Treating Addictions with EMDR Therapy: A Path to Reconnection

Increase your skills and and gain more confidence using EMDR to treat substance abuse and behavioral addictions. In this advanced specialty training with practice, Hope Payson will invite you to take a deep dive into the multi-faceted relationship between complex trauma and addictions. You’ll learn how to approach the unique choice points that arise—phase by phase—when treating addictions using an EMDR therapy framework. You’ll explore how and when to apply addiction-specific interventions and incorporate them in a comprehensive EMDR treatment plan that evolves over time. Non-profit agency registration rate is available for this course.
Addictions - A Path to Reconnection
Early Bird
Application fee
Application fee
Last Minute
Application fee
Training Program Schedule
March 3, 2023 11:30 am - 4:00 pm ET
March 4, 2023 11:30 am - 4:00 pm ET
March 10, 2023 11:30 am - 4:00 pm ET

Free Follow-up Q & A on April 14, 2023
with Hope 11:30 am - 1:00 pm ET

Review of the training recording will be made available for registered participants for 90 days from the last training date.
Full Program Schedule
Trainer / Trainers
Hope Payson, LCSW, LADC Lead Trainer
Alicia Peña LMHC, Facilitator & Guest Speaker
Amanda Pedro, M.Sc, M.B.Ps.S. Facilitator & Guest Speaker
John Goldman, LCSW, CAADC Facilitator & Guest Speaker
Vincent Kelly, MS, CRC, LMHC Facilitator & Guest Speaker
Rehna Becker, LCSW Facilitator & Guest Speaker
Training Coordinator
Jeanette Faircloth
Continuing Education Credits
View CEC details

This specialty advanced training with practice is designed for EMDR therapists who treat complex trauma and are grappling with how to address a client's substance abuse and behavioral addictions. Your trainer is Hope Payson, a leading expert in treating trauma and addiction with EMDR therapy. Join her and her guest speakers to examine the individual, relational and cultural factors that increase a client’s vulnerability to addictive disorders—with a specific focus on the link between complex trauma and addictions. This training will cover common assessment challenges, addiction-specific resources, trauma and addiction focused history-taking as well as stabilization strategies that will help you work most effectively with your clients.  So, whether you're a novice in treating addictions or you're looking to up your game, this course will take you to the next level as an EMDR therapist working with addictions and compulsive behaviors.

Here's What to Expect

This training combines lecture and discussion with real case presentations and clinical video clips, experiential exercises, and ample time for Q & A. It also includes special tools and worksheets to guide your practice of applying EMDR therapy for addictions and compulsive behaviors with your own clients. You will walk away with:

  • an understanding of how trauma can increase vulnerability to addiction
  • the pros and cons of addressing active addiction versus waiting until a client is abstinent 
  • specific questions to help you assess a client’s readiness for reprocessing
  • how to take a complex trauma/addiction-sensitive history
  • applying motivational interviewing techniques to assess stages of change
  • a recognition of the most common resourcing needs of clients with histories of complex trauma and addiction
  • the ability to prepare a flexible, comprehensive EMDR therapy trauma-addiction treatment plan
  • addiction-specific resources to use for stabilization during any stage of change
  • how to address maladaptive positive feeling states, body sensations, irrational thinking about addictions and avoidance defenses
  • an understanding of how and when to use the standard protocol versus specialized addiction protocols to address the client's difficulties 

Meet Your Trainer

Hope Payson

Hope Payson

Hope Payson, LCSW, LADC is a widely respected expert in the treatment of addiction and trauma. She brings over 30 years of clinical experience in community mental health and addictions treatment to her professional work. She is a trainer, consultant and highly sought-after presenter for conferences in the US and around the world. She also helps treatment programs integrate EMDR therapy in all phases of their treatment programing. She produced the documentary film exploring the connection between trauma and addiction, “Uprooting Addiction: Healing From the Ground Up.” We are proud to have Hope as part of The Center’s adjunct faculty. 

Practice Facilitators and Guest Speakers

To add depth and context to this training, Hope has invited her fellow EMDR clinicians who specialize in working with addicted clients in a variety of treatment settings, including private practice, outpatient community mental health and inpatient addiction treatment. Several of Hope's guest speakers assist clients who are involved with drug court or who are currently or formally incarcerated.

Alicia Peña LMHC

Alicia Peña LMHC

Amanda Pedro M.Sc, M.B.Ps.S.

Amanda Pedro

John Goldman LCSW, CAADC

John Goldman

Vincent Kelly MS, CRC, LMHC

Vincent Kelly

Rehna Becker, LCSW

Rehna Becker
Hope’s approach to treating addictions and compulsions with EMDR therapy is like no other. She talks about addiction as a relationship we have, and for many, it’s an attachment. As a teacher and therapist who understands our client’s difficulties through an attachment lens, that makes a lot of sense to me. Hope works with clients in all stages of change, to include clients who are actively using, and encourages therapists to be curious about how addiction works for each client. I love Hope’s magic trick: She reminds us that if you’re working with complex trauma, you’re working with addictions. So, training with Hope is a must. I can listen endlessly to her teaching.

Deany Laliotis , LICSW

Deany Laliotis