EMDR Therapy and Consultation for Addictions and Eating Disorders

Extensive Training and Experience with EMDR Therapy, Addictions and Eating Disorders

Charlotte Winters, Ph.D. has decades of experience working with addiction issues and eating disorders.  She is a Master Addiction Counselor with the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals.  She received a Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders from the American Psychological Association in 1996.  She is a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage Family Therapist, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Certified Therapist and EMDR Consultant, and is passionate about bringing her experience and training to help individuals, couples and families heal from addictions of all types. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with excessive use of alcohol, drugs, prescription medicine, gambling, eating disorders or another addiction, Dr. Winters can help you heal.  Signs of addiction include unsuccessful efforts to cut down or stop dysfunctional behaviors, experiencing craving and unwanted urges, and continuing to use or engage in self-destructive behaviors despite problems stemming from the addictive behavior or eating disorder, such as issues related to health, work, or relationships.  Dr. Winters specializes in helping individuals and family members transform their lives from the downward spiral of addiction and eating disorders into the upward cycle of healing and recovery.  It is inspiring to witness the dramatic positive transformation in people’s lives when they are able to become free from the chains of their addictions or eating disorders and move into their full potential. 

EMDR Consultation with Addictions and Eating Disorders

If you are an EMDR therapist working with addictions or eating disorders or want to expand your practice to help people with these issues, Dr. Winters is happy to assist you.  She has worked with addiction issues and eating disorders for decades.  She was initially trained in EMDR therapy by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1995.  She is now an EMDRIA Approved EMDR Consultant as well as a Facilitator for EMDR Professional Training.   She prides herself on constantly expanding her knowledge and skills so that she can provide the highest level of care and the most effective treatment approaches to her clients and consultees.  Whether you are seeking consultation for EMDR Certification or want specialized consultation for working with these populations at any time, Dr. Winters has the experience and wisdom to provide you with the guidance you need to move your practice forward.  It is very rewarding to help people struggling with addictions and eating disorders, and their families, but this can be a high-risk population and they need specialized treatment to help them work toward healing safely. 

Approaches to the Treatment of Addictions and Eating Disorders

Dr. Charlotte Winters uses a variety of approaches in her work with individuals struggling with addictions and eating disorders, depending on the needs of each person she works with.  The following includes some of the approaches she uses with her clients and can provide consultation for EMDR therapists who would like to enhance their skills in these areas. 

DeTUR Protocol for EMDR Therapy (Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing)

Arnold (“AJ”) Popky developed this AIP (adaptive information processing) urge reduction protocol for use in the treatment of addictions and other dysfunctional behaviors.  This approach starts with developing and strengthening resources including a positive visualization of a healthy, vibrant life in the future when there are no more urges to engage in the addiction or other dysfunctional behavior.  This process is a powerful way to bring hope and motivation to people who have been struggling for years or decades.   The next phase is to identify and desensitize triggers to decrease urges and begin moving away from addiction into stability and recovery as quickly as possible.  Ultimately treatment will include the standard EMDR process of identifying and reprocessing the traumas that have been fueling the addictive behaviors. 

Feeling State Addiction Protocol (FSAP)

Robert Miller developed the FSAP, a revised EMDR approach which includes identifying and processing through the strong positive feelings associated with addictive or otherwise dysfunctional behaviors, and thereby reducing and resolving the urges.  His model of addiction includes the standard AIP model underlying EMDR which is that unresolved trauma results in disturbing feelings and negative beliefs about ourselves being dysfunctionally stored, with efforts to avoid these experiences in order to function in the world.  Robert Miller’s Feeling-State Theory of Addiction is that addictions are created when intense positive feeling states become associated with certain behaviors or substances, creating urges which intensify over time due to the faulty belief that these behaviors or substances are meeting an important need.   The FSAP starts by identifying the positive feeling states that seem connected with the dysfunctional or addictive behavior and are fueling the urges to use.  The next step is to desensitize these faulty connections until it becomes clear that the addictive or dysfunctional behavior is not actually creating the desired positive outcome.   This process helps to release people from their intense urges.  The next phase is to identify and process through the unresolved traumas that left them with the unmet needs, disturbing thoughts and feelings that had led them down the path of addiction initially. 

An Integrative Neurodevelopmental Approach to the Treatment of Addiction within an EMDR Framework by Susan Brown, LCSW

Susan Brown, LCSW, has developed a comprehensive treatment approach integrating and utilizing a variety of approaches to treating addiction.  This approach starts with identifying and enhancing strengths, resources and recovery coping behaviors, and processing blocking beliefs which maintain addiction and impede recovery.  Working with different ego states or parts of self is an important part of the recovery process, as so often addicts have the experience “part of me wants to quit and part of me doesn’t”.  This nuanced work allows a therapist to identify and help parts of self that contribute to ongoing dysfunctional behaviors or interfere with positive movement toward treatment goals.  Identifying and resolving the adverse life events and related negative cognitions that contribute to the addiction cycle with EMDR therapy is an important aspect of this treatment approach, but there are many additional steps to create and maintain stability, recovery and relapse prevention. 

Working with Ego States, Dissociation and Wounded Parts of Self

I have decades of experience learning from the Masters to integrate ego state work and EMDR therapy with addiction, eating disorders, and a wide variety of other issues.  We all have different aspects of self that might be more or less present in different situations, such as when we are at work, with our spouse, parenting our children, or in a highly distressing situation.  In our healthiest state we are able to flow in and out of these states easily.  When we are traumatized, parts of self may become more or less distinct, on a continuum from healthy and flexible to rigidly separated or dissociated.  My in-depth understanding of this process allows me to provide an empathic connection with all parts of self that promotes trust, hope, motivation, stability, self-acceptance and healing.  Some of the experts I have had the honor of training with and learning from include Suzette Boon, Curt Rouanzoin, Janina Fisher, Jim Knipe, Jamie Marich, Kathleen Martin, Delores Mosquera, Ellert Nijenhuis, Sandra Paulsen, Shirley Jean Schmidt, Richard Schwartz, Andrew Seubert, Kathy Steele, Hal Stone and Sidra Winkelman, Onno van der Hart and Carol York, among others.

If you would like to meet with Dr. Charlotte Winters for EMDR Therapy or EMDR Consultation regarding addiction issues, eating disorders, unresolved trauma, or a wide range of other issues…

Available via telehealth for therapy and consultation:

My professional services are available remotely via a secure HIPAA compliant format or Facetime. I can effectively provide therapy virtually for anyone within the state of California, including individual and couples therapy, and EMDR therapy. You are welcome to join me for individual and/or group EMDR consultation remotely wherever you are in the world.

Contact Me

I’m here for you. Please contact me with questions or for more information.