This article presents two vignettes on the successful use of the Flash Technique (FT) without bilateral stimulation and prompted without blinking. FT was first developed as a protocol to quickly bring down the emotional distress of a traumatic memory during the preparation phase of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, so that EMDR could proceed. A recent model for FT (Wong, 2021) proposes that, with FT, traumatized clients may be able to access their traumatic memory briefly, reflexively, and without the fear response, during blinking. This sets up a prediction error which, with repeated blinking, may lead to memory reconsolidation and processing of the traumatic memory. Since the access to the traumatic memory is reflexive and brief, the processing of the memory is outside of the awareness of the client and of the therapist, which is consistent with the practitioner’s and the client’s experience with FT. Wong’s model is based on published fMRI data from neuroscience and established concepts in working memory research, and the model will be reviewed in some detail in the article. However, it is also based on fMRI data for spontaneous and not-prompted blinking, and does not require bilateral stimulation, implying that processing could occur using FT without bilateral stimulation and without prompted blinking, relying instead only on spontaneous blinking. Our two vignettes provide two data points that support this aspect of Wong’s model.
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Wong, S.-L., & Forman-Patel, H. (2022). Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 16(2), 61–67. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-2022-0001
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research