Why Your Healthiest Clients Need to Know About Flash Too

  • Flash emerged about five years ago as a technique to work on lava hot memories in EMDR before complex trauma clients were resourced enough to handle memories of that intensity.
  • Process that “as low as it will go” in Flash (we’ve since learned that memories don’t fully resolve in Flash most often because we’re not doing Flash well, rather than there being some limitation or defect in Flash itself).

What is Flash?

  • Pact with the client not to activate.
  • Lightly activate.  If clients struggle with this, we help them.
  • Disengage, distract, or container the activation (depending on the version)
  • Focus on something pleasant, then go in and out of that focus through a series of guided blinks (these guided blinks turn one exposure to the calm scene/process every thirty seconds into six exposures into the calm scene every 30 seconds).
  • Go back, lightly activate, pivot away from the activation, calm scene/blinks.

What Flash Teaches Us About Memory Reconsolidation

  • Micro-activation is enough.  Minimizes defenses.  Memories clear one slice, one microslice, at a time.  (This is probably true of all transformative trauma therapies).
  • The sheer number of exposures is more important than the quality or the duration of the calm scene if we want to resolve a memory quickly.
  • The mismatch between the calm scene and the schema information in the memory can be general… we do not need to construct directly disconfirming information.  Food can work for safety, pets can work for sexual abuse memories, etc.
  • When memories resolve in any transformational psychotherapy, they all resolve the same way.  Much of what is in the AIP model is true for any model that is transformative:
    • decrease in distress
    • transformation in beliefs about the self and the world
    • effortless recall
    • transformation of sense of age, time, perspective, including appropriate attribution of responsibility

What Flash Teaches Humans about Healing

  • That healing individual memories is easy.
  • Healing individual memories (including the memories associated with having a really difficult day) is easy.
  • Flash is a great way to process difficult experiences generally.
  • This is a powerful resource for life.
  • This is a powerful resource for parenting.
  • This is a powerful resource if you ever intend to live close to someone, because you will have elbow collisions.
  • This is a powerful resource if you have ongoing insecurities.
  • This resource is 100% effective self-administered.  Most other transformative trauma therapies are not.

Humans Have Been Trying to Heal Forever

  • And this is one way to do it that is incredibly Western-compatible.
  • It works even for the lazy and the non-introspective.
  • It’s easy to self-administer and it doesn’t just recontainer trauma the way every other resource does, it gives humans a high probability of resolving what is wrong with us… what has always been wrong with us.
  • If this is a way to heal…
  • If humans can heal in this way… this way that has been with us for as long as we have been human… probably longer.
  • Then, this is our common heritage and birthright.
  • Nobody owns that.
  • If this is one way that humans can heal themselves, then we should say that clearly and repeatedly.
  • We should teach people how to do this.
  • We should teach them clearly and repeatedly.
  • You have been trying to heal for as long as you have been human.  You have been doing it… I have been doing it… over and over in ways that simply don’t work.
  • This way works.
  • That’s what I’ve been saying clearly and repeatedly.
  • Let me show you.
  • Then, let me teach you how to teach this.