DeTUR™: An Urge Reduction Protocol in Dealing with Addictions and Dysfunctional Behaviors.

This protocol has been used effectively by EMDR therapists over the years in dealing with a wide range of addictions and behaviors, including substances, eating, gambling, sex, etc.. This presentation will consist of, didactic, visuals, demonstrations of the various phases with case examples from the author and other therapists. and case examples. Also addressed will be some of the many different pitfalls in dealing with this population and methods to deal with the problems.

DeTUR™ (Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing) is an urge reduction protocol used as the nucleus of an overall methodology in the treatment of a wide range of chemical addictions and dysfunctional behaviors. This method was developed and refined by the author by the author through actual client interaction and feedback from other EMDR trained therapists using the same protocol. It was initially introduced as a “stop smoking” protocol at the 1st EMDR conference in 1992.

This eclectic addiction treatment method is trauma based, combining client internal resources with external support including the 12 step model and other known and proven treatment methods as cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused, Erickson, thought field therapy, Satire, neuro linguistic programming, etc.. The basis or foundation is the accelerated information processing using bi-lateral processing as outlined in EMDR to uncover and process the base trauma(s) or core issues as the underlying cause behind the addiction.

Though somewhat similar to the phases of EMDR, using history, assessment, diagnosis and preparation of the client. DeTURTM targets the triggers that bring up the uncomfortable feelings leading to the urges. DeTUR™ phases also include client empowerment through resource accessing, installation of positive treatment goals, identification and desensitization of triggers, and techniques of relapse prevention. The purpose of the protocol is to uncover the core traumas and reprocess them through to completion. In achieving reprocessing the triggers no longer stimulate the need to use or act out and the new response becomes the positive treatment goal of coping and functioning successfully in life as determined by the client.

Learning Objectives
•Participants will learn the use of the DeTUR™ protocol through demonstrations, including:
•Rapid techniques to aid clients in accessing their own inner resources.
•Differences between positive goal (PG) and positive state (PS). •How to identify client’s triggers
•Methods to elicit client’s positive goal.
•How to anchoring the positive state into client’s philosophy. •How to segue from the DeTUR™ protocol to the EMDR model.
•Techniques to aid client in handling relapse






Arnold J. "AJ" Popky

Original Work Citation

Popky, A. J. (2014, June). DeTUR. Preconference presentation at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland



“DeTUR™,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 16, 2022,

Output Formats