EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION & REPROCESSING
& FLASH TECHNIQUE
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a specific of therapy originally developed to treat trauma. EMDR is backed and supported by an extensive amount of research and considered evidence-based practice for trauma. This approach can be applied to a variety of clinical issues with success, even when other forms of therapy have been less impactful.
Negative events, such as trauma, are sometimes said to be “stuck” in the brain, resulting in symptoms and emotions that negatively impact the individual. EMDR is said to access this area of the brain, by focusing on the target problem and alternatively stimulating each side of the brain, using eye movements, sounds, or tapping. In this way, the target problem is said to be re-processed and the event becomes less distressing and problematic for the individual. EMDR allows a client to process trauma, without going into graphic detail, per client preference.
The Flash Technique (FT) is a recently developed therapeutic intervention for reducing the disturbance associated with traumatic or other distressing memories. Unlike many conventional trauma therapy interventions, FT is a minimally intrusive option that does not require the client to consciously engage with the traumatic memory. This allows the client to process traumatic memories without feeling distress.
Originally developed as an addition to the preparation phase of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), FT has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the disturbance level associated with severely painful memories, sometimes in as little as ten to fifteen minutes. Like EMDR, FT utilizes eye movements or alternating tapping and is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain.
FT may be used as an adjunctive intervention to make a variety of trauma-informed psychotherapies quicker and better tolerated. In Internal Family Systems, it can aid in “unburdening.” In various exposure therapies, it can reduce exposure-related disturbance. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it can increase client receptiveness to reparative adult perspectives.