Addressing trauma without having to re-experience it
At a recent training course, I was pleased to learn the Flash Technique, broadening my EMDR skills for working with clients who have experienced trauma and attachment difficulties.
While learning the technique was, and will be, tremendously useful, it was the theory informing it that had me really excited.
The basis of Flash is to bring a traumatic memory forward into our working memory, without fully associating into the felt experience of it, and then to fully connect with an engaging positive experience while the therapist undertakes some processing work with you.
This is a little different to many trauma treatment approaches, because the received wisdom has been that the impact of memory needs to be fully experienced in the present in order for integration and healing to take place. This seems to make the approach suitable for clients who may be overwhelmed by memories, who dissociate easily or who are otherwise defending themselves against feeling emotional pain.
Simply bringing the traumatic event into awareness, but not distressing clients with its full impact, and still being able to achieve healing seems a big leap forward for compassionate psychotherapy. I look forward to giving this a go with my own clients and together assessing its effectiveness as part of EMDR practice. As an outcome oriented practitioner I am all for anything which helps clients meet their goals expediently and effectively.