Often when something traumatic happens, it seems to get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and so on. Since the experience is locked there, it continues to be triggered whenever a reminder comes up. It can be the basis for a lot of discomfort and sometimes a lot of negative emotions, such as fear and helplessness,that we can’t seem to control. These are really the emotions connected with the old experience that are being triggered.
The eye movements we use in EMDR seem to unlock the system and allow your brain to process the experience. That may be what is happening in REM, or rapid eye movements, sleep, when our most intense dreaming takes place: The eye movements appear to be involved during the processing of unconscious material.
The important thing to remember is that it is your own brain that will be doing the healing and that you are the one in control.
Disturbing events can be stored in the brain in an isolated memory network. This prevents learning from taking place. The old material just keeps getting triggered over and over again. In another part of the brain, in a separate network, is most of the information you need to resolve it. It’s just prevented from linking up to the old stuff. Once we start processing with EMDR, the two networks can link up. New information can come to mind and resolve the old problems.
The Flash Technique (FT) is a recently developed therapeutic intervention for reducing the disturbance associated with traumatic or other distressing memories. This allows the client to process traumatic memories without feeling distress.
The car accident I had in July 2019 was traumatic for me. A large camper-van indicated to turn into a junction I was pulling out of, I pulled out but the camper-van continued onward at a higher speed than I'd thought, and crushed the driver's side of my car. The crash involved a particular moment of not being able to find my dog who had been in the rear seats.
I experience flashbacks even when driving. It had affected my confidence. I felt scared and really anxious. This caused a lot of distress whenever I was in a car.
After EMDR in July 2020:
Since EMDR I experienced huge improvements. No flash backs, no intrusive thoughts and no feelings of distress when recalling the crash. I did a 5 hour drive across the country and even going on unmade roads was not a problem. If I now see a car accident I have a normal feeling of sadness for the drivers. It's a non issue I am really pleased.
August 2020 - Client had a bad work experience a 9 out of 10 disturbance and with the Flash technique went down to 0 out of 10.Plus had an upset with partner an 8 out of 10 disturbance which went down to 0.75 out of 10. The client also said about the disturbance after the Flash technique:
- there is the memory but upset and feelings are not there
- no disturbed feelings
- no anger
- feel happy positive now
- feel happy now