• Amy Phillips

Overwhelmed by EMDR? Try the Flash Technique.




The Flash Technique (FT) is an evidence-based trauma therapy that was originally created by Dr. Phil Mansfield to assist with preparation for EMDR.


In the traditional EMDR phase model we have clients engage with a painful memory by identifying an image of the worst part, the negative belief they experience as a result of the memory, and the feelings and body sensations associated with the memory. This allows the memory to be accessed from long term storage in the brain and be "rebooted" with accurate information. There are situations and clients in which this is the best treatment approach.


The Flash Technique shows that a client does not need to access the painful memory in that way to reduce the distress related to that memory. In FT, clients identify a target to work on and are then instructed to not think about it.


Now, if I told you to not picture a pink elephant riding a unicycle, what happens?


If you are like most people, you are going to think of that pink elephant. It isn't enough to not think of something. You need to replace the thought of the target to be effective in not thinking about it.


Clients determine a positive engaging focus to discuss during FT.


FT could be a better approach if:

  • A client protects themselves by frequently dissociating.

  • The target is a not a feeder memory (i.e., there are other similar experiences that happened earlier in life that is likely adding to distress)

  • A client doesn't have the time or current resourcing for EMDR

  • A client wants to try a minimally intrusive approach to decreasing trauma symptoms.

Could Flash be a great fit for you? Schedule your free consultation below.




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