important that you imagine a strong, positive image of having achieved your goal- this is called your Ideal Emotional State.
Here are some examples: