EMDR Therapy in Palm Desert, CA

Our EMDR therapy in Palm Desert is designed to help individuals who suffer from both addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal is to help clients reduce the intense emotions stemming from past traumatic events through desensitization and reprocessing. This form of evidence-based treatment can also help those who suffer from conditions such as personality disorders, panic attacks, and anxiety. Phoenix Rising offers EMDR inpatient treatment in Palm Desert, CA to allow our patients to experience the full benefits of this effective therapy.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a non-invasive form of psychotherapy that helps you identify and address past experiences that have created a tremendous amount of emotional turmoil or psychological stress in your life. This type of therapy works relatively quickly and helps you heal from emotional distress so you can move forward in treatment.

EMDR Therapy Program in Palm DesertWhat Happens During an EMDR Therapy Session in Palm Desert?

Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR is more interactive. During EMDR therapy sessions in Palm Desert, CA, the therapists will lead patients through a series of lateral eye motions. During this time, the patients focus on various aspects of a painful memory. A handheld device or a bilateral sound using headphones may trigger lateral eye movements.

During an EMDR therapy session, patients come face to face with their most painful memories. While doing so, the therapists will help the patients recognize important truths about their present reality. For example, EMDR therapy patients that were once abandoned by a spouse or parent may learn that they are still loveable.

Other EMDR therapy patients that have experienced traumatic car accidents may come to realize that it is safe to drive once more. Ultimately, the purpose of our EMDR therapy program is to help patients confront their most traumatic memories, so that they can move on and no longer need to abuse substances to cope.

The EMDR Inpatient Treatment Process

EMDR therapy occurs in eight phases of of our inpatient treatment program. These phases of treatment include:

1. Initial Evaluation and Treatment Planning

During this phase of EMDR therapy, the therapist will thoroughly analyze the patient’s history with substance abuse and trauma. Throughout this discussion, the therapist will take note of the behaviors and symptoms that the patient has. Then, a treatment plan can be created.

2. Preparation

Establishing trust between a therapist and patient is the primary goal during this phase. This is because if the patient does not trust the therapist, the patient won’t accurately report his or her feelings. During this phase, the therapist will also help the patient learn ways to cope with emotional or psychological stress.

3. Assessment

This part of treatment usually lasts about three sessions. These sessions generally go by the following structure:

  • 1st Session. During this EMDR therapy phase, the patient will mentally access his or her own traumatic memories, so that the therapist can identify which of the patient’s memories need to be targeted. The therapist will also take note of things like physical sensations. Physical sensations sometimes affect the patient when he or she concentrates on specific target memories.
  • 2nd Session. During the assessment phase of EMDR therapy, the patient first selects a specific mental picture from a target event. Next, the patient will choose a statement that expresses a negative self-belief.
  • 3rd Session. The patient will then pick out a positive self-statement. The statement should include a sense of control such as “I can succeed” or “I am safe.” It should reflect what is actually suitable for the present.

4. Desensitization

During this phase, the therapist observes the patient’s disturbing emotions and sensations. All of the patient’s responses are dealt with as the targeted event changes and its distressing elements are settled. This phase also gives the patient the opportunity to identify and resolve similar events in his or her life.

5. Installation

The goal during the installation phase is to increase the patient’s strength and ability to think positively rather than negatively. Another goal of the installation phase is for the patient to fully accept the good things about oneself.

6. Body Scan

After the patient strongly believes that his or her positive self-talk is true, the therapist may then ask the patient to go back and focus on the original target event. Doing this will show if the patient exhibits any leftover tension.

7. Closure

This is one of the most important phases in EMDR therapy. If a patient is truly receiving closure, he or she will leave each session feeling better than before. EMDR therapists will often ask patients to keep journals of their experiences with the hope that it will help them achieve closure quicker.

EMDR Therapy Inpatient Treatment Palm Desert8. Re-Evaluation

This phase actually opens every new session. During this phase of EMDR therapy, the therapist will guide the patient through treatment plans. The purpose of doing this is to determine the success of the treatment over time.

Benefits of Our Palm Desert EMDR Therapy

There are numerous benefits to EMDR therapy. These benefits include:

  • The ability to finally resolve internal conflict from past trauma
  • The ability to feel empowered and more in control of one’s life
  • The ease of physical problems that are often associated with stress or trauma
  • Understanding the connection between trauma and behavior
  • Addressing co-occurring disorders such as PTSD and addiction

Long-term Benefits

Several small studies found that people can maintain the positive effects of EMDR therapy long-term. One of these studies even evaluated people several months after they were given “standard care” treatment and EMDR treatment for PTSD. During these people’s treatments and immediately afterward, they noticed that EMDR was more effective at reducing the symptoms of PTSD.

Three and six months after receiving EMDR therapy, the study’s patients maintained these benefits. Thus, the study found that it gave people a longer-lasting reduction in symptoms than standard care.

An inpatient study even shows that EMDR inpatient treatment shows promise in treating depression. In fact, the study found that 68% of the people in the EMDR therapy group showed full remission and an impressive decline in depressive symptoms.

Is EMDR Therapy Safe?

EMDR therapy is very safe as it is non-invasive and pain-free. This type of therapy targets the negative emotions associated with traumatic events which can cause a person emotional stress when they first start treatment. Though thinking of trauma can be difficult, the experience is not conducted in an abrasive manner and is always done by a qualified professional. The goal is to find healing and move forward. If a memory is too overwhelming for a client, the therapist is going to respond in a way that is best for the client’s well-being without overstepping any boundaries or worsening the client’s emotional response. 

Side Effects of EMDR Therapy

Given that our EMDR therapy in Palm Desert, California is safe, the side effects are relatively minimal. However, as aforementioned, this particular treatment can be triggering for those dealing with traumatic events. This can cause a heightened awareness of thinking that doesn’t automatically end when the session does. As this heightened sense of awareness persists, patients can experience light-headedness, and vivid, realistic dreams. Thus, be sure to talk to your therapist about your feelings so that when you begin your EMDR inpatient treatment, you’ll be prepared for the emotions it might evoke.

How Effective is EMDR Therapy?

There have been many independent and controlled studies that show that EMDR therapy is an effective treatment for PTSD. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs recommends it as a treatment for PTSD.

A study in 2012 even found that EMDR therapy helped treat 77% of people with psychotic disorder and PTSD. This study also found that the hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, and depression symptoms of individuals that received EMDR therapy were greatly improved. Furthermore, these symptoms weren’t worsened during treatment.

A previous study that compared EMDR therapy to typical exposure therapy, even found that EMDR was more effective at treating symptoms and had a lower dropout rate. However, both forms of therapy provided a reduction in symptoms of traumatic stress, including depression and anxiety.

Begin EMDR Therapy in Palm Desert, CA

The time to get help is now. Anxiety, PTSD, and depression are common underlying conditions for substance abuse disorders. We offer EMDR therapy and other types of treatment for co-occurring disorders at our inpatient treatment center in Palm Desert. To find out more or to get started with treatment today, give us a call or visit our contact form.