Healing Trauma in a Flash

Experiencing traumatic events can be so bad that we do not want to go through them again by talking about them in therapy. Painful emotions would have to be relived, so it is only understandable that people prefer not to go through them again. Not only are these memories uncomfortable, but they are also, from a survival perspective, identified as a threat. And our mind may very well want to avoid them at all costs.

What if these memories, caused by single events, could be processed without going through them, without having to talk about them, and without reliving them? It would be possible to significantly reduce the disturbances caused by the traumatic event and, therefore, impact our lives by using the Flash Technique developed by Dr. Philip Manfield (Ph.D.).

This technique can often be completed within a single session. It was developed as preparation for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). The procedure is straightforward and similar to EMDR as it uses eye movements and tapping. At the start, the client will share a traumatic event. If it is unclear what memory caused the client’s presenting symptoms, the therapist will help the client identify the ‘target’ memory.

The therapist will ask the client to focus on a person, pet, or activity that provides an immediate pleasurable experience, otherwise known as Positive Engaging Focus (PEF). In as little as 10-15 minutes, PEF can significantly reduce the impact of the initial disturbance.

While working with the trauma, the client does not need to keep thinking about the trauma; this makes the procedure less scary and daunting. In the end, the disturbances may be gone entirely or reduced significantly. This means that the client is well-prepared for other models of therapy to improve their wellbeing further.

It is essential to highlight that the Flash Technique (FT) should only be used by certified therapists to ensure the client’s safety. Both adults and children may benefit from this process, and the technique has been used to treat a wide variety of presenting complaints, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Written by:
Allard Mueller
Counsellor and Psychotherapist
SACAC Counselling

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