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Open Access EMDR Interventions in Addiction

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The use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is widespread and has significant negative consequences for the individual, their families, and the communities to which they belong. A substantial number of users develop an addiction disorder. Cure-oriented addiction treatment is challenging regarding treatment retention and relapse rates. Here, we discuss the potential of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to aid addiction treatment. Two approaches are distinguished: traumafocused and addiction-focused EMDR therapy. Existing adapted EMDR protocols and research on both approaches is critically reviewed. Despite 20 years of development and research, the feasibility and efficacy of addiction-focused EMDR therapy is still largely uninvestigated. Exciting new possibilities, offered by research on working memory theory, are discussed. An overview of all resourcing and EMDR therapy interventions in addiction is presented: the palette of EMDR interventions in addiction (PEIA). The article finishes with recommendations for further research in this field.

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Keywords: ADDICTION; CRAVING; EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR) THERAPY; FLASHFORWARDS; POSITIVE TARGETS; WORKING MEMORY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2017

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  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is no longer available to subscribers on Ingenta Connect. Please go to http://connect.springerpub.com/content/sgremdr to access your online subscription to Journal of EMDR Practice and Research.
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