Using EMDR with recovering addicts:  An interview with Wendy Justus


Presents an interview with Wendy Justus on the efficacy of using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with recovering addicts. People who survive trauma often carry around a great deal of shame, usually based on a flawed belief that they could or should have prevented something terrible from happening. Addicts are usually riddled with shame, and Justus believes that this shame directly prolongs the life of their addiction and makes recovery seem impossible. So helping to lessen shame is her primary goal when working with addicts. She believes that EMDR, focused on either "large T" trauma, such as sexual abuse, or "small t" trauma, such as the fear induced by growing up in a dysfunctional family, can alleviate the shame attached to those traumas and therefore relieve the addict's need for a substance to quiet the shame.






Wendy Justus

Original Work Citation

Justus, W. (2004). Using EMDR with recovering addicts: An interview with Wendy Justus. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 4(2), 85-93. doi:10.1300/J160v04n02_07



“Using EMDR with recovering addicts:  An interview with Wendy Justus,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 5, 2020,

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