Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Counselor Education and Supervision

First Advisor

Joffrey S. Suprina PhD

Second Advisor

Marguerite Chabau PhD


Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate eye movement desensitization reprocessing for those with substance use disorders and comorbid trauma. The research question is, how does the addition of eye movement desensitization reprocessing intervention assist treatment of those diagnosed afflicted with addiction and comorbid trauma as opposed to the treatment without eye movement desensitization reprocessing? Method: A quantitative study consisted of 24 participants consisting of 12 men and 12 women ages 18 years and older diagnosed with substance use disorder and comorbid trauma. Participants were recruited from an outpatient treatment substance use disorder facility where they were randomly assigned into two groups: treatment as usual or eye movement desensitization reprocessing and treatment as usual. Pretest and posttest measures were conducted to measure severity of trauma, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. The intervention, eye movement desensitization reprocessing included 8 weekly 60-minute sessions. The treatment as usual treatment group received an additional weekly session to counter variance. A one-way analysis of variance for means was used as parametric analysis to examine eye movement desensitization reprocessing’s effectiveness. Results: The treatment as usual and eye movement desensitization reprocessing group showed significant reduction in all measures trauma severity, anxiety, depression, and increased self-esteem. The treatment as usual group also showed improvement and reduction in symptoms from trauma and depression, however showed no improvement in anxiety and self-esteem. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest eye movement desensitization reprocessing protocol can successfully treat symptoms from posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and increase self-esteem with patients diagnosed with substance use disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder.


I first acknowledge my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The following are not limited to or exhausted to all those who supported me during this doctoral journey.

My family and friends were there for me when I needed them most and because of your kindness, I am eternally grateful for your time and love.

I acknowledge National Louis University for allowing me to complete this doctoral journey when at one point that decision would have been disrupted due to another institution’s closing. Thank you, National Louis University, for your generosity.

Dr. Joffrey Suprina, my chairperson, was instrumental in helping me to pursue this endeavor; and he allowed me to grow as a researcher and scholar. He was forthcoming when I needed it most, and at the same time his professional responsibility as a leader was inspiring. I hope to have such dedication and commitment.

My heart holds a special place to my committee member, Dr. Marguerite Chabau. She was my first instructor in the Advanced Writing course of my doctoral program. Her high standards to excellence in her teaching catapulted me to where I am today a lifelong researcher. Her love for her students and her teaching sets her apart from most. I am forever grateful.

I thank Dr. Boris Djokic for his ability to make statistics fun and interesting, as he supported me through the data analysis portion of my study. He made the difficult subject of statistics approachable, and I am grateful for his tutelage.

Finally, my gratitude to Recreate Life Counseling’s staff and to those who participated in this study. I gained valuable professional relationships that I hope to continue in the future. Last, to the participants, I am thankful that I had a part of their mental health wellness journey.