Susan Brown, LCSW
7 EMDRIA Credits
An untreated complex trauma history can be a fundamental contributor to the development and maintenance of symptoms of addictive and compulsive behaviors. These include (but are not limited to) alcohol and drug abuse, compulsive gambling, food, pornography, sex, social media, shopping, internet, and self-harm. It is believed that people use substances and other behaviors to “self-medicate” trauma-driven symptoms such as flashbacks, avoidance, numbing, depression, and distressing body states that can trigger cravings and relapse. Several modified, addiction-specific EMDR protocols suggest that it is equally important to target positively associated feelings, memories, urges, and euphoric recall that are linked with addictive behaviors thereby helping to break the cycle of “cue-driven” relapse. The workshop includes a focus on addiction as an attachment strategy, a neurobiological phenomenon, a dissociative experience, and a survival mechanism.