Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It’s growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents. At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient’s own rapid, rhythmic eyemovements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.
FLASH TECHNIQUE This technique is used during the preparation phase of EMDR, and allows clients to reduce the disturbance associated with extremely painful memories without actually feeling the pain. Defenses that are normally obstacles to processing are not activated because the process is not threatening or painful. Clients who dissociate have less need to dissociate and those who are afraid of the intensity of their memories can process without being afraid. Dramatic reductions in disturbance happen often in 5 to ten minutes.