70: EMDR for Addiction [Why EMDR Works Series]

emdr Nov 13, 2023

When someone seeks treatment for addiction, the truth is that we’re not actually treating the addiction; we’re treating the brain’s associations with the behavior that feels addictive. We’re delinking the positive feelings someone has with things like alcohol, compulsive shopping, smoking, gambling, and binge eating, and looking for alternative ways for the person to have those same positive feelings.

Essentially, we’re desensitizing the positive (addictive) behavior. When working with clients in my own practice and when consulting with other therapists, I use Robert Miller’s Feeling-State Protocol. And this week on the podcast, I’m sharing what that protocol looks like and how the questions help in the desensitization process.

The benefit of using EMDR and other brain-based modalities in addiction is that we get to open our minds to the ways we can rewire our brain that are respectful and protective of our younger parts. There’s no benefit to shaming, as sometimes happens in 12-step and other recovery avenues.

There are so many ways to support yourself and others in addiction; listen in this week to hear how EMDR can help.

When something traumatic happens to us, it can be healing to have a therapist listen to and/or validate our horrible experience, especially if no one else has before. However, rehashing the details of that traumatic event can be retraumatizing. Brain-based therapies like EMDR teach us that we don't have to talk about the trauma or the details if we don't want to because the real healing doesn't focus on the traumatic event itself.

The Zero Disturbance podcast is for educational purposes and is not a replacement for a therapeutic relationship or individualized mental health or medical care.

Mentioned in this episode:

Come learn with us at Zero Disturbance:

Get on the waiting list for our client workbook, coming soon!

Want to learn more about empowering yourself to experience therapy on your terms? Get access to our free client resource library for the most up-to-date tools and resources for your own journey.

Therapists, access our favorite free resources in The Zero Disturbance Welcome Bundle, full of free videos and downloads to help you develop your clinical reasoning skills, as well as ways to feel like an intentional designer of high-value offerings like intensives and passive income. Use these free resources to make the seemingly impossible feel absolutely accessible!


With a Masters in Education from Vanderbilt, Kambria has been creating trainings and teaching adult learners for over 20 years. As the Director of Education and Quality Improvement at Stanford Medical School, she created ease in complex systems, thereby giving medical trainees successful learning experiences. Now, as a dedicated mom, therapist, and EMDR Consultant, Kambria knows what it means to do things efficiently, effectively, and in a learner-centered way. When she isn't podcasting or creating online courses, you can find Kambria playing with her twins on a beach in California.

Need help with bilateral stimulation? I use TouchPoint for myself, my kids, and in my practice. They’re both affordable and discreet! Shop here and use the coupon code ZERODISTURBANCE for 12% off.

Disclosure: Some of the links provided are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support my work. Thank you for your understanding and support!

Terms & Conditions

Medical Disclaimer

Privacy Policy

© 2023 Zero Disturbance