Leading the Way in Trauma Therapy

Flash technique group protocol for highly dissociative clients in a homeless shelter: A clinical report

Citation: Wong, Sik-Lam. (2019). Flash technique group protocol for highly dissociative clients in a homeless shelter: A clinical report. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 13, 20-31. 195-205.

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Abstract

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.