HOW TO DO FLASH
The app is based on the FLASH technique created by Dr Phillip Manfield, who is a leading EMDR therapist, trainer and researcher. The technique rapidly and (nearly) painlessly reduces the distress level of an upsetting memory or painful thoughts. There is a growing field of research evidence which demonstrates that Flash is a major advance in trauma therapy, in that people who might not otherwise have been able to face a distressing memory will be able to face it and work through it in less time. Flash is done by concentrating on a safe or happy place and then, “flash”ing past the traumatic memory, painful thought or feelings so rapidly as to be unsure as to whether or not it was viewed, and then back to the feel-good image. For more information, please visit this site.
The basic steps of FLASH.
NOTE: Do not attempt FLASH until you have experienced it with your EMDR therapist. The following guidelines are for people who have experienced FLASH in therapy.
Find a comfortable space to sit or lie down. You need to be able to tap your legs alternatively, so don't cross your legs or lie face down etc. Open up the FLASH mode from the menu. The FLASH mode is currently preset to 30 seconds. To begin:
1. Choose a target:
- A picture/ memory or
- A thought/belief or
- A thing that you are worried about/ distressing you
2. Rate it
Rate the target out of 10 as far as how much distress/ upset it is causing you. For this exercise to be useful, it is preferable to a have a distress rating of 6 or more.
3. Find your happy place
Choose a positive engaging memory or think of your happy place
- This might be:
- the beach scenes,
- a bush walk,
- rock climbing,
Try not to choose a memory that is emotionally charged (ie. it won't take you back to memories of a time involving people that are no longer in your life or trigger emotions like grief etc). What works best memories/ images/ activities where you are physically active, rather than those in which you are physically passive or an observer. Try and bring the memory to life as much as you can in recalling the sights, sounds, physical movements, sensations, smells, etc. of the engaging activity.
4. Start the app
You can do this with your eyes open or closed
- Tap your hands on your legs in time to the click
- Think about your happy place/ positive image
- When you hear the beep BLINK once whilst 'flashing' back (i.e thinking) to the thing that is concerning you, then return to your happy place image (i.e. when you hear the beep, blink and quickly think about the distressing thought/memory/image quickly and the return to your happy place once you stop blinking).
- Continue like this every time you hear a beep to FLASH
- After 30 seconds the clicking will stop
4. Notice how you feel. Rate the target out of 10 as far as how much distress/ upset it is causing you
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 again
6. On your third set of FLASH repeat steps 3 and 4 but this time, when the beep signals you to blink, do a TRIPLE BLINK (i.e. blink three times rapidly).
7. Repeat steps 3 and with the TRIPLE BLINK until your stress/distress gets down to a 2 out of 10.
- At least 6 FLASH sets, 30 seconds each - the first two are single blinks, the remaining four are triple blinks.
- Every time you finish a set, rate your upset/distress out of 10.
- When you get your distress as close to a 2 as you can, stop the practice
Is your happy place image strong enough or engaging enough?
- Try and immerse yourself in the memory or image.
- Try to bring to life the sights, sounds, smells, and physical sensations of it.
Soften your body.
- Notice any tension in body and focus on softening and letting go.
- It may help to flip back to the BLST mode on the app and just listen to the click whilst focusing on your areas of tension.
Use your coping statement/ positive belief
1. Start the app. As you are listening tapping in time with the click:
2. Visualise your happy place/ memory/ activity and,
3. Repeat in your head your coping statement/ positive belief eg
I can get through this
I know what I have to do
This will pass
I am confident
I am strong
I have got this
4. Triple blink when cued (just blink, don't FLASH the upsetting thought or feeling).
5. When you finish, take a breath, check in with yourself and notice what came up.