Working with Client Parts in Flash Therapy

  • In this video, we’re focusing on a system of parts, but that is often only part or only one aspect of what we mean by dissociation.
  • Lots of things may become dissociated/disconnected/severed.
    • Black box that we throw stuff into that is loosely connected with the freeze response.
    • Memory or parts of memory
    • The body or parts of the body
    • Disconnection from a sense of reality or personhood
    • Emotions
    • Disconnecting from the present
    • Parts of the self can become disconnected from each other
  • Regardless of the form that dissociation takes, Flash seems ideally suited for the treatment of these issues.
  • Best done in the context of normalizing and working with parts effectively outside of Flash
  • We want to engage parts because it’s the right thing to do
    • It’s something we’re going to want to do regardless of our approach
    • Failing to do that cause a wide range of problems
  • In general, clients with identified parts really like Flash, compared to EMDR
    • They like doing the work in the calm scene, instead of sitting in the distress (kid parts may view the clam scene as a kind of play)
    • They are more confident that other parts aren’t going to cause significant disruptions

Container Selection

  • As with any resource, we want to make sure that containment works for all parts. It’s okay for one part to container using a box and another to container using a safe.  We want to think in terms of parallel processes.  Long story short, containment need to work for all parts.

Positive Scene Selection

  • Is there a scene or process that all parts can endorse?
  • I have clients whose parts appreciate different aspects of the calm scene.  Some parts focus on the sky, others focus on the waves, others focus on the seagulls, etc.
  • Or, maybe there is an alternate activity that a part can engage in while most of the parts are focusing on a particular scene.

Target Selection

  • Target selection must involve participation of all accessible parts.
  • Don’t be surprised if parts that have not had much to say in the past suddenly present with opinions, guidance, cautions, or concerns.
  • Asking permission from a place of openness and curiosity is key.
  • Be prepared to address concerns of parts, “This part is worried what will happen if we ‘forget’ that memory.”  “This part is worried what will happen if a flashback happens.”  Be prepared to answer questions like this.
  • Sometimes parts that appear to be “contrarian,” may grumble about almost any plan.  Often these parts will permit the work to continue, but they may reserve the right to comment on the process if things don’t go as planned.

While Inside Reprocessing in Flash

  • We want the see-saw to keep going, but we also want any part to  raise concerns if they appear.
  • If any part has relevant information to communicate, we want to hear it out.