Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Grief

It’s not surprising to consider that PTSD and Grief may sometimes be connected. If someone has been in war and seen comrades die…or survived a car accident where others did not, there may be traumatic memories that get replayed over and over.

Many therapists will have the client talk about their experience, before they use some process to relieve the distress. All too often the process involves a lengthy re-imagining of what happened. This is unnecessarily traumatic on the client.

In contrast, the process used by NLP trained people has some important differences. Richard Bandler first wrote about it in 1985 in his book, “Using Your Brain for a Change.” It is illustrated in the video below, with a subject who had no prior knowledge of the process.

Although the video is 9 minutes, the process took about 5 minutes.  You can see from the initial baseline reaction that she was still highly reactive to the traumatic memory, which was many years old.  And a few minutes later she was done.  The second link is a follow up, showing her report of it being successful.

There are a few key distinctions between the NLP process and what a lot of therapies do.

The NLP process causes very little distress, and does not ask people to talk about it.  Before getting the person to remind themselves of it, they are instructed to distance (or dissociate) themselves, by making it into a movie, where they watch it happening to him or herself.  They can make this movie a long, long distance away, and smaller, both of which lessen the emotional intensity substantially.

Then coaching them to run the movie in reverse, AND VERY FAST, has an immediate impact.

I have used this successfully numerous times and it is the first thing I would use with phobias, and any memory associated with PTSD.

Phobia Demonstration with Lori, who had an intense phobia. (9 mins)

Follow up interview with Lori 25 years later, talking about her experience.  (4 mins)

The last clip is a feedback session where a former soldier was treated for PTSD symptoms using this method.