Archive for the ‘Feeling-State Addictions Protocol’ Category

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.