I. Introduction
• Kasey Brady, LCSW
• Private practice in Louisville, KY
• Trauma (PTSD), Anxiety, Depression, Addiction
and Couples
• Member of NASW and EMDRIA
II. Text Book of AA (The Big Book)
References PTSD
• “We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our
consciousness with sufficient force the memory of
the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a
month ago.”
Page 24, Chapter 2, “There is a Solution”
• “An illness of this sort – and we have come to
believe it an illness – involves those about us in a
way no other human sickness can.” “…for with it
there goes annihilation of all the things worthwhile
in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer’s.
It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment,
financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers,
warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and
parents – anyone can increase the list.”
Page 18, Chapter 3, “There is a Solution”
• Fred’s story
“Not only had I been off guard, I had made no fight
whatever against the first drink. This time I had not
thought about the consequences at all.”
Page 41, Chapter 3, “More About Alcoholism”
• “…for what I had learned of alcoholism did not
occur to me at all…I saw that will power and selfknowledge would not help in those strange mental
blank spots.”
Page 42, Chapter 3, “More About Alcoholism”
III. Discussion of Trauma
A. Childhood
1. Physical
2. Sexual
3. Emotional
4. Verbal
B. Adult/Adolescent
1. Traumatic events prior to drinking and
2. Traumatic events while drinking and
drugging (behaviors that step on personal
values and morals, i.e., sleeping around,
abortions, violent behavior)
C. Types of Trauma
1. Acute
(accidents, arrests, abortions, violence, etc.)
2. Chronic
(emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual
abuse, elevated fight, flight or freeze
response, etc.)
D. Avoidance of Trauma Reality
1. Denial
2. Rationalization
3. Minimization
4. Disassociation
5. Compartmentalizing
Triggers for Trauma Memories
1. Dreams/Nightmares
2. Music
3. Smells
4. Loud noises
5. Conflict
6. Confrontation
7. Shame
IV. Untreated Trauma as a Reason
for Relapse
A. Old beliefs and old ideas
1. Not good enough
2. Not lovable (by others and Higher Power)
3. Permanently damaged
B. Secrets
Disconnect between the head (cognitive) and the heart
D. Inability to forgive self and/or others
Need for relief from psychic pain
Impaired coping mechanisms
V. Patient Presentation
A. Are they actively using?
B. Detoxed from recent relapse?
C. Previous treatment?
1. Rehab (inpatient or IOP)
2. Psychiatric care
3. AA (now or prior to relapse)
VI. History Taking
Family of Origin
1. Roles
2. Dynamics (physical, verbal, emotional)
3. Current Interactions
Current Relationship(s)
1. Roles
2. Dynamics (physical, verbal, emotional)
3. Current Interactions
Work Relationships
1. Roles
2. Dynamics (physical, verbal, emotional)
3. Current Interactions
Presenting Problem (other than relapse)
1. Trauma (Acute and/or Chronic)
2. Resulting beliefs about self
3. Resulting behaviors based on beliefs about self
4. Traumas perpetrated on others
VII. Terms of Therapeutic Contract
A. Mutual agreement to pursue and treat identified problem
B. Maintain sobriety
Have an active relationship w/sponsor in AA
D. Completed the first 5 steps w/sponsor
Attending AA meetings (Home group)
If necessary, referral for psychiatric consult for
appropriate medication
VIII. EMDR as a Therapeutic Treatment
of Trauma
• Developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, in 1987
• Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a noninvasive, cost-effective, evidence-based method of
psychotherapy. It enables patients to reprocess traumatic
information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive.
• Uses bi-lateral stimulation of the left and right sides of the
brain to process trauma
IX. Clinical Overview of the EMDR
Identification Process
Establish a safe and trusting relationship with the patient
Identify patient’s trauma (chronic or acute)
Explain the EMDR protocol
1. Identification of safe space (real or imagined)
2. Identification of worst part of disturbing/traumatic event
3. Identification of current negative cognitions
4. Identification of desired positive cognitions
5. Emotions elicited from negative cognitions
6. Current level of disturbance
7. Bi-lateral stimulation (this can take 40-45
C. Explain the EMDR protocol (cont’d)
8. Closure
a. Inform patient of possible side effects
(fatigue, thirst, crying, dreams, etc.)
b. Ask patient to make note of any
changes they may experience
c. Inform patient the EMDR processing
will continue at a sub-conscious level for
1-2 weeks
d. Remind patient of identified safe place
X. Conclusion
EMDR Training
EMDRIA site for locating certified EMDR therapist
Shapiro, F., (2001) Eye Movement Desensitization and
Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols and
(2nd edition)
New York:Guilford Press