Leading the Way in Trauma Therapy

A Model for the Flash Technique

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A Model for the Flash Technique Based on Working Memory and Neuroscience Research

 

Citation: Wong, S. (2021). A model for the flash technique based on working memory and neuroscience research. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15, 174-184.

 

Abstract (shortened): This paper presents a model for how FT may work in the brain. It proposes that during the blinking, the patient’s periaqueductal gray (PAG) may take over, sensing the reminder of the traumatic memory and reflexively triggering the amygdala. In Porges’s neuroception model, the PAG assesses danger without going through the conscious brain. Recent fMRI data show that for patients with posttraumatic stress disorder, there is enhanced connectivity from the amygdala to the left hippocampus. Thus, triggering the amygdala may, in turn, activate the left hippocampus, which may then provide a brief access to the traumatic memory. Given the brief access, there is insufficient time for the amygdala to go into overactivation. The client remains calm while accessing the traumatic memory, thus setting up the prediction error necessary for possible memory reconsolidation.