Step Three: Select the Target Memory (But Do Not Activate It)

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This step requires a little caution. We need to identify the memory that the client wants to work, however, we do not want to activate it.  This is kind of like using the cursor to point to the file on the computer desktop that we want to use, but we don’t double-click it or think about what is in it.  Encourage the client not to talk about it… not even for a few moments.   It’s important that the memory be an actual and individual memory and not a thought, a negative cognition, a general presenting issue (weight or identity issues), or a large cluster of memories.  It is also important to instruct the client that we are working on only one memory at a time and that if other memories want to come, we will need to contain them in a large overflow vault or put them on a shelf for the moment.  You may be tempted to check the SUDs here.  We do not check the residual distress ever in this version of Flash.  You do not need to know and checking the SUDs is what we do when we want to cause activation (which we are not trying to do here).

Step Three should last a maximum of 15-20 seconds.  If you are consistently taking longer than 15-20 seconds and you are not troubleshooting overactivation, you are probably overactivating it (which is one of the major reasons why some Flash sessions don’t end in sunshine).

Before finalizing the selection of the memory, you should always engage client parts for consent or guidance: Do any parts of you have concerns about working on this memory?  If a part objects, involve that part in selecting a memory that may be more tolerable, then ask all parts if the new memory is an acceptable memory.  Repeat if necessary.

Once we identify a memory, we instruct the client to see the general idea of the memory go out of awareness.

Here are some script examples for this part of the process depending on the circumstances, adjust as needed:

  • If the memory was identified in the prior session, you might say: Is that memory that we discussed at the end of last session still the one that you want to work on, or is there another one?  … Good.  Now, see the general idea of that memory (don’t play it) go out of your awareness.  Just push the idea of it farther and farther away until all of awareness is blank.
  • To quickly select a memory that has been recently triggering:  We have talked about using this Flash therapy to work on difficult memory.  Do you have a specific bad memory that would be helpful to work on today?  Maybe one that has been coming up the past week or so. It can be recent or old, but it should be an individual memory and we will only work on this memory. Without telling me much about it, can you let me know when you have a memory that you would like to work on? Good.  See the general idea of that memory (without playing it) go out of your awareness… send it miles and miles away.  Let me know when it is gone.

If the general idea of the memory feels like it is out of awareness, go to Step Four.  If it keeps seeping into awareness, then too much was probably activated in identifying it.  Instruct the client not to engage the memory.  If the memory was activated, you may need to put that distress in the container and push the container out of awareness (again, be careful to not activate the memory in Step Three).  You may need to use the Shop-Vac resource to get distress out of the body if identifying the memory caused body activation.

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