Treating Addiction as Dissociation with EMDR Therapy

This 2-Day advanced topics training provides EMDR therapists an innovative conceptualization of addiction/dissociation and effective interventions. Participants will gain skills through case conceptualization and three (3) practicums for treating addiction with EMDR Therapy. Support and treatment insights for application of model and working with difficult cases are provided throughout the training.

This Advanced Topics presentation provides therapists trained in EMDR the basic working tenants of the addiction as dissociation model including:

  • A different lens through which to conceptualize addiction that can help diffuse much of the cultural bias around addiction and fight stigma
  • A trauma-focused approach to treating addiction
  • Application of model for common barriers in addiction treatment

In partnership with Institute for Creative Mindfulness, an approved EMDRIA training provider (10002-137, 10002-138, 10002-139). 

This program does count for the ICM Dissociation Advanced Certificate Program




This presentation will be recorded for an on-demand presentation.

When: 4/12-13/2023,  10/18-19/2023

Time: 8:30-4:30pm EST (Registration opens at 8)

Cost: $195.00


13 EMDRIA (10002-117) Credits and 6 CEs (APA and Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, MFT Board) are included through our partnership with The Institute for Creative Mindfulness (ICM). ICM is an approved EMDRIA credit provider and an approved sponsor of CEs for psychologists.

Online details will be emailed out a few weeks ahead of training. Google Meet/Classroom will be the platform.

The training involves some lecture, demonstrations, and orientation to your clients. This is very much an experiential training. As a part of the learning process, practicing the interventions with other participants and to be practiced on is to be expected.


Contact Adam at [email protected]

Advanced Topic Description

This advanced topics training provides therapists trained in EMDR an innovative conceptualization of addiction and effective interventions for addiction treatment. By utilizing the Addiction as Dissociation Model, the material reduces the stigma often present towards people struggling with addiction. Further, participants gain skills training through case conceptualization and three (3) practicums for treating addiction with EMDR Therapy. Support and treatment insights for application of model and for working with difficult cases are provided throughout the training. The presentation is fully compliant with the Standard 8-Phase Protocol and the Adaptive Informational Processing Model (AIP) as written by Dr. Francine Shapiro.

Applications to case conceptualization, addressing underlying shame, and addiction memory with EMDR Therapy are performed in three practicums. Decision-making insights derived from the presenters’ experience as a clinician and EMDRIA Approved Consultant, in the scope of the Addiction as Dissociation and the AIP models, also provided. This presentation gives EMDR therapists a different lens through which to conceptualize addiction that can hopefully diffuse much of the cultural bias around addiction. By conceptualizing addiction through the lens of dissociation/complex trauma, this presentation makes steps forward in helping to destigmatize attitudes toward people struggling with addiction.

Book Suggestion: Healing Addiction with EMDR Therapy: A Trauma-Focused Guide


“This training fills in the gaps for treating addiction!”

Emily Campbell LCSW, AASW

Learning Objectives:

(1) To describe and discuss the basic tenets of the Addiction Dissociation Model

(2) Describe the application of the Addiction as Dissociation Model to the treatment of addiction with EMDR Therapy.

(3) List at least five (5) ways that addiction relates to trauma and dissociation symptomology and assessing dissociation in the addicted population.

(4) Demonstrate the following three (3) skill sets:

a. dissociative meeting area with addiction population

b. shame shape and color set-up

c. desensitizing and reprocessing addiction memory

(5) Explore shames role in addiction and trauma presentations to increase client motivation and decrease shame-based blocks to treatment.

(6) Name five (5) cognitive interweaves that can be applied during feedback looping when reprocessing in addiction treatment.

(7) Utilize Resource Development Installation to improve preparation phase and

(8) Incorporate future templates and re-evaluation phase to enhance treatment with aspects of parts.

(9) Incorporate Addiction as Dissociation Model for treatment intensives aspects of recovery, harm reduction, and psychedelic integration into the 8-phase protocol of EMDR Therapy.


Day 1

8:30 – 9:30 – EMDR Therapy and AIP model – Foundational aspects of trauma, dissociation, and addiction. Assessment in Addiction Treatment. Phases 1 – 3

9:30 – 9:45 – Break

9:45 – 11 – Case formulation and Parts work: Floatbacks and taking a thematic client history. Dissociative Meeting Area with Case Conceptualization Demo and Debriefing.? Phases 1-3

11 – 12 – Supervised Practicum of Dissociative Meeting Area

12 – 1 – Lunch

1 – 1:30 – Shame Psycho-education

1:30 – 2:45-Addressing Toxic Shame: Shape and Color Demo and Debriefing Phase 4-7

2:45 – 3 – Break

3 – 4:30 – Supervised Practicum of Toxic Shame: Shape and Color

Day 2

8:30 – 9:30 -Advanced aspects of trauma, dissociation, addiction, and recovery with memory reconsolidation.

9:30-9:45 – Break

9:45 – 10:30 -Addiction Memory Demo and Debriefing Phase 4-7

10:30 – 12 – Supervised Practicum of Addiction Memory

12 – 1 – Lunch

1-2:30 – Review and RDI, Future Templates, and Re-evaluation Phase 8

2:30 – 2:45 – Break

2:45 – 4:30 – EMDR Therapy and Intensives, Recovery, Harm Reduction, and Psychedelic Integration Services.

If all training seats are filled, we will keep a waiting list. Refunds for training fees are only available from cancellations submitted in writing two weeks or more prior to the training. If you cancel within two weeks of the training, you will be refunded half of your tuition, and the balance can be applied to a future training. Only medically documented illness or family deaths are considered as exceptions to this policy. No-shows are not eligible for refunds. *** There is a $50 charge for all credit card returns or cancelations.

More details about the training will be provided about a week prior. However, the online platform will be Google Meet and Google Classroom. It is best if you use Google Chrome and have a Google login. *** Please be advised that if the minimum of 10 participants is not reached that the event may be cancelled or postponed to a later date. It may be canceled 1-2 weeks ahead of the event. You will be fully refunded or it?can be applied to the postponed date. I will update you as we get closer to the event.


Adam O’Brien PhD, LMHC, CASAC


Adam is an EMDRIA certified EMDR therapist and Approved Consultant.