Trauma therapy involves 3 phases – stabilising and resourcing, trauma processing and post-processing. Many people are keen to jump straight into processing, but this is not advisable because it can cause more trauma and destabilise the person. Evidence-based guidelines for trauma treatment recommend the 3 Phase approach.
The Safe and Sound Protocol is a Phase 1 trauma treatment.
Psycho-education about how your nervous system works, along with mapping and resource development based on Polyvagal theory is also Phase 1 trauma treatment.
Many people are happy to complete therapy with just Phase 1 and go on to live happy, stable lives. However, some people need more than this and go on to Phase 2, or Trauma Processing.
Trauma Processing Therapies
Trauma Processing with EMDR
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy is an internationally recognised and evidence-based approach used for the treatment of trauma. Many people think of it as trauma processing but in fact it incorporates all three phases of trauma therapy.
It was first discovered in 1987 by Francine Shapiro who made the chance observation that eye movements, under certain conditions, can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts. Since then, there has been a multitude of research studies showing its effectiveness and it has helped millions of people worldwide, including Prince Harry.
In fact, the benefits of EMDR therapy have been so well studied that it is now acknowledged by organisations like the World Health Organization as an effective treatment for trauma and other distressing experiences. The program has evolved over the years and doesn’t always use eye movements, but the best approach for you will be discussed in your first session.
Trauma Processing with Flash
This is a relatively new technique that was developed by an EMDR therapist, Phil Manfield. It requires less stabilisation than other trauma processing therapies but can be very effective at reducing the emotional turmoil that goes with standard EMDR as it does not require talking about past trauma. Melanie often uses it as an adjunct treatment when using SSP with clients.
You can find out more about the Flash Technique at the link below.
Accredited EMDR Therapist
Anybody can learn about EMDR but it is essential to make sure you are engaging in EMDR therapy with a certified practitioner as EMDR is a complex therapy requiring a high level of skill and the learning of detailed knowledge and specific techniques in a systematic way.
You can check the list of practitioners certified by the EMDRAA here:
Accredited Flash Therapist
Once again, if you are wanting to experience the Flash Technique for trauma processing you should always look for a therapist who is trained in the Flash Technique. The best place to locate someone close to you is here:
While most therapists offer appointments between 45-60 mins, Melanie finds that 90 min sessions are far more productive and work out better for the client. Therefore, sessions are provided on an individual basis for 90 mins up to twice a week but can also be weekly or fortnightly. Cost per session is $289.
However, if your budget can only stretch to the standard 50 mins this is also fine.
Flash is not offered as a separate appointment as it is incorporated into either SSP or standard psychotherapy telehealth consultations.