Greg interviews Dr. Jamie Marich, the founder of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness. The institute offers training in the areas of mental health, trauma, addiction, mindfulness, and clinician development through programs like the EMDRIA program, which focuses on EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.

Greg asks Dr. Marich about how EMDR works to help people heal from symptoms of emotional distress caused by past trauma. Dr. Marich explains that the procedure works to aid patients in accelerating the processing of events or trauma in their brains. “Essentially… it’s a procedure where by moving your eyes back and forth it helps to accelerate processing at the level of the limbic brain. So in an EMDR treatment, we’re using a series of questions [that] may look like talk therapy at first, but the questions we ask are really about activating [or] working up the charge – so when you talk about an event that may disturb you and it brings up some charge or distress in the limbic brain, we can get this real visceral reaction. And after bringing about a little bit of that reaction… we [invite] people to really sense into how it still affects them at their body and emotional level and then dual attention or bilateral stimuluses are applied. Either [through] moving your eyes back and forth left to right under the guidance of a therapist who is trained… [or through] audio tones, because although it was discovered with eye movements the early research and trial and error around the EMDR showed that not everybody could easily move their eyes back and forth. So it’s really any way that the brain is being activated …to help move the way information is stored in the brain. And that’s really what EMDR does, by using… this process of bilateral stimulation we’re essentially helping people to have shifts in their brain at a much more accelerated level than just talking about trauma could ever hope to give individuals.”

Listen to the podcast to discover how this approach is being used to help those suffering from substance use disorder shift their own mental processes.