Archive for the ‘Addiction Treatment Breakthrough’ Category

Innovative Eating Disorder Treatment in Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe

Author:  Susie Morgan, MA, MA, LMFT

Posted and Edited by:  Dana Terrell, LCSW

I find remarkable efficacy in treating the compulsive behaviors that are often integral to Eating Disorders through a modified EMDR method called the Feeling State Addiction Protocol (FSAP).  The initial research on the FSAP, by Dr. Robert Miller, is promising, and more research is needed.

If you wish, please link to full article in printable form on (it includes a photo of Susie).

                                                                  Susie’s full article with photo

The FSAP works from the theory that addictions and compulsions are often birthed in the moment when a person experiences an intensely desired positive feeling while engaging in a certain behavior.  The fireworks that are experienced in that moment are the result of the behavior eliciting the sensation that a pre-existing need has been profoundly met.  For instance, a child being deprived of love and safety in a neglectful home finds the only comfort available in sneaking ice cream, or a teen being ostracized by peers experiences a wave of superiority as she feels the bony edges of her hips, which to her represent ideal thinness.

The experience of the positive “feeling state” is so potent because of the person’s specific history and emotional/relational vulnerability.  When the positive feeling state is paired with the behavior, it is as if the two become neurologically welded together.  Subsequently, a person will compulsively seek to recreate that feeling state by engaging in the behavior (e.g. overeating or restricting), often at great cost and despite white-knuckled effort to change.

The FSAP appears to break this neurological bonding, in a similar manner to the way in which standard EMDR breaks up the “stuck” traumatic memory.  As the intensity of the bond between the feeling state and the behavior lessens, clients find that their urges and cravings to engage in their anorexic or bulimic behaviors diminish and even disappear.

Often, this process brings the person’s original vulnerability to the surface, as it can no longer be numbed or hidden with the compulsive behavior.  The standard EMDR Protocol can then be used to resolve the underlying painful experiences that created the felt “need” for the Eating Disorder in the first place.

Editor’s note:  Susie Morgan is an EMDR Therapist and EMDRIA-Approved Consultant who treats Eating Disorders in her comfortable office at the border of Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego County.

To connect with Susie, please link to her Profile Page on

Spokane Valley Counselor for Behavioral or Substance Addictions or Substance Abuse

Barbara Briscoe, BSN, MA, LMHC is an EMDR Therapist in Spokane Valley

She serves adults who are facing Substance abuse or addiction (such as alcohol or drug use), or behavioral addictions or compulsions such as Anger, Sex, Gambling, and others.

Barbara is very qualified in a breakthrough therapy that has been researched for 20 years, with much validation from comparison studies with other highly respected forms of treatment.  It is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR.  Barbara is so experienced that she is qualified to help other therapists become Certified in EMDR.

More information about EMDR can be found on  Please check our her profile page on the Washington State Directory for

To find a highly qualified Counselor in Spokane Valley, WA:  Link to Barbara Briscoe’s profile page



Antoinette Gupta of Irvine just joined the EMDR directory: ComprehensiveTherapyApproach

I am pleased to announce that as an EMDR therapist in process of achieving EMDRIA Certification, Antoinette Gupta, LMFT has just joined the Orange County branch of

Wouldn’t it be nice to just lose interest in an Addiction?

I met her at an excellent training by Robert Miller, PhD in a powerful EMDR protocol for Addictions.  This “Feeling State Addictions Protocol” (FSAP) helps people with Substance or Behavioral Addictions to lose interest in their addiction!

Meeting Antoinette was a pleasure.  She is very enthusiastic about how EMDR is helping her clients, and eager to complete EMDRIA Certification by December.  Her specialties include:

Relationship issues
Grief and Loss
Addiction (behavioral and substance)
Anxiety and Depression
Self Esteem

Please link to Antoinette’s profile page to read more about her specialties.


New Hope for Alcoholism, using EMDR-based FSAP Protocol

Dr. Robert Miller has researched a protocol that uses EMDR therapy to focus on a regularly overlooked piece of alcohol addiction. That is the fact that people drink because of the intense positive feeling it gave them once upon a time.  This treatment is called the EMDR Feeling-State Addictions Protocol (FSAP).

Many therapies focus on all the negative consequences of drinking (yes, there are many). Some, such as the 12 Step Programs, help alcoholics replace the addictive behaviors and compulsions with the positive principles of the 12 Steps, and supportive relationships with people in recovery.

12 Step Programs have helped many recover from addiction.  But it is little known that the average person experiences 8 relapses before recovery is solid.

A key reason for that is that trauma is involved in addiction. Addiction helps to drown out the terrible feelings that came from trauma.  To address this, two San Diego EMDR Therapists worked with a Drug Court in Olympia Washington using an “Integrated Trauma Treatment Program” (ITTP) that combined a focus on the trauma integrated with the symptoms of addiction, using “Seeking Safety” as preparation and EMDR as the individual trauma treatment. Most of the drug court participants at that time were meth addicts.  Susan Brown, BCD, LCSW and Sara Gilman, LMFT participated in that research, which showed EMDR was effective in treating the underlying trauma.

As a component of comprehensive treatment, the FSAP protocol can help people overcome the “positive feeling” component of their addiction.  It helps people lose interest in their addiction, and find other ways to gain that positive feeling. Please read more about this break-through treatment for addictions in the article by Susan Brown.

To find EMDR Therapists experienced in treating addictions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, please visit and check out their list of specialties.


Food Issues or Eating Disorder? FSAP is a Breakthrough Therapy Based on EMDR

Are you eating the food, or is the food eating you?  Is your food serving you, or does your whole life revolve about what your body looks like, or whether you eat, when you eat, what to eat, or “OMG I can’t stop eating”?

Robert Miller, PhD has researched his treatment, called the “Feeling State Addictions Protocol (FSAP),” with promising results.

Food issues can be life threatening, so when a breakthrough therapy comes up, I believe it is important to share the good news effectively.    The FSAP is based on the fact that we would not have an addiction if it didn’t do something positive for us.  It gives us some intensely positive feeling.  Many treatments ignore this simple fact.  Perhaps this is why relapse is commonplace.

One of my clients with an eating disorder was ready to work on it, becauses she needs to lose weight in order to have a surgery she really wants.  Fortunately, I’d just taken Dr. Miller’s FSAP training in May 2012. So, I asked her to identify her best experience with food.

For her it was when she was young, and went out to eat with church friends at a smorgasbord restaurant.  Most intense moment?  When she was surrounded by happy loving people and a big plate of prime rib was delivered to her.  Her positive feeling state:  being connected with happy, loving people (she’d been abused by a rageaholic all her life).  As we processed with EMDR she said, “I’m pushing my plate away, and I’m drinking water and enjoying all the happy, loving people.”  The connection between the behavior of eating and the feeling state of being connected with happy, loving people reduced from a 10 out of 10 (the strongest connection possible) to a 5 in one session.

She realized she could be connected with happy, loving people and the food was incidental.  She was starting to lose interest in it.  However, she will still be able to eat, of course.  She will gradually just become free from obsession and compulsion about food.

Robert Miller has found this protocol makes people lose interest in their addiction, whether to substances or behaviors, in 5-6 sessions.  To read more about it, please read an article by Susan Brown, LCSW, BCD.  Afterwards, please check out our directory of Certified EMDR Therapists in San Diego or in any of our other cities and regions which we serve.  Many San Diego therapists took his training, and it will be listed in their specialties as the FSAP Protocol.

If you are in other areas, stay posted.  He is coming to Berkeley in June, Los Angeles in September, and Seattle in October, 2012.  Many of your local Certified EMDR therapists should then be on board with this breakthrough therapy.  Please refer your Certified EMDR therapist to Dr. Robert Miller, so he or she will be one of the first in your area to be trained.  Dr. Miller only trains EMDR therapists, because trauma is often underneath addictions and needs a well-prepared and trained EMDR therapist to help the client safely process and “put to rest” the trauma.

New Hope in Breakthrough Treatment for Weed Addiction, AKA Marijuana Addiction

A number of Certified EMDR therapists on the San Diego Directory of took the excellent training in the “Feeling State Addiction Protocol” (FSAP) offered by Robert Miller, PhD in San Diego on May 12, 2012.

FSAP Works for both Marijuana and Behavioral Addictions

It is designed to help people recover from both substance addictions (such as to weed or marijuana, alcohol, meth, etc.) and from behavioral addictions, (such as to sex, food, gambling, cutting, etc.).  His Protocol is EMDR-based.   Addictions are fueled by an intense positive experience that gets “bonded” to a substance or behavior.  The feeling state for one person will not be the same as for another person, even if they have the same addiction.  Dr. Miller’s amazing protocol, in the hands of a trained clinician, can help people become uninterested in their marijuana addiction within 6 sessions.  Seeing videos of his work, and practicing it for the past two weeks, have convinced me that Dr. Miller has developed a history-making advancement in the treatment of addictions.

This training is coming to Berkeley on June 9, Los Angeles in September, and Seattle in October.  Members of EMDRIA will receive invitations to the trainings.  If your EMDR therapist has not received this training, please send her/him a link to this article.  The sooner they are trained, the better for you and all your therapist’s clients, because it is rare to find someone who has no addictions.  TV, anyone?  Internet, anyone?  Chocolate, anyone?  (I got you there!)  :)

Read more about this Breakthrough Therapy for Weed or Marijuana Addiction

An excellent, readable article was just posted by Susan Brown, LCSW, BCD to the Directory of Certified EMDR therapists located in San Diego, Washington State, Seattle Area, Bay Area, Sacramento and Orange County.  Please link here to her article on

Breakthrough Treatment for Gambling Addiction

Susan Brown, LCSW, BCD has just posted her article about the EMDR-based therapy for addictions which focuses on the intense positive experience the gambler is seeking through his or her gambling. There is nothing problematic about the positive feeling. The problem is when it gets attached to a behavior that can, if out of control, destroy one’s life. Check out her article, and contact Susan or any of the other EMDR therapists who took the recent excellent training in the “Feeling State Addiction Protocol” (FSAP) offered by Robert Miller, PhD.

Link here to her article on