Clients with addictions and compulsive behaviors face unique challenges in their healing process. EMDR therapists should keep these 5 challenges in mind.
Connecting to others is essential. Early relationship attachments may set the standard for relationship patterns that are no longer healthy. Substances or behaviors may seem easier than re-learning healthier patterns of connection.
Increased Life Stress
The goal is to cope with life stress in healthy ways. Transitions, crises, or extra stressors can put extra strain on coping skills. Substances and behaviors are previous coping skills that are easy to fall back on.
Who wants to be uncomfortable? Human emotions can be hard to tolerate. A substance or behavior may seem like an easier fix than naming and tolerating emotional distress.
Relapse happens and is a normal part of the recovery process. Change is not easy. Even after relapse, the choice can be made to continue growing.
It takes courage to pause. Jumping into risks could become a replacement for using substances or unhealthy behaviors. However, a pause can help explore how that risk will affect other areas of life.
EMDR International Association
Copyright © 2021 EMDR International Association
EMDR International Association. (2021, July 2). Challenges for clients with addictions [Infographic].
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