EMDR Therapy and the Treatment of Substance

and Behavioral Addictions

What this home study course is about:

Increasing stability with complex trauma clients with addictions. Assessing readiness to address “addiction memory networks” with addiction protocols. Addressing triggers and urges. Identifying and desensitizing the “maladaptive positive feeling states” related to addictions. Targeting avoidance. The use of the Standard Protocol with addicted Clients. Overview of treatment planning considerations

  • Description of the various addiction protocols.

  • Stability issues—what factors help determine when someone is “stable enough”.

  • Addiction memory network assessment—using an assessment tool to determine which addiction protocol(s) would be the best fit based on clinical presentation.   Lecture. video clips and audience members will practice completing the assessment form as a group.

  • How to desensitize triggers, urges and cravings. using A.J. Popky’s DeTUR protocol. Lecture and video clips. Lecture and video clips.

  • Desensitization of triggers urges and cravings. Live demonstration with an audience member.

  • Introduction to the concept of “Maladaptive Positive Feeling States”, Miller’s Feeling State Protocol and Knipe’s Level of Positive Affect Protocol. Lecture and video clips.

  • Identifying and desensitizing “Maladaptive Positive Feelings States” associated with Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions. Lecture and video clips.

  • Targeting avoidance with Knipe’s “Level of Urge to Avoid” Protocol. Lecture and group demonstration with audience members practicing this protocol at home.

  • The use of the Standard EMDR Protocol to address common treatment barriers.

  • Treatment “flow chart”—presentation about treatment planning considerations.

  • Treatment Plan Sculpture Demonstration—reviewing a real “treatment map” created with a client with a history of complex trauma where both the addiction protocols and the standard EMDR protocol were used. Lecture and video clip of treatment plan sculpture done with a group of Clinicians.

  •  “Floating forward” to Monday—consultation/questions about using concepts presented in the training with clients in the future. Open discussion about stability issues and risk management when desensitizing triggers via telehealth.

Learning Objectives.

  • Describe the steps involved in addressing and desensitizing cravings, urges and triggers related to substance/behavioural addictions

  • Define the term: maladaptive positive feeling state.

  • Identify how to address the maladaptive “positive” feelings, body sensations or irrational cognitions linked to addictions.

  • Describe when addressing underlying trauma using Standard Protocol EMDR would be appropriate.

  • Discern when the use of specific Addiction Protocols would be appropriate.

Taught step-by-step with lectures, videos, clips and a demonstration.

Your Presenter - Hope Payson, LCSW, LADC


Hope Payson, LCSW, LADC is a licensed Clinical Social Worker, Alcohol and Drug Counselor and an EMDRIA Approved Consultant who specializes in the treatment of addiction and complex trauma. She has over 30 years of experience working in community mental health in a variety of capacities and was the Clinical Director for EMDR HAP for seven years.


She currently coordinates a group private practice in Winsted, Ct. and also provides training on trauma, addiction and recovery internationally.  Hope is the co-producer of the film “Uprooting Addiction: Healing From the Ground Up” a documentary that explores the connection between trauma, neglect and vulnerability to addictive disorders.  


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