Research

Published Research About the Flash Technique

Manfield, P., Lovett, J., Engel, L., & Manfield, D. (2017). Use of the flash technique in EMDR therapy: Four case examples. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 11(4), 195–205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.11.4.195.

Wong, S-L. (2019). Flash technique group protocol for highly dissociative clients in a homeless shelter: A clinical report. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 13(1), 20–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.13.1.20.

 

Shebini, N. (2019). Flash technique for safe desensitization of memories and fusion of parts in DID: Modifications and resourcing strategies. Frontiers of the Psychotherapy of Trauma and Dissociation. 3(2):151-164.

 

Wong, S-L. (2021). A model for the Flash Technique (FT) based on working memory and neuroscience research. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15(3).

 

Yasar, Alisan & Gundogmus, Ibrahim & Gündüz, Anil & Konuk, Emre. (2019). Investigation of the effect single session of” Flash Technique” at a group. Klinik Psikofarmakoloji Bulteni, 29, 73-73.

Manfield, P., Engel, L., Greenwald, R., & Bullard, D.G. (2021). Flash Technique in a Scalable Low-Intensity Group Intervention for COVID-19 Related Stress in Healthcare Providers. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15(2).

  

Yasar, Alisan & Gundogmus, Ibrahim & Gündüz, Anil & Konuk, Emre. (2021). The Effects of Single Session EMDR Flash Technique Group Application on Traumatic Symptoms. The Israel journal of psychiatry and related sciences. 58(2), 41-46.

 

Brouwers, T.C., Matthijssen, S.J.M.A., de Jongh, A. (2021). The Effects of the Flash Technique Compared to Those of an Abbreviated Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy Protocol on the Emotionality and Vividness of Aversive Memories. Frontiers in Psychology. 12:741163. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.741163

Konuk, Emre (2021)The Effectiveness of EMDR G-TEP and Flash Group Protocol as Early EMDR Interventions for PTSD Symptoms Following an Earthquake presented in June, 2021 at EMDR Europe Congress.​



Manfield, P., Lovett, J., Engel, L., & Manfield, D. (2017). Use of the flash technique in EMDR therapy: Four case examples. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 11(4), 195–205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.11.4.195.

 

This article introduces the flash technique, a new technique used during the preparation phase of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to facilitate processing of intense, traumatic memories that clients might otherwise be resistant to access. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this technique may make it possible for clients to access these memories initially in a minimally disturbing way, reducing their emotional intensity so that they can then be more easily and fully processed using EMDR therapy. The technique appears to be easily tolerated by clients of all ages, including children; and to be rapid and relatively painless for clients, even those with particularly disturbing target memories; and can be easily taught to clinicians. It has the distinct feature that clients who are avoiding a terribly disturbing memory can be offered a way of processing it without having to bring it clearly to mind. Four case examples, in which the technique was used by four different clinicians, are presented briefly. Suggestions are made for further study. This article hypothesizes various mechanisms of action and discusses the effects in terms of memory reconsolidation theory. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment developed and introduced by Francine Shapiro (1989) originally for the treatment of clients who have experienced single-incident traumas that resulted in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR therapy (Shapiro, 2001) is now recognized as an effective method of treatment for a wide range of trauma-related psychological conditions. During EMDR therapy, the client focuses on the disturbing incident while performing a present-time, dual attention task, most commonly rapid eye movements (EM) guided by the bilateral stimulation (BLS) of visually following the therapist’s moving finger. The EMDR protocol involves eight phases: client history, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.


Wong, S-L. (2019). Flash technique group protocol for highly dissociative clients in a homeless shelter: A clinical report. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 13(1), 20–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.13.1.20.

 

The Flash Technique is a new protocol for use in the preparation phase of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to quickly reduce the emotional intensity of traumatic memories, prior to full processing with EMDR. This report presents results from a Flash Technique group for five highly dissociative, currently sober addicts in a men’s shelter. This group was an attempt to provide an affordable, trauma-focused intervention for the homeless. As part of the intake, each client met individually with the therapist for 30 minutes, to learn to use the flash technique to process a traumatic memory. Three inventories were used to measure treatment outcome: the Short PTSD Rating Interview (SPRINT), the Dissociative Experience Survey (DES-II), and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Clients filled out the surveys 3 weeks before the start of the group and had their individual sessions 2 weeks before the start of the group. The DES and BDI-II were repeated at the beginning of the eighth session of the group. Clients’ surveys showed a decline in scores after seven sessions of therapy: the DES scores dropped from 39.07 (standard deviation [SD] = 23.01) to 20.48 (SD = 10.02) with d = 0.81 and the BDI-II scores dropped from 32.4 (SD = 11.01) to 13.2 (SD = 8.4) with d = 1.74. Pre- and 2-week posttreatment SPRINT surveys showed scores dropping from 28 [SD = 2.05] pretreatment to 15.75 [SD = 5.19] 2 weeks posttreatment, with d = 6.07.


Shebini, N. (2019), Flash technique for safe desensitization of memories and fusion of parts in DID: Modifications and resourcing strategies. Frontiers of the Psychotherapy of Trauma and Dissociation. 3(2):151-164

 

This paper explores the use of the Flash technique in the treatment of extreme trauma in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) from satanic ritual abuse. The results include desensitization of trauma memories and the planned fusion of parts. I share my insights on safe application of the technique and modifications that can be used for highly fragmented DID clients and other complex trauma presentations. Strategies include ways to safely assess the severity of the memory, modifications in the Subjective Units of Distress (SUDS) measurement, instructions in applying the technique, modes of bilateral stimulation and use of the conference room technique. Nine case sessions are documented demonstrating nine variations in use of the technique. I describe how to install an engaging activity in parts that cannot come up with a resource. Additionally, I write about the use of playful extra resourcing to strengthen the engaging activity, leading to “boosting” of the Flash therapy session and hence faster processing of trauma memories. I hope that colleagues working in the field of trauma and dissociation can find the tools and strategies in this paper helpful for their professional development and also for treatment of their clients.


Yasar, Alisan & Gundogmus, Ibrahim & Gündüz, Anil & Konuk, Emre. (2019). Investigation of the effect single session of” Flash Technique” at a group. Klinik Psikofarmakoloji Bulteni, 29, 73-73.

 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) psychotherapy is now an effective method of treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many protocols have been developed in EMDR therapy. Neurobiology of how bilateral stimulation benefits EMDR therapy is not yet fully understood. Philip Manfield developed Flash Technique by utilizing the background of EMDR therapy. This technique does not require trauma due to trauma therapy. Philip Manfield and his colleagues presented Flash Technique as an effective and comfortable practice in trauma therapy that can be easily applied to groups. In this study, we aimed to examine the effect of one session of Flash Technique on the trauma symptoms. METHODS: 17 volunteers who are psychology students and psychiatry residents were included in the study. Pre-session PCL-5 and Olaylatin Effect scales were applied to all volunteers. 30- minute Flash Technical application was done. At the end of the first week and at the end of the first month, the scales were repeated. RESULTS: The decline in psychological trauma complaints of a single session Flash Technique group was statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike trauma therapies, Flash Technique, which is thought to treat trauma without being subjected to trauma, is a very ambitious practice. In this present study, we have seen that this practice can be performed safely on the group and without questioning the traumas. Controlled studies are needed to observe the difference of this effect from placebo and other treatments.


Manfield, P., Engel, L., Greenwald, R., & Bullard, D.G. (2021). Flash Technique in a Scalable Low-Intensity Group Intervention for COVID-19 Related Stress in Healthcare Providers, JEPR, May, 2021, Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15(2).

 

The flash technique (FT) is a low-intensity individual or group intervention that appears to rapidly lessen the distress of disturbing and traumatic memories. This paper reports on the safety and effectiveness of group FT with 77 healthcare providers and 98 psychotherapists impacted by working with COVID-19 patients. One-hour webinars included 30 minutes of psychoeducation and two guided 15-minute FT interventions, focused on participants’ most distressing pandemic-related memory. Before and after each 15-minute FT intervention, they rated that memory using the 11-point 0-to-10 subjective units of disturbance (SUD) scale. Results from both interventions were highly significant with large effect sizes (p < .001, Hedges’ g = 2.01, Hedges’ g = 2.39). No adverse reactions were reported. For 35 participants who processed the same memory in both interventions, the pre–post SUD scores from the beginning of intervention #1 to the end of intervention #2 showed a significant reduction with a large effect size (p < .001, Hedges’ g = 3.80). For this group, both intervention #1 and intervention #2 showed significant reductions with large effect sizes (p < .001, Hedges’ g = 2.00) (p < .001, Hedges’ g = 1.18). Follow-up SUD scores were obtained from 58 participants, with the mean disturbance level showing a significant further decrease. These findings provide preliminary evidence that group FT appears to safely provide rapid relief from disturbing memories. FT merits further research.


Wong, S-L. (2021). A model for the Flash Technique (FT) based on working memory and neuroscience research. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, August, 2021.

 

This article presents a model for understanding how the Flash Technique (FT) may work in the brain and provides potential avenues for experimental confirmation. In the FT, the client reminds himself of a traumatic memory without dwelling on it but instead focuses on a positive engaging focus and then blinks his eyes as prompted by the therapist. Clients have reported signs of memory reconsolidation, for example, the memory getting blurry and a reduction in emotional response. While the originators of FT did not offer a detailed mechanism for FT, this article proposes that during the blinking, the patient’s periaqueductal gray (PAG) takes over, senses the reminder of the traumatic memory and reflexively triggers the amygdala. As part of a system suggested by Porges (2009) for neuroception, the PAG works reflexively to assess danger without going through the conscious brain. Recent fMRI data show that for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients, there is enhanced connectivity from the amygdala to the left hippocampus. As a result, 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 not enough 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 memory reconsolidation. This process is repeated many times during blinking in FT to allow memory reconsolidation to proceed, in some cases, to completion. This model is open to experimental confirmation.


Yasar, Alisan & Gundogmus, Ibrahim & Gündüz, Anil & Konuk, Emre. (2019). Investigation of the effect single session of” Flash Technique” at a group. Klinik Psikofarmakoloji Bulteni, 29, 73-73

 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) psychotherapy is now an effective method of treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many protocols have been developed in EMDR therapy. Neurobiology of how bilateral stimulation benefits EMDR therapy is not yet fully understood. Philip Manfield developed Flash Technique by utilizing the background of EMDR therapy. This technique does not require trauma due to trauma therapy. Philip Manfield and his colleagues presented Flash Technique as an effective and comfortable practice in trauma therapy that can be easily applied to groups. In this study, we aimed to examine the effect of one session of Flash Technique on the trauma symptoms. METHODS: 17 volunteers who are psychology students and psychiatry residents were included in the study. Pre-session PCL-5 and Olaylatin Effect scales were applied to all volunteers. 30- minute Flash Technical application was done. At the end of the first week and at the end of the first month, the scales were repeated. RESULTS: The decline in psychological trauma complaints of a single session Flash Technique group was statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike trauma therapies, Flash Technique, which is thought to treat trauma without being subjected to trauma, is a very ambitious practice. In this present study, we have seen that this practice can be performed safely on the group and without questioning the traumas. Controlled studies are needed to observe the difference of this effect from placebo and other treatments.


Yasar, Alisan & Gundogmus, Ibrahim & Gündüz, Anil & Konuk, Emre. (2021). The Effects of Single Session EMDR Flash Technique Group Application on Traumatic Symptoms. The Israel journal of psychiatry and related sciences. 58. 41-46.

 

Introduction: Flash Technique method is an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensatization and Reprocessing) protocol specifically developed. In this protocol, there is little contact with the traumatic memories and focus is substantially on positive memories. For this reason, it might be convenient for group applications. In this study, we aimed at measuring the effects of EMDR Flash Technique group application on traumatic memories. Method: The sample of the study consists of 36 participants. On this sample, one-session of 90-120 minutes EMDR Flash Technique was applied. Participants were evaluated with Impacts of Events Scale (IES), PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) and Sociodemographic Variables Form before, one week later and one month later following the EMDR Flash Technique group application. Results: Comparison of Subjective Unit of Disturbance (SUD) and IES scores obtained from measurements conducted before (SUD=6.08±1.69, IES-R=24.52±11.57), one week after (SUD=3.75±1.90, IES-R=14.13±11.78) and one month after (SUD=2.83±2.00, IES-R=9.86±11.84) EMDR Flash Technique application revealed statistically significant difference (SUD: p<0.001, IES-R: p<0.001 ). In addition, a statistically significant difference was found in the comparison of pre-session (24.38±17.78) and one month after session (11.44±11.06) PCL-5 scores (p<0.001). Conclusion: In this study, the effects of EMDR Flash Technique application, which we thought to be easy to apply and less risky, were analyzed in a group consisting of

36 participants, and there were significant improvements.


Brouwers, T.C., Matthijssen, S.J.M.A., de Jongh, A. (2021). The Effects of the Flash Technique Compared to Those of an Abbreviated Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy Protocol on the Emotionality and Vividness of Aversive Memories. Frontiers in Psychology. 12:741163. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.741163

Introduction: The Flash technique is a novel intervention aimed at rapidly decreasing the subjective disturbance of an aversive memory, thereby serving as a potential way of treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The protocol is used to stimulate clients to engage in positive imagery while being discouraged to actively recollect the targeted disturbing memory. Previous research into the Flash technique’s efficacy shows promising results, yet controlled studies are lacking. Objectives: To test the efficacy of the Flash technique, it was compared to an abbreviated eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy protocol in a controlled experimental setting. We hypothesized that the Flash technique would lead to a larger decrease in the emotionality and vividness of an aversive autobiographical memory when compared to EMDR therapy. Our second hypothesis was that the procedure of the Flash technique would be evaluated more pleasant by its receiver. Method: The sample consisted of 60 non-clinical participants (mean age = 25.28 years; 73.33% female) who were able to recall an aversive autobiographical memory. They were randomized to either the Flash technique or the EMDR therapy condition. Measurements consisted of emotionality and vividness-ratings pre and post intervention, and at 1- week follow-up. Results: Bayesian analyses showed no differences between Flash and EMDR to the extent to which the emotionality and vividness of their memory was reduced. Afterward, the Flash technique was rated more pleasant than EMDR. Conclusion: The results support the claim that the Flash technique might be used as a brief and efficacious intervention for individuals suffering from disturbing memories. Although the results suggest that its efficacy does not differ from EMDR, the Flash technique seems to yield similar outcomes in a more pleasant way. Further research into its working mechanisms and in a clinical sample is required.