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Look left look right... bad memories gone

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lanokia, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter


    What if we told you that distressing memories could be wiped away by moving your eyes from left to right, over and over again?

    While it might sound like something out of a modern day Sci-Fi film, there is a very real therapy - available on the NHS - which helps people deal with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and stress, in this way.

    Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.

    During a typical session, a client will be asked to target a particularly distressing memory. They will then be encouraged to move their eyes from left to right.

    The therapy has been used to treat people who have gone through incredibly traumatic events - including a PTSD sufferer who was on the same carriage as a 7/7 bomber and the mother of a murder victim.
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I shall try this after my next class with 7B
  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Doing it right now... teaching? Ofsted? What are these things!
    kibosh likes this.
  4. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    How interesting!

    Of course my question is how did they discover this? :confused:
  5. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

  6. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    "The modern form of treatment is to induce convulsions in these people [deeply-buried conflicts], and in a certain number of cases this does seem to be remarkably successful. It is as if they were shaken out of their depression by this throwing into activity of large areas of the brain." Gordon (no date) - in Psychology: The study of man's mind, The New Educational Library, Odhams Press
    rachelpaula008 likes this.
  7. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

  8. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    All a bit Total Recall, no?
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    All utter rubbish.
    Jamietzu likes this.
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    So if I look right then look left can I create memories of Mars?

    [reference to 1980s classic, not 21st cent. sterile product]
    kibosh likes this.
  11. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Look left, Look right - step into the moving traffic.

    Memories gone.
    Jamietzu and lanokia like this.
  12. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    A friend of mine is a trained mental health nurse and gained a CBT qualification, which, in her career, is above her Bsc. She uses this therapy and has tried to explain it to me in the past. I'm going to say nothing further (as I'm not qualified) except to say it had helped some of her clients in a short space of time. I know nothing about their situation now, but they were suffering PTSD and were offered this therapy by the NHS.

    It's an interesting development and has been available - I think - for the last year, or perhaps longer.
  13. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    It does sound a bit far fetched, but there seems to be some biological evidence that it works. Something to do with eye motions increasing the connectivity between the hemispheres of the brain, and how that facilitates moving the storage of the memory from the emotional limbic regions to the more logical and analytical cortical regions. It doesn't wipe the memory, just lessens the deeply emotional reaction and makes it more like an ordinary episodic memory.
  14. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I think it came off the back of the observation that people tend to move their eyes when recalling memories. That suggests that switching points of focus somehow assists the brain in activating the areas that are required to access stored memories.
  15. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Having read a few of the papers on the subject and especially the analysis of results I'm come to the conclusion that there is still insufficient evidence for someone (like me)without specialist training to determine how effective this treatment is.
    Some specialists in the field however believe it it may well be.
  16. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    It's difficult to say whether or not it's a placebo effect, and that the therapy involved which involves confronting the memory is what's making the difference rather than the eye thing. Personally, I think there is something in the idea that emotional responses involved in traumatic situations can interfere with the ordinary processing of episodic memories, causing certain memories to be 'trapped' in the areas connected with physiological emotional responses. And there is some evidence from brain imagery that the recall of these memories seems to light up different areas before and after the treatment. Whether that's to do with the eye movements though I'm not convinced.
  17. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    It sounds like all the NLP guff they tried to force upon us in teacher training.
  18. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    It does unfortunately
    But it seems to be better thought through and evidenced (imo naturally)

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