The Flash Technique is used to help process difficult memories during Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This technique has been developed within the last 6 years by Dr. Phillip Manfield, PhD, in order to ease processing of traumatic memories.
When Do We Use The Flash Technique?
You may be having intrusive thoughts that you can’t keep at bay. You might be starting to realize that everyday events are bringing up traumatic memories, resulting in emotional outbursts or feelings you don’t seem to be able to control. These feelings might are more intense than the present circumstances seem to warrant.
This can be scary, when you realize your feelings are controlling you, rather than your more rationale mind being able to step in when needed. This is called being triggered.
These disturbing intense emotions can well up when you least expect it. Sometimes the results are that you do and say things you later regret. This stuff can be so destructive for relationships with those you love.
The worst of it is feeling like you’re going crazy and your life is not your own! It’s so common for people to not even realize that they are being triggered and falling into old destructive habits.
The Flash Technique Helps Heal Trauma
You usually learn these habits from your caregivers when you were young. For example, watching the way Dad and Mom fight or be impatient or critical.
Sometimes these intense memories are so miserable, you can’t even contemplate talking about them. Many negative emotions, fear, panic, worry and fight/flight/freeze reactions happen in your body. These reactions can really ruin your day or even your week.
There are many common body sensations that can come up that let you know that you are probably being triggered by a past trauma. These are called fight/flight/freeze responses. They are not a conscious decision, but rather an automatic response over which you do not have control.
You might feel your heart rate increase, start sweating, feel hot or cold, hold you breath or feel like you can’t breathe. Sometimes people can’t feel their body at all, or notice that they feel far away. Your brain might feel dull or foggy, or you might having racing thoughts.
Hypervigilance is a state of intense alertness, meaning that you’re extremely sensitive to your surroundings. This happens when you feel a sense of danger and fear. It might even lead to paranoia.
For instance, when you look over your shoulder all the time, or jump out of your skin from a loud sound. Hypervigilance can cause you to feel like you have to defend yourself. So, you might even misinterpret a co-workers statement as rude or fear others are judging you.
This can lead to being emotionally withdrawn or to mood swings and outbursts of emotion. Your relationships can be damaged, which can lead to more social isolation.
So, Dr. Phillip Manfield developed the Flash Technique as part of the EMDR protocol in order to help you heal!
A Gentle Way To Process Trauma
The Flash Technique is a much more gentle way of reprocessing traumatic memories without having to focus on them. Instead, we focus on a wonderful, positive memory and only check in very briefly with the traumatic memory every so often. Just enough to monitor that it is reducing in intensity and to keep it in the back of your mind.
This technique has helped a lot of people you who just cannot deal with keeping their traumatic memories in their conscious mind for very long at all.
How Does It Work?
While we are talking about your positive memory, you will slowly tap your knees, left, right, left, right. Every minute or two I will say ‘flash’ and you will blink your eyes quickly, three times. You do this while still talking about your good memory.
There are some people who really have a hard time thinking of a positive memory. If you fall into this category, we might have to get creative. Positive memories can include imagining yourself doing something you love, like a hobby. Cooking, hiking, working on your car, and drawing are good examples. Maybe playing an instrument or even looking at a picture of beautiful place can work.
We can also return to eye movements at any times if we think this would be better. Once the intensity of your traumatic memory is reduced, I can then go back to the regular EMDR protocol.
This includes helping you identify what you would rather think and feel, such as ‘I can now make positive changes in my life’ or ‘ I am worthy of love’.
If you’d like to explore how you can use the Flash Technique to help you lead a happier less anxious or depressed life, please feel free to reach out to me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a voice message at 310-314-6933.