EMDR (Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy at Ripple Ranch

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a form of therapy that has proven to be very effective in treating a wide range of traumatic events and behaviors, including:

  • Addiction
  • Panic attacks
  • Grief
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Disturbing memories
  • Body dysmorphic disorders
  • Sexual and/or other physical abuse
  • And more

It is one of five treatments that have been recommended by the American Psychiatric Association to treat trauma. Because it is so effective, we have integrated it into our addiction recovery program and have seen impressive results.

This is one of many treatment approaches that we take at our Ripple Ranch residential treatment facility. Our trained staff uses proven methods such as EMDR to treat patients and help them discover and deal with the root causes of their addictions. EMDR helps in that process by reducing their sensitivity to traumatic events so that they can cope with what happened without abusing substances.

What Is EMDR Treatment?

Simply put, EMDR uses eye movements and other forms of stimulation to help patients who have experienced traumatic events cope with those events and process them in appropriate ways. When the brain is under extreme stress, it sometimes fails to process information like it normally does, which is why revisiting traumatic events can feel as real as when they happened.

Working together with their therapists, patients revisit the traumatic events, using eye movements and other forms of stimulation to help the brain process the traumatic events normally, so that they feel less real and the patient can think about them without the accompanying stress and other negative emotions.

The 8 Phases of EMDR Treatment

Phase 1: Revealing the Patient’s History and Developing a Treatment Plan. In this stage, the therapist works with the patient to recall their history. Once the therapist has a good understanding of which events are most prevalent and damaging, they will develop a personalized treatment plan for the patient. 

Phase 2: Preparation. During this phase, the therapist warns the patient of the likelihood of strong emotions or vivid flashbacks that dealing with trauma head-on can cause and they teach the patients techniques that will help them manage these emotions and flashbacks.

Phase 3: Assessment. During the assessment, the therapist works with the patient to identify specific aspects of the trauma that need to be addressed first. The patient focuses on how the trauma makes them feel (“I am helpless,” or “I am not worthy of love”) and picks a positive statement to work toward (“I am in control,” or “I am worthy of love”).

Phase 4: Desensitization. During the desensitization process, the therapist uses a set of eye movements and other forms of stimulation to reduce the patient’s level on the Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS) to a 0, 1 or 2 on the scale. Starting with the main events, the eye movements are used until the distress levels are at a more manageable level, and they work together from there.

Phase 5: Positive Reinforcement. In the fifth phase, the therapist helps the patient solidify the patient’s belief in the positive phrases that they decided upon in the third phase. They help the patient realize that they are more capable of dealing with these events now than they were when the events happened and that they can overcome the trauma.

Phase 6: Body Scan. Once phase five has been completed and the patient has fostered in themselves a firm positive belief and confidence, they are then asked to think of the traumatic event again. As they do so, the therapist monitors them to see if the patient becomes tense or afraid. If any tension is observed, they repeat the previous steps as many times as is necessary to eliminate all tension.

Phase 7: Closure. At the end of every treatment session, the therapist makes sure that the patient feels better than they did before the treatment session. If the patient feels worse, then something has gone wrong and the therapist will work with them to resolve the problem.

Phase 8: Reevaluation. At the beginning of every therapy session, the therapist ensures that the positive results have been maintained, identifies anything else that might require treatment, and revisits the previous targets.

Come to Ripple Ranch for the Treatment You Need

(800) 203-8249

If you or a loved one in Texas are facing an addiction and the trauma it brings, we can help you. Using EMDR and other forms of therapy, we can give you the tools you need to cope with trauma, heal the wounds that addiction has caused, and conquer your addiction forever. Call us today for a consultation. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Call (800) 203-8249

Ripple Ranch Recovery Center


  • 2098 Texas Oaks
  • Spring Branch, TX 78070
  • Phone: (800) 203-8249

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Ripple Ranch Recovery Center

Men's + Women's Non-12-Step Residential Treatment

Our Location

2098 Texas Oaks

Spring Branch, TX 78070

800-203-8249(800) 203-8249

Don’t wait another day to get the help you or a loved one needs. Call us now.

Addiction Treatment(800) 203-8249

Reviews & Testimonials

See what people are saying about us.

The toughest part was made the greatest experience by Ms Sara Buckler. Her knowledge and her passion about recovery gave us peace that our family member would be in good hands. We are thankful for Ripple Ranch having outstanding staff and doing great things.

Gloria Beene

Ripple Ranch was an amazing experience for me. Day 1 was so productive for me as speaking with the counselors and other staff to set my plan and my goals to be accomplished during my stay. The nurses and staff were more than eager to listen to any of my concerns and needs. I stayed for 45 days and grew close to all there. I came out a new person. As I did, I would recommend to detox at a hospital before coming in as you may miss some essential information on your first week of classes. Overall, I definitely say Ripple's "non 12 step" approach to my healing is one that I am greatly appreciative of in my sobriety. Thank you Ripple Ranch!

Ervey M.