University Study: EMDR Therapy Key to Addiction Sobriety

20 Jun 2018

Tag: Addiction

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Studies show EMDR Therapy effective in treating addictions and cravings. So why aren’t more people using it yet?  This research article shows the results of a recent scientific study using EMDR EYE Movement Therapy to treat addictions.  The researchers found some amazing results in using EMDR to help people deal with their addiction and mental health problems.
The study CLINICAL TRIALS- EMDR Reprocessing of the Addiction Memory: Pretreatment, Posttreatment, and 1-Month Follow-Up was conducted by a combination of medical doctors and therapy professionals based in Germany at Hanover Medical School and also Munich Technical University. 

Here’s the amazing part: 
“Thirty-four patients with chronic alcohol dependency were randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions: treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU plus two sessions of EMDR (TAU+EMDR). The craving for alcohol was measured by the Obsessive–Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) pre-, post-, and 1 month after treatment. The TAU+EMDR group showed a significant reduction in craving posttreatment and 1 month after treatment, whereas TAU did not.”

Basically the results of the study show that the EMDR Therapy, when added to a standard treatment program, helped these patients to stay sober. And this is just one of many studies conducted on the effectiveness of EMDR Therapy. (The most famous EMDR study shows it to be more effective than Prozac in treating patients with depression)
This is one of many of these kinds of studies that I have read about. In fact, the company that owns this website Virtual EMDR is currently in the middle of a one-year-long peer-reviewed scientific study on the effectiveness of online, at-home EMDR Therapy on people who have single-incident trauma symptoms. Ours will be one of the biggest studies of its kind because we have had more than 200 initial volunteers give us their time to do the research.

The patients in the Hanover Medical School and Munich Technical University study all self-identified as being alcohol addicted and were seeking treatment in a German regional psychiatric hospital. The patients were tested and those that identified as having a regular and frequent cravings for alcohol were considered for participation.

The patients selected for the study had on average been alcohol dependent for around 11 years. All patients were put through a brief initial detoxification program before the study began.

Six months after the study was completed, the patients were contacted for a follow-up interview. The group who had EMDR Therapy in addition to the TAU (Treatment As Usual) had a substantially smaller rate of relapse.

Due to the positive results of studies like this, more and more mental health hospitals, inpatient treatment facilities and drug and alcohol rehabs are offering EMDR as part of their standard suite of services to help their patients become sober or deal with their symptoms of trauma/PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

In fact, Virtual EMDR is currently partnering with a large addiction rehab hospital in the Midwest. We will be making a big announcement about this in 2018. 

View Comments

Amy Karman · 19 Jun 2018

Sounds good!! I’d like to try it out.


Jeff Tejcek · 19 Jun 2018

Our addictions protocol works amazing with both porn addiction and sex addiction. Would you like to try it out with your clients? Contact us.


Amy Karman · 19 Jun 2018

I see awesome results with emdr for porn addiction too! EMDR such a gift to the profession of counseling.


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