Newport Beach Recovery Center offers a wide range of treatment options for individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). Although overlaps exist between the various effects of hypnotherapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), the treatments have very different uses. Our team ensures clients have access to whichever type of therapy best accommodates their needs, preferences, and recovery goals. 

What Is EMDR? 

EMDR is a treatment designed initially for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “EMDR can help [people] process upsetting memories, thoughts, and feelings related to…trauma.” 

The process works by using bilateral stimulation and various therapeutic techniques to help the brain reprocess traumatic and distressing memories. The treatment can decrease or completely remove trauma responses in clients with SUD.  

Benefits of EMDR include: 

  • Quick and long-lasting relief from symptoms related to traumatic events
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Fewer behavioral issues related to trauma 

What Is Hypnotherapy? 

Hypnosis is an alternative holistic therapy that can provide relief to certain individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, and various mental health issues. External stimulations are often combined with guided imagery and meditation to create an altered state of consciousness that allows the mind to process thoughts, feelings, and memories in a new way. 

Benefits of hypnotherapy include: 

  • Stabilized moods 
  • Reduced stress 
  • Increased positivity 

How Is Hypnotherapy Used to Treat Trauma?

Hypnotherapy can be used in the healing process for many mental health issues, including trauma. Using hypnotherapy in a treatment setting can help clients face traumatic events by embedding them into new contexts. Hypnotherapy can aid in the treatment of trauma by:

  • Helping consolidate traumatic memories in the subconscious, so the memories become less intrusive
  • Teaching clients stress reduction techniques
  • Helping clients identify trauma triggers
  • Assisting in identifying situations and other memories that may compound traumatic memories

Is EMDR the Same as Hypnotherapy?

EMDR is not the same as hypnotherapy; both can have different applications in the recovery process. Individuals with PTSD and other anxiety or trauma-related disorders can benefit from both treatment methods. The symptoms of SUD often include anxiety, depression, and mood swings that hypnosis and EMDR can address by doing the following: 

  • Providing a new context for distressing memories or thoughts
  • Eliminating irrational feelings or thoughts related to the trauma 
  • Disconnecting feelings of helplessness from the memories or thoughts 

The state of consciousness during therapy is the primary difference between the two treatments. Hypnotherapy creates an altered state of consciousness, resulting in a deep trance. During EMDR, on the other hand, clients remain in complete control and fully aware of their surroundings without any altered states of consciousness. There is some overlap in how some individuals feel after the therapy sessions, with many clients reporting increased positivity and reduced anxiety. 

Why Does Newport Beach Recovery Center Use Hypnotherapy?

At Newport Beach Recovery Center, we use the most beneficial methods for our clients. We bring in experts who can provide high-quality services and therapy in whatever methodology will be most beneficial for an individual or group. We use hypnotherapy to treat a wide range of disorders, including: 

  • Panic disorder 
  • PTSD
  • Chronic stress 
  • Major depression 
  • Various mood disorders 
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Secondary or tertiary eating disorders

Trained therapists generally use hypnotherapy and EMDR to treat different symptoms and conditions. Hypnotherapy encourages changes in behavior, while EMDR assists clients in reprocessing traumatic memories and events. However, clients can choose to use both simultaneously to reduce the impact of trauma and anxiety during the recovery process. 

How Does EMDR Decrease Trauma Responses? 

EMDR works to decrease trauma responses by changing the way the brain interprets memories. According to The Permanente Journal, “The flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts of PTSD are prime examples of symptoms resulting from the triggering of these memories.” 

Researchers found that during EMDR, “The originally experienced negative emotions, physical sensations, and beliefs are altered as the targeted memory is integrated with more adaptive information.” Reprocessing the memories and ideas associated with the trauma can reduce the severity of symptoms. In some cases, EMDR can eliminate trauma-related symptoms within a few sessions. 

Do Therapists Ever Combine Hypnotherapy and EMDR?

Hypnotherapy and EMDR are sometimes combined to decrease anxiety, stress, and discomfort during treatment. Some clients choose to use both therapies to address different aspects of their recovery, including: 

  • Mood swings 
  • Maladaptive coping mechanisms 
  • Anxiety and panic 
  • Disordered eating 
  • Depressive symptoms 
  • Specific phobias
  • Triggers and intrusive thoughts

The combination of hypnotherapy and EMDR usually occurs in distinct sessions, each designed to address specific issues. The dedicated team at Newport Beach Recovery Center uses comprehensive assessments to determine which treatment options will work best for each client. We collaborate with clients to create an individualized care plan incorporating the most effective tools and resources to treat their condition.  

The care team at Newport Beach Recovery Center uses various methods to treat substance use disorder, including alternative holistic options like hypnotherapy. Everyone reacts differently to treatment; some people are more responsive to methodologies that promote natural healing, while others prefer a more systematic and science-based approach. We use whatever treatment will be most beneficial to you and tailor every session to ensure the best possible outcome. Although hypnotherapy and EMDR share some similarities, they are very different approaches to treatment. However, in some cases, hypnosis and EMDR can complement one another to limit the damaging effects of trauma or stress. Our team at Newport Beach Recovery Center will collaborate closely with you to ensure you receive the best treatment. To learn more about how we can incorporate hypnosis into your personalized treatment plan, call Newport Beach Recovery Center today at (888) 850-0363.