The famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan once said, “The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” A balance of spirituality – with a basis in mindfulness – and scientific discovery can be just the right tandem to aid in someone’s healthy and full recovery. These two factors of science and spirituality are at the core of what is referred to in psychotherapy as the meta protocol.
Here at Roots Through Recovery, we are excited to be one of the few recovery facilities to run on a meta protocol system. We have found that this system has been critical in helping many of our clients work through their struggles with the trauma associated with mental health and substance use disorders. This has allowed them to move on to live the fulfilling and exciting lives that trauma had robbed them of for so long.
What Is the Meta Protocol?
The main question you probably have right now is, “What is the meta protocol?” That is understandable. It does sound like something out of a 1980s science fiction movie. However, when broken down, it is a relatively straightforward treatment system aimed at helping clients that are struggling with the effects of trauma.
Meta protocol is short for “The Mindfulness and EMDR Treatment Template for Agencies – also abbreviated as the MET(T)A Protocol.” It is a treatment system for recovery centers like ours to offer a mix of mindfulness and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to treat clients struggling with trauma and its effects.
We have found that this mix of mindfulness (centered on Buddhist spiritual principles) and neuroscience (specifically EMDR therapy) can be the most effective way to treat trauma, which is often a comorbidity of other mental health and substance use disorders. The meta protocol has been a pivotal system by which we have helped many clients recover from their mental health struggles.
How Does the Meta Protocol Work?
The meta protocol utilizes the teachings of Buddhist mindfulness to help center our clients and open them up for a deeper emotional experience. These mindfulness tools aim to unearth traumas that may be buried or shielded by more visible effects of a mental health issue. This mindfulness is then incorporated with EMDR.
The blend of psychotherapy and mindfulness techniques is effective for a broad spectrum of clients. This is why the meta protocol is still growing in popularity as a treatment system since it was introduced over 30 years ago.
What Is EMDR?
EMDR is a psychotherapy that aims to help the client replace their reactions to negative emotions tied to traumatic memories with more positive emotional responses. This is done by stimulating the brain with a series of repetitive eye movements.
EMDR replaces negative emotional reactions to difficult memories with less-charged or positive reactions or beliefs. Performing a series of repetitive eye movements synced up with memories of traumatic events can help the client reframe their responses to the emotions these events bring up. This form of therapy is a widely respected psychotherapy that continues to show its value the more it is studied.
According to the medical journal The Permanente Journal, “Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an empirically validated psychotherapy approach that medical personnel can employ to treat the sequelae of psychological trauma and other negative life experiences. Its ability to rapidly treat unprocessed memories of these adverse experiences has important implications for the medical community, as they appear to be the foundation for an array of clinical symptoms.”
Who Exactly Is the Meta Protocol For?
One of the wonderful aspects of the meta protocol is that it has been shown to work for a wide range of mental health and substance abuse issues. This is because mindfulness and EMDR focus on the emotional underpinnings associated with most mental illnesses.
It is essential to access these emotions, to discuss, analyze, and eventually treat them. For example, for those struggling with substance abuse, it does little good to simply abstain from alcohol or their substance of choice. The chances are they will either be unable to abstain at all, or if they do, relapse is quite inevitable. This is because substance abuse is often a “side effect” or “symptom” of some deeper emotional trauma. It is rarely the root cause.
When we can get past the dangerous behaviors associated with most mental health issues and treat the emotions that cause them, we feel we have the best chance of offering a long and healthy recovery. The meta protocol is one of the systems we use to do this.
Can the Meta Protocol Help Me?
If you are struggling with your mental health or substance abuse issues, the meta protocol has the potential to help. However, the only honest answer we can give our clients on whether a specific therapy or treatment will work for them is “Potentially, yes.” Everyone is unique, and thus no one person’s mental health status or issues are the same. Because of this, we treat everyone on an individualized basis.
You can be confident that whether the meta protocol works for you or not, we have the clinicians, professionals, and resources to find you something that can. Ultimately your wellness is our primary purpose, and we will use everything at our disposal to get you there.
Roots Through Recovery is proud to be one of a handful of treatment centers that can offer a program utilizing the meta protocol. The mindfulness and EMDR treatment template is a process that we use to best help our clients get the trauma-focused treatment and trauma resolution they need. The efficacy of this system has been shown to work for over 30 years, and we have seen it work for several of our clients. If you are struggling with any form of trauma, do not wait to get help. Roots Through Recovery has the tools and resources that can help you move past your trauma. For more information, call us today at (562) 473-0827.