Addictions

Mark Odland
Mark Odland

While earning your EMDRIA certification, finishing your basic training hours through EMDR HAP, working towards becoming an Approved Consultant, or simply looking for guidance on individual cases, Mark Odland – MA, LMFT, MDIV looks forward to helping you meet your goals.  As an EMDRIA and EMDR HAP Approved Consultant, he is qualified to provide you with the high quality consultation necessary to understand the AIP model and master the standard 8-phase, 3-pronged protocol.  However, he strives to do so with a spirit of fun and curiosity within a relaxed and non-judgmental atmosphere (to read more about Mark’s background, please browse his “Consultant Bio.”

In his years as a therapist for a non-profit agency, Mark directed a treatment program for adult sexual offenders, and saw first-hand the relationship between a client’s trauma history and compulsive behavior. Here he was able to utilize the best of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as part of a larger Relapse and Prevention Model.  It was gratifying to see that this structure helped minimize the risk of his clients re-offending.  However, at the same time he feared that the model did not get to the root cause of his clients’ behaviors.  When he became trained as an EMDR therapist, Mark felt that he had finally found the missing piece in the puzzle.  After completing EMDR therapy, his clients no longer had to “white knuckle” through the problem behaviors in their lives or turn to destructive coping mechanisms the same way.  They had finally found deep healing at the core of the problem.

Although Mark no longer works with offenders, he continues to work with addictions and compulsive behaviors.  He has brought with him his knowledge and experience from the past, and added to this knowledge base through pursuit of EMDRIA-approved continuing education courses.

Mark has been blessed to receive training from Robert Miller, Ph.D. in the EMDR therapy Feeling State Addiction Protocol. It operates on the premise that in many cases a client may be less addicted to the actual “problem” behavior than it appears, and more addicted to the feeling the behavior gives them.  Many of our clients grew up with certain emotional needs that were never met.  Unfortunately, this deprivation made them more vulnerable to addiction, because when their need was finally met, the emotional high was intoxicating.  Often, these intense emotions become fused with whatever behavior one is doing at the time and this becomes a “feeling state,” which is experienced as addiction.  Many will go through life trying to replicate that initial high, but never quite getting enough.  The intense positive experience of the feeling plus the behavior has become fused in one’s brain and stored in a dysfunctional way.  EMDR therapy is so groundbreaking because it has the power to break the emotional connection to the unwanted behavior.  When this connection is broken cravings generally decrease and can even disappear.  Once the cravings are gone, then EMDR can be used to work through the painful memories and insecurities that made one vulnerable to developing the addiction in the first place.

Mark has also been blessed to receive training from Larry Anderson, Ph.D. in his unique EMDR therapy Addiction Protocol.  Unlike Miller’s approach, which focuses on feeling states, Dr. Anderson’s method targets the craving cycle itself.  In his many years of working with substance use disorders, he came to understand that one of the biggest barriers to recovery was the brain itself.  With addiction, the “survival brain” is triggered into action, making substance use a matter of emotional necessity.  In such a state, there is no “choice.”  Unfortunately, Larry understood that when the brain is hijacked in this way it is not capable of thinking about consequences.  His protocol attempts to create a stronger link between the initial impulse to use and the negative consequences that will inevitably come.  By doing so, he has found success wither everything to alcohol use and hardcore street drugs to pornography use.  A unique contribution within his protocol is instructions for the therapist to help guide the reprocessing forward in time towards the inevitable consequences, with the interweave-like statement between each set of BLS, “notice that, and notice what happens next.”

Mark draws from both Dr. Miller’s and Dr. Anderson’s approaches in treating a wide variety of compulsive behaviors.  Therapists have used EMDR to help deal with Smoking Addiction, Overeating, Gambling Addiction, Over-Exercising, Co-Dependence, Compulsive Shopping, Pornography/Sex Addiction, Video Game/Computer Addiction, Workaholism, Adrenaline Addiction, Kleptomania, and Trichotillomania.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a consultation session, please call Mark at (844) 872-8625 or fill out the Contact Form below.

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