Strategies for Target Memory Selection in Flash Therapy

Strategies for Target Memory Selection in Flash Therapy

  • Steps One and Two should always be completed, tested, and practiced first with each client in the course of their treatment.
  • Identifying a memory to work in any individual session on should be done only after we have confirmed that the container is still accessible and we have selected and verified that the scene/experience is accessible.
  • Step Three is very rapid, 10 seconds or less.
  • The act of identifying it is paired with the act of containing it.


  • What allows this approach to be remarkable and rapid also introduces the potential for peril.
  • Need to target a specific memory AND it needs to be a memory
  • We don’t want to talk about it.  Talking = activating, but we may need to do some talking to select that specific memory out of the whole of experience

Strategies to identify target memories

  • Identify themes in prior sessions and get consent to work on something around that theme next session.  When the next session starts, ask for consent to work on a memory that is relevant to that theme.
  • Target parts of the elephant in the room.  You can suggest targets related to presenting issue.  This can be lined up in the prior session, although I’m more likely to get general consent to work on something in prior sessions to avoid the client coming to session over-activated.
  • Still a good idea to work on smaller targets first, to “test the gear.”
  • If the client is in preparation phase for EMDR, one of the best strategies is to target memories (or memories insides of themes) that are most resonating lately.  This will help clients because we are targeting what has been most contributing to instability… client will get healthier faster because we are targeting the presenting issue sooner.
  • The clients I’m most likely to be doing Flash with are the same clients where I’m probably not doing a detailed and chronological targeting sequence plan with… our energies are focused on trying to find somewhere to work that might be both helpful and tolerable to the system’s parts.  If you are working with a client with identified parts, invite the system to provide input on target selection and open the door to let any part veto that memory as a target today

Don’t like to take the SUDs until the client is starting to struggle finding the distress to container.  Whole podcast episode on this.

One Reply to “Strategies for Target Memory Selection in Flash Therapy”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: