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Tracy Masiello


Quality substance abuse treatment is needed to help fight the battle against drug addiction. This qualitative study was designed to explore some of the approaches to eye movement desensitization (EMDR) therapy that therapists trained in Parnell's adapted EMDR model use in conjunction with treatment for addictions. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to investigate the experience of therapists who incorporate substance abuse treatment with Parnell's adapted EMDR model when treating trauma and substance use disorders. The population studied comprised licensed mental health therapists who had completed Parnell's EMDR training and implemented Parnell's modified EMDR protocol in their professional practice. The data from 9 participant interviews were coded and NVIVO data analysis software was used to identify key concepts and themes including deviations from Parnell's modified protocol, incorporating addiction treatment within the modified protocol, and the importance of the resourcing phase in the modified protocol. The study findings provided a deeper understanding of the types of addiction therapies that therapists are using in conjunction with Parnell's EMDR model. The results also showed that that participants perceived Parnell's EMDR model, combined with addiction therapeutic techniques and approaches, as beneficial in treating those with trauma and substance use disorders. By integrating addiction therapies with Parnell's EMDR protocol, EMDR certified trainers may better educate EMDR trainees about useful strategies for treating dual diagnosed clients. The strategies may shorten the client's time in treatment and provide a strong foundation for therapists as they conduct therapy for dual diagnosed people.