Evidence-Based Treatments

Hawaii Island Recovery offers three powerful evidence-based treatment therapies as part of our well-rounded approach to your care and recovery.

As you search for a rehab program for you or a loved one, you will come across a wide variety of treatment methodologies, but only those therapies which have been proven effective in numerous research studies can be designated as evidence-based treatments. These methods are backed by scientific evidence and may be used for interventions, prevention, or therapy. This often includes the results of clinical trials, but there are also other legitimate ways to gather evidence.

Evidence-based programs use a well-defined curriculum or collection of services that have been scientifically shown to produce positive outcomes when applied consistently. The quality of the study design determines whether evidence-based activities and initiatives are labeled as “supported” or “well-supported.”

Trauma-Informed Therapy

With a trauma-informed approach, everyone at every level of the organization understands what trauma is and how it can affect individuals, as well as families, groups, and communities. People’s experiences and behaviors can be understood in the context of coping strategies that they may have developed to survive adversity and overwhelming circumstances, whether they occurred in the past (such as prior child abuse or neglect), are currently manifesting, or are related to the emotional distress of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many types of trauma can contribute to addiction, including:

  • Natural disasters
  • Accidents
  • Acts of violence
  • Deaths
  • Even seemingly small events where you lacked choice, control, or power

Trauma is recognized as a factor in many mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs) and should be addressed systematically through prevention, treatment, and recovery. Hawaii Island Recovery applies a trauma-informed approach to all aspects of our treatment programs.


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy that is highly effective in identifying and resolving the traumatic memories that can drive addiction. Traumatic memories can become “stuck” in your mind, causing you to relive the painful emotions, physical sensations, and thoughts that you felt at the time. Even an unprocessed unconscious memory can set off the symptoms, attitudes, and behaviors that drive addiction.

Using EMDR, our therapists help you tap into your brain’s healing power to resolve those traumatic memories, rid yourself of the disturbing symptoms, and ultimately achieve sobriety.

People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often struggle with the emotionally charged memories of what occurred to them after a traumatic event. EMDR is particularly effective at treating PTSD by assisting the patient in processing the trauma–with the guidance of a well-trained therapist–and allowing you to begin to recover. EMDR involves paying attention to a back-and-forth movement or sound while recalling the unpleasant memory until changes in how you perceive the memory occur and additional information from the past is processed.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and beliefs that can drive addiction and other disorders. Behavioral approaches assist in engaging people in drug abuse treatment, providing incentives for them to stay sober, change their attitudes and behaviors toward drug or alcohol abuse, and increase life skills to better deal with stressful situations and environmental cues that may trigger intense cravings for substances and could lead to relapse.

CBT was first designed to help people recovering from alcoholism avoid relapse, but it was subsequently modified to help those addicted to other substances. Adopting a cognitive-behavioral approach is based on the idea that learned processes play a significant role in developing harmful behavioral patterns that can lead to addiction. Through the development of new skills that can be used to stop maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, as well as address various other issues that often co-occur with substance use disorder.

Our therapists can help you explore the thought patterns that lead to self-destructive behaviors, such as:

  • Overgeneralizations
  • Magnification of negatives
  • Minimization of positives
  • Catastrophizing

Using CBT’s goal-oriented procedures, patients will learn how to replace those patterns with new, healthier patterns to decrease or eliminate emotional distress and self-defeating behaviors. CBT can give you the skills you need to get sober and stay sober for life.


You may already know that anxiety, depression, and trauma can make everyday life challenging. But did you know that they can also impair your brain’s ability to self-regulate? When your brain cannot change states readily and modulate levels of arousal appropriately, you’re at an increased risk for mental illness, substance abuse, and more. Neurofeedback treatments use biofeedback of brainwave data to help you train your brain to self-regulate for healthier functioning on a daily basis.

Brainwave entrainment has been around for a long time and numerous researchers have investigated it for decades. Neurofeedback is a technique that helps people become more aware of their brain waves. During the neurofeedback therapy, the electroencephalograph (EEG) is recorded. This is then broken down into its constituent parts and given to participants through an online feedback loop in the form of audio or video.

With neurofeedback, therapists can use biofeedback of your brainwave data to “train” your brain to self-regulate, reduce those risks, and eliminate negative symptoms. Neurofeedback can help you:

  • Heal from anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • Improve your mood, energy, and sleep
  • Achieve optimal cognitive functioning

With minimal side effects and lasting results, neurofeedback is a powerful and effective treatment option that can help you achieve sobriety and enjoy a happier, healthier life.

All of these innovative, evidence-based therapies are available at Hawaii Island Recovery. Every day, we employ these miracle methods to improve symptoms, increase wellbeing, and change lives for the better.

For more information on the evidence-based therapies available at Hawaii Island Recovery or to schedule an assessment, please contact us at (866) 390-5070.