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What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a transformative approach to psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Used primarily for PTSD, EMDR has been increasingly adopted for treating various other psychological stressors, particularly addiction and related trauma.

At Inner Voyage Recovery in Atlanta, Georgia, we specialize in integrating EMDR into personalized treatment plans that address both addiction and its underlying emotional roots.

EMDR Therapy Process at Inner Voyage Recovery

Initial Consultation and Assessment

The EMDR treatment process begins with a thorough assessment to understand each client’s unique needs and history. This initial stage sets the foundation for a tailored treatment approach, ensuring that each individual’s journey is both effective and compassionate.

Preparation Phase: Establishing Trust and Safety

Before diving into the core memories, our therapists work to establish a relationship of trust with clients. This preparation is crucial for successful therapy and includes teaching various stress management techniques to help clients handle emotional distress.

Assessment Phase: Identifying Target Memories

Our skilled therapists help clients identify the specific traumatic events that have contributed to their addiction. This phase is critical as it sets the targets for the subsequent phases of EMDR therapy.

Key Components of EMDR

Desensitization: Processing Disturbing Memories

Using bilateral stimulation, therapists guide clients through each target memory, reducing its emotional charge and helping the brain to reprocess the memory safely.

Installation: Strengthening Positive Beliefs

Post desensitization, the focus shifts towards reinforcing positive beliefs and coping mechanisms, replacing the negative connotations associated with the traumatic memories.

Body Scan: Ensuring Emotional Clearance

Finally, clients undergo a body scan to identify any residual physical sensations linked to the traumatic memories, ensuring a comprehensive treatment of both mind and body.

Benefits of EMDR in Recovery

Clients at Inner Voyage Recovery in Atlanta have reported numerous benefits from EMDR, including reduced PTSD symptoms, decreased anxiety, and a significant decrease in the desire for addictive substances. Moreover, this therapy often leads to increased emotional stability, improved self-esteem, and greater personal empowerment.

EMDR Treatment Sessions

Sessions typically last between 60 to 90 minutes and are structured to maximize healing. The frequency and total number of sessions vary depending on each individual’s specific needs and progress, integrated seamlessly with other therapeutic practices.

Patient Experiences with EMDR at Inner Voyage Recovery

Many clients have shared their transformative experiences with EMDR, highlighting how it has facilitated profound personal growth and lasting recovery. These testimonials underscore the effectiveness of EMDR in not only managing addiction but in fostering an overall improvement in quality of life.

Professional Expertise in EMDR at Inner Voyage Recovery

Our team comprises highly qualified and experienced EMDR therapists who are dedicated to their clients’ recovery. Ongoing training and professional development ensure that our staff stays at the forefront of EMDR research and application.

Comparative Analysis with Other Treatment Modalities

While EMDR is an integral part of our treatment approach, it is often used in conjunction with other modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and holistic treatments, providing a well-rounded approach to addiction recovery.

Community and Support

Recovery does not end with the cessation of therapy sessions. Inner Voyage Recovery offers comprehensive aftercare and support systems to ensure sustained success in recovery, including family involvement and education programs that facilitate a supportive environment for healing.

“You guys gave me a shot at recovery when no one else would. The team taught me how to rebuild a successful, fulfilling life in recovery. For that I am forever grateful.”

– Jonathan L. | Atlanta, GA

Rehab Center


We know that choosing a drug and alcohol treatment center isn’t an easy choice. There are many decisions to be made and we want you to know that you are not in this alone. Browse our FAQ to find clarity.
How does EMDR help in addiction recovery?

EMDR therapy helps in addiction recovery by targeting the unresolved traumas that often underlie addictive behaviors. During EMDR sessions, individuals are guided through a process that involves recalling traumatic memories while receiving bilateral sensory input, like side-to-side eye movements. This process helps to reduce the emotional impact of the memories. By processing these painful experiences, individuals can reduce their reliance on substances used to manage their emotional pain, thus addressing a root cause of the addiction.

What are the side effects of EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy is generally considered safe with fewer side effects than many other psychological treatments. However, during the initial phases of EMDR, some individuals may experience increased distress or heightened emotions as they recall traumatic events. Other temporary side effects may include light-headedness, vivid dreams, or a sense of fatigue after sessions. These reactions are generally brief and typically resolve as therapy progresses, and they are often seen as part of the healing process.

How do I know if EMDR is right for me?

EMDR is suitable for individuals who have experienced trauma and are facing difficulties in their emotional functioning as a result. It’s especially effective for those who struggle with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and, as noted, addiction. To determine if EMDR is the right approach for you, consider starting with a consultation with a qualified EMDR therapist. During this consultation, the therapist can assess your specific needs, discuss your personal history, and help you understand how EMDR could be integrated into your treatment plan. It’s also important to consider your comfort level with revisiting traumatic memories and your readiness to engage in a potentially intense therapeutic process.

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2230 Towne Lake Pkwy Building 900, Suite 200 Woodstock, GA, 30189


(470) 523-4606