Addiction and Trauma: A Close Relationship

EMDR Professional Training™ presents Susan Brown’s online course “Part of me wants to quit, and part of me doesn’t”: An Integrative Developmental Approach to Addiction.

Addiction and Trauma:  A Close Relationship

Susan Brown discovered early in her career that if she was going to help clients make real changes in their lives, she had to address addiction.

Addiction and Trauma“If you’re dealing with addiction, you’re going to find trauma somewhere underneath,” says Susan of the landscape of trauma and its close relationship with addictive behaviors.

“You will often find that a client’s struggle with addiction is their best attempt to deal with a problem, and they’re not going to give up that solution, until they discover a better one,” says Brown.  “When EMDR therapy came along, it was like magic because we finally had something to treat underlying trauma.”

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board Certified Diplomate in private practice for more than thirty years in San Diego, CA, specializing in the treatment of complex developmental trauma and addictions, Susan Brown was a principal investigator in a pilot study utilizing an Integrated Trauma Treatment Program (ITTP) in the Thurston County Drug Court in Washington State combining Seeking Safety and EMDR therapy.  Susan has also co-authored two book chapters and several articles on the subjects of trauma, addiction, and personality disorder.  She has presented nationally on the use of EMDR therapy with co-occurring trauma and addiction and is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Basic Training Facilitator for the EMDR Institute and the Humanitarian Assistance Program.  As a therapist and instructor, Susan exudes compassion for the person trapped in addiction and provides pathways toward healing.

Online Course Now Open

Now available as an online course, Susan Brown puts two and two together in a seamless course titled, “Part of me wants to quit, and part of me doesn’t”:  An integrative developmental approach to addiction within an EMDR framework.  This intermediate to advanced course for fully trained EMDR clinicians develops skills in working with trauma, substance use disorder, and other maladaptive behavior patterns using EMDR therapy as the backbone for treatment.

Brown’s integrative neurodevelopmental approach within an EMDR therapy framework highlights the complex clinical landscape of addictions, with bio-psycho-social seeds originating in early development.  The course also explores the roles of attachment, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and Ego State “parts work” informed by the Internal Family Systems model (Schwartz), integrated with the eight-phase, three-prong EMDR protocol.

An Integrative Approach

Susan Brown emphasizes case conceptualization and treatment planning, safe preparation, identifying and gaining cooperation, and permission from ego state “protectors” before proceeding into deep trauma work.  She also explores target selection, timing for when to do what, and relapse prevention. Elements from addiction-specific approaches such as DeTUR™ (Popky), Positive Affect and Avoidance (Knipe), Feeling States (Miller), and Addiction Memory (Hase) are synthesized and integrated, not taught individually, within the approach.

Participants learn in the online course format how EMDR therapy, as a memory-based developmental approach, can address these highly treatment resistant behaviors and facilitate integrative healing.  When underlying trauma and attachment wounds are healed, life’s focus can shift from simply surviving to thriving.

Learning Objectives:

By completing this online course with videos and activities, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe “Addiction” as a complex neurodevelopmental disorder of attachment, affect dysregulation, response to adverse childhood experiences, learning, memory, and neuroplasticity.
  2. Identify three ways in which addictions may be viewed through the lens of maladaptive attachment, impacting neurodevelopmental challenges in brain development.
  3. Utilize the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study questionnaire to assist in developing an experience-specific, collaborative AIP treatment plan.
  4. Explain the concept of “parts of self”in the early stages of treatment in preparation for later reprocessing, emphasizing the “helpful intention” of parts to meet perceived needs across the lifespan.
  5. Describe the basic concepts of (IFS) Internal Family Systems (Schwartz), a trauma-informed ego-state approach, highlighting the parallels between EMDR/AIP and IFS and how to integrate the two models throughout the 8 phases and 3 prongs of EMDR therapy.
  6. Identify and assess clients’ addiction-specific preparation needs and resources to maximize treatment retention and relapse prevention.
  7. Utilize focused sets of bilateral stimulation to access and enhance the cooperative connection between parts of self to reduce polarization of goals.
  8. Predict future fears and avoidance of recovery activities.
  9. Demonstrate integration of existing AIP-informed addiction elements (DeTUR, Positive Affect/Feeling State, Avoidance and Addiction Memory) within EMDR therapy’s 8-phase, 3-pronged protocol (*Individual existing addiction protocols will not be taught).
  10. Create an addiction-specific AIP informed treatment plan including both rewarding and disturbing memory components, and clinically supported timing of targeting (what to do and when to do it).

Complete your Hours

Explore the close relationship between addiction and trauma by enrolling in this advanced training. Addictions and EMDR