What is the Flash Technique?
The Flash Technique (FT) is a recently developed therapeutic intervention for reducing the disturbance associated with traumatic or other distressing memories. Unlike many conventional trauma therapy interventions, FT is a minimally intrusive option that does not require the client to consciously engage with the traumatic memory. FT allows the client to process traumatic memories without feeling distress.
Developed as an addition to the preparation phase of EMDR, FT has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the disturbance level associated with painful memories. FT may be used as an adjunctive intervention to make a variety of trauma-informed psychotherapies quicker and better tolerated. In various exposure therapies, it can reduce exposure-related disturbance. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it can increase client receptiveness to reparative adult perspectives.
Who can benefit from the Flash Technique?
FT can help children and adults of all ages. It is useful in a wide variety of presenting complaints including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mild and severe dissociation, depression and more.
The Flash Technique
The clinician will begin by asking the client to identify a trauma memory.
If the client presents with a symptom not associated with a specific memory, the therapist will help the client to find the memory that seems to be generating the symptom.
After this “target” memory has been identified, the therapist will ask the client to turn his or her attention to a positive and engaging memory.
While continuing to focus on this positive memory, the client periodically is asked to momentarily interrupt that focus.
Processing of the target memory is accomplished without the client consciously attending to the original disturbing memory.