EMDR--the MYSTERY of the "Flash Technique"
Are you concerned that facing your traumatic memories may be too overwhelming?
The Flash Technique is a new method of making EMDR trauma therapy even faster and more effective than it already is, and EMDR is already noted for both of those things. Furthermore, EMDR is already unique in that it does not involve "re-living" past events. Still, many clients are fearful that their memories are so terrible that they feel they cannot confront them on any level.
The Flash Technique usually solves this issue in 10 minutes. Flash is able to remove most, if not all, of the fear, horror, and terror associated with traumatic memories. So, when Flash is performed before EMDR, clients no longer have to fear being overwhelmed by the "flooding" emotions associated with bringing up a traumatic memory as it is healed.
I'll say that again for effect:
When Flash is performed before EMDR, clients no longer have to fear being overwhelmed by the "flooding" emotions associated with bringing up a traumatic memory!
As I have noted before, EMDR is not a desensitization technique. The EMDR method of healing does not rely on making the client numb or miserable by rehashing horrible memories. EMDR works by "unsticking" natural processes in the mind, which send traumatic memories into the past, such that clients feel they are on a new chapter of life. Sure, some earlier chapters were ugly, but now their life is a good story with a bright future and no need to look back because all the trauma triggers and symptoms are neutralized.
Still, even though EMDR doesn't involve re-living past memories, the pain of traumatic memories might often be felt at some significant level during EMDR, simply because it's just really disturbing and intrusive. To control this, EMDR therapists use various preparation techniques, and Flash is my favorite because it works so well and so fast, and specifically takes away difficulties with bringing up the memory. Flash takes away the "gut punch" of the memory, most all of the fear and horror, so we can focus on total healing. Many clients then report that they no longer feel "in" the memory, but outside, looking in on a distant picture--and then I know we are ready to work.
In truly rare or complex cases, for instance where the client has a severe dissociative disorder, a longer preparation prior to EMDR involving specialized skills is the best practice, and that would require a whole new post to explain. But even then, Flash further reduces disturbance by taking away elements of fear and horror that make the memories most disturbing. Combine the two, and you have a very powerful process that reliably heals even dissociated traumatic memories without much disturbance to the client at all. (I need to write a post on "dissociation," as many therapists use the term to mean very different things).
Incredibly, in more straightforward PTSD cases, for instance a sexual assault or a terrible car accident, Flash followed by EMDR predictably results in a single-session cure, even when the memory is terrifying at the highest levels. I would not believe this unless I had seen it many times over. In fact, three times I have seen Flash alone heal a fear of driving, with no EMDR at all.
The mystery is that we don't really know how Flash works. There are a few theories. What is most mysterious is that Flash does not ask the client to think about anything disturbing--in fact, it asks the opposite. And it often takes 10 minutes or less to get radical change.
If you are concerned that your traumatic memories are too terrifying to be helped by therapy, talk to me first. We can use the Flash Technique. Think about it--at worst, you will have spent 10 minutes not thinking of anything disturbing! But it works time and time again, even to the point where I wonder if it's too good to be true.