DeTUR™ (Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing) is an empirically supported method developed and refined by AJ Popky, Ph.D. DeTur integrates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and the Alternative Information Processing (AIP) model of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). Cognitive therapy (inter-weaves) are utilized during the bi-lateral stimulation of EMDR Therapy to rapidly process the desensitization of relapse triggers and accelerate the recovery and healing process. Unlike Standard EMDR where the focus is more on the clients past DeTUR is focused more on the present and future.
Successful results have been reported across the spectrum of addictions and dysfunctional behaviors: chemical substances (nicotine, marijuana, alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, crack, heroin/methadone, and others), eating disorders such as compulsive overeating, anorexia and bulimia, along with other behaviors such as sex, gambling, shoplifting, anger outbursts, and impulsive control disorders (such as trichotillomania and intermittent explosive disorder).
The key elements of DeTUR are described by Popsky in his 2020 paper: AAIP DeTUR (Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing) Accelerated Adaptive Information Model based on the EMDR Protocol.
- Client’s attention is directed towards a positive, attractive, achievable, compelling goal of coping and functioning, NOT, away from a negative behavior. While most therapy sessions start with the therapist asking the client “What’s your problem?” DeTUR begins by asking clients to recall a time when they experienced feelings of being resourceful, powerful and in-control and direct them to those to notice the powerful feelings, and then install and strengthen these powerful feelings with the bi-lateral stimulation of EMDR Therapy .
- Abstinence, though highly recommended, is not required in the definition of the treatment goal; coping and functioning in a positive manner as described by the client is the treatment goal.
- Relapse is reframed from failure to new targets of opportunity to be addressed in following sessions.
- Chemical withdrawal and anxiety appear to be addressed since the process seems to take place out of the client’s conscious level of awareness, not requiring constant attention on the part of the client. Clients often report surprise that at the end of the day they had not engaged in the negative behavior, had–but not as often, or had noticed urges to engage and could put them aside.
- Targeting the individual triggers for desensitization allows this model to be used with clients early in recovery. DeTUR™ targets the triggers that bring up the uncomfortable feelings leading to the urges and reprocesses the triggers linking a positive state to the triggering urge. Similar to the stimulus-response mechanism, this is replacing the using response with the positive response that has been anchored and set into the individual’s physiology. Whenever the stimulus is activated the response of a positive state of being comes up that is aligned to their values, helping individuals in functioning more successfully in life.
Perry Passaro, Ph.D. a Realize Recovery Staff member is extensively trained in CBT, EMDR and DeTUR. He can be reached at PerryPassaro@Icloud.com or 714-488-8814.