Turning Off the Fear Switch (EEG)
As promised in the February 2017 Blog, the process involved in ‘resetting the fear switch’ will be the next topic to be discussed. I’d like to begin with some pictures of Brain Maps (qEEG) with the thought that a picture is worth 1000 words.
An analysis of edited raw EEG data against the Thatcher Life Span Reference Data Base matched for age, gender and handedness, was performed (Evans & Abarbanel, 1999). The product of the pre-treatment qEEG below represents the patient imagining a selected target (trauma) he experienced while in service. No talk is involved although the patient is encouraged to imagine that he was actually re-experiencing the event.
The color red in the map represents hyperactivation of the EEG signal. In contrast, green is normative. For those of you unfamiliar with brain maps, the figures below represent different aspects of the EEG signal such as: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, High Beta in the same person at the same time. The image below provided by my colleague, Dr. George Rozelle, gave birth to the title of a paper & a book (Brain On Fire).
Following treatment, note the change in the color pattern below. All elements of hyper-activation are gone. Rather, what we are looking at is the underlying Traumatic Brain Damage (TBI) forthcoming from a 12-foot fall from an armored vehicle. The patient’s PTSD is gone as reflected behaviorally in his change in attitude & behavior.
RECALL OF TRAUMA (POST-RESET THERAPY)
The post-treatment Brain Map, (above) depicts an absence of the emotionally charged response to imagery before treatment. In other words, the PTSD signature appears to be absent in the Post-RESET imagery. You are likely asking how this is accomplished in only a few treatment sessions? The answer is to be found in a number of quite powerful phenomena that when combined properly & skillfully lead to the full & complete remediation of PTSD. You can read more about this case at: http://veterans.heraldtribune.com/2015/11/18/silkies-hike-to-raise-awareness-of-ptsd/
I will provide you with one of the primary elements in this blog with other elements to be discussed in future blogs. Here’s the first cornerstone in this new neuro-scientifically based paradigm. The real problem with PTSD is not that the trauma happened in the first place, it’s that the memory of the trauma can’t be forgotten.
Dr. Agren stated in his 2012 Uppsala dissertation (Koffmar, 2012) that: “fear memories are made stable and permanent through a process called consolidation that stretches on for hours after the initial encoding. This means that after a traumatic experience, each time a fear memory is recalled, it again becomes unstable and is restored in the brain through a process called reconsolidation. In other words, memories get reconsolidated each time they’re brought up. If this is so and we can disrupt the process, then like magic, something else may happen. Another well-known memory researcher (Joseph LeDoux) said that: “In short, once recalled, a memory is in a fragile state and susceptible to disruption. This has profound implications in PTSD research” (Bergstein, 2014).
I truly hope that this grabs your attention. To observe the results, take a peek at a 1 ½ minute bleep on our local Sarasota TV station, (SNN) related to a case example: