At KeyStone Center Extended Care Unit (ECU), we specialize in a unique trauma-focused therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This evidence-based technique helps your brain identify and process trauma, so you can begin to heal.
How Does Trauma Affect Our Brain?
Our brains process pain and trauma all the time — it’s how we learn to survive in the world. For example, if you touch a hot stove, your brain quickly identifies the event and teaches you not to touch a hot stove again. You remember hurting your hand, but you don’t feel anxious or afraid every time you see a stove. You know the threat is gone.
But severe trauma, such as sexual or emotional abuse, is so deeply damaging that our brains may not fully process the pain. So we continue to feel fear and anxiety as if the trauma could happen to us again at any time. Our brains are essentially in continuous “fight-or-flight” mode, telling us danger is always present. Many behavioral disorders, such as drug, alcohol or sex addictions, develop as ways of coping with this constant sense of pain and fear.
How Can EMDR Therapy Help Me Heal From Sex Addiction?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) focuses on stimulating both sides of your brain while you picture a traumatic event. Trauma often remains stuck in the right side of the brain, which regulates emotion. Processing and moving on from trauma require the left side of the brain, which controls logic.
Rapid eye movement therapy is the most common way to perform left-right brain stimulation (bilateral stimulation). Your therapist may ask you to follow their finger with your eyes as they move it quickly from side to side. Additional techniques include focusing on sounds, hand buzzers, tapping or other stimuli as you explore a painful memory.
Over time, this therapy gradually activates your left brain to process and store the trauma. You remember the event, but it causes less fear, anxiety and pain. As a result, many people can better overcome problems such as sexual addiction or compulsivity. EMDR can help people recover faster than if they use talk therapy or counseling alone.
EMDR Treatment for Sex Addiction: Why Choose KeyStone Center ECU?
EMDR requires therapists to have extensive education, training and supervised practice. The complexity of EMDR means it’s not widely available. The team at KeyStone Center ECU includes several certified EMDR therapists with a specialized focus on trauma-induced sexual addiction and compulsivity. Our depth of expertise in this technique sets us apart.