Erase Traumatic Memory (Video)

Rapid Reduction Technique (RRT)

The Truth about Traumatic Memory

A fact is a fact. Life experiences are a fact. A memory is the residual of a life experience recorded in the brain. A memory is a fact. A memory is a mental video of our experiences,our personal history.

Human memory is a complicated subject. Many of us are not aware of the impact and influence recorded memories have on our lives. Every moment and experience of ourselves and reactions to lief are recorded by our brain. We are not aware of the amount of memories we store and how they affect our lives by what is filed in our long-term memory bank. How we think, feel, behave and react toward ourselves, others and the world is influenced 80% subconsciously by what is stored in our brain. We are not always aware of our enjoyable, happy or successful memories but on the other hand traumatic memory seem to replay in our mind and haunt our minds therefore affects our ability to function in our lives.

How the Brain Treats Different Life Experiences?

The human brain is a wondrous and complex organ. The brain regulates functioning of all organs, bodily functions, balance and movement of the body, as well as all processes of the mind (thinking, emotions and behaviors), and spiritual elements of self. It is also responsible for the memory functions such as recording, storage and replaying of life experiences. How does the human brain regulate all this functions. Well the brain achieves this through “compartmentalization and order”. Without its ability to operate through compartmentalization and order the brain would not be able to accomplish what it does for the human body.

Neurological research has shown that the brain processes traumatic memory differently than non-traumatic memory.

The human brain’s job with non-traumatic memory is to record life events, then process, integrate, order and store. them. Simply put, the brain perceptually receives and records all the information from a life event; it processes all the images, smells (content), records all the sounds (audio), to achieve closure of feelings (associated emotions) and then places the recorded events into long-term storage bank for future retrieval and replay.

With traumatic memory, the brain's job is to perceive danger before it become available to the conscious mind. In order to prevent overwhelming emotions and realization what is happening, the brain instinctively and instantly re-routes the recording to a different area of the brain. The brain perceives that the content and emotional charge would be too much to handle at that time and could hamper survival. So the brain the recording of the painful situation is stored in a dissociative compartment that is unreachable to the the conscious mind. The recording sits in a dissociative storage compartment for processing and storage into long-term memory bank at a future time.

Unfortunately a current trigger can cause a portion of the record memory to break off and surface into the conscious mind causing a "re-experiencing" of the event. The replay seemly unconnected portion of a memory is called a flashback. The sudden surfacing of a flashback will cause the human to resist and suppress the flashback back into the dissociative compartment whatever means possible. Addition to a substance, thought, behavior or emotion, denial and ignoring are used to suppress flashbacks which in themselves will present greater long-term problems.

Memories only have power over you that you give them.

Take back your power and strength from unwanted memories.
Take back your power and strength from unwanted memories. | Source

True Story from 9/11

An example of this surfacing and replay process of a flashback or traumatic memory and trigger can be viewed through a case study of an incident that occur on 9/11 in New York to a 42 year old African-American New York Policewoman.

This New York Policewoman was one of the first responders who arrived at the World Trade Center on 9/11. She arrived on site after the collapse of the first tower. The events she witnessed were horrifying and overwhelming. Upon the collapse of the second tower she became covered in white soot.

Not longer after the the tragedy of 9/11 due to what she had witnessed and experienced, she become disabled, forgetful and unable to fulfill her duties as a police officer. As a result, she was unable to perform her duties and resigned from the New York Police Department. To avoid being triggered of the recollections locked in her brain from that day she moved to Florida.

For seven years she became more and more dysfunctional and unable to work or at times even leave her house. She became increasingly powerless and afraid day by day. Every time she ventured out of her house and heard or saw a police car with siren on, a fire truck or ambulance come up behind her she would have to pull off the road and fell frozen. A flashback from that horrible day would be triggered and the sights, sound and smells would fill her head. Each time she would have such a triggering event, she would experience tachycardia, rapid respiration, sweating and haunting images of what she saw and felt on 9/11 experience.Once the flashback subsided she had to call her husband to pick her up because she was unable to drive home. These events were so regular she stopped leaving her house to stop the possibility of re-occurrence. Each time it occurred she lost her personal power and confidence. Each time the flashbacks gain in intensity and strength.

The content of her flashbacks, the overwhelming images, sights and smells haunted her. She would have visions of her standing in the street being covered by soot, bodies everywhere and watching the second World Trade Center tower collapsing. She was totally disabled due to the fear of being triggered again. She sought therapy because she thought she was going crazy. During an outpatient therapy session with her Psychologist, she agreed to confront her traumatic memories with a memory method called Rapid Reduction Technique®. Within one session, she learned to safely and protectively revisit her unprocessed memories of 9/11 and face her intense emotions from that day. During that session she was able achieve closure, inner balance, disconnected the triggers and forgiveness with her 9/11 memories. Her experience with RRT assisted her in freeing herself and within months was able to return to a fulfilling life with her husband, children and most importantly herself.

Emotional intensity and attachment makes the traumatic memory important
Emotional intensity and attachment makes the traumatic memory important | Source

How the Brain Works with Traumatic Memory

When the brain is faced with an intense overwhelming life event, like abuse, trauma or a catastrophic act of nature, the processing of the event is put on hold, re-routes the recording and hides it from conscious mind for protection. The recorded event is then held in a temporary dissociative compartment set up by the brain. So for safety, the overwhelming event is hidden from remembrance.

The unprocessed memory then remains in the alternative storage area for months or even years, until something triggers it to resurface. A trigger is defined as any event, feeling, person, smell, thought, or place that initiates a reaction or sets of reactions. Basically a trigger is how the unprocessed memory is filed. At some point when the memory well be triggered, the brain will bring the memory out of hiding back to consciousness with all its intensity in an attempt to put it into order, make emotional closure and integrate it into long-term storage. If the memory is rejected or repressed, the memory is then forced back into the temporary location.

Abuse and Trauma Defined
Abuse and Trauma Defined | Source

Hope for Reducing the PTSD Symptom of Re-experiencing

Many survivors of a traumatic events go through an occurrence called "re-experiencing" with is one of the most devastating symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Re-experiencing may happen days, months or even years after the initial event.

Re-experiencing is when the memory is replayed in the mind completely or in portions which is called a flashback. When the re-experiencing occurs, the person feels like the event is real, happening all over again with all its furry of emotions, sights and sounds.

What can be Done?

In these days of specialization, why isn't there a teachable skill that would target one memory at a time quickly and safely? Well, there is. A guided protocol called Rapid Reduction Technique® or RRT. RRT was developed to reduce the effects of traumatic memories or flashbacks. RRT was initially used with women who had experienced abusive and traumatizing life events and had a diagnosis of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Complex PTSD. Since it development in 2000, RRT has been used, tested and clinically research for effectiveness with the PTSD population for ten (10) years in an inpatient psychiatric setting. RRT successfully helped thousands of survivors to educe the intensity of the flashbacks. Experiencing RRT assisted survivors to reduce the impact and intensity overwhelming images, smells and sounds, achieve reduction in the associated emotional charge, process the content and facilitate storage into long-term memory.

RRT is a teachable and safe skill which works on one memory at a time with one session. RRT is a life skill based on revisiting a traumatic or abusive life event, not reliving or re-experiencing it. The RRT protocol teaches a survivor to bring a reoccurring flashback up to consciousness safely, work with the emotions associated, deal with what occurred and then assist the brain in storing the memory in its rightful place.

Flashbacks and Healing
Flashbacks and Healing | Source

This Rapid Reduction Technique®© (RRT) can work for You

Troubled by unwanted memory? Degree is not important. RRT®© works for any memory no matter what the degree unwanted from troublesome to severe. RRT®© can reduce the disabling effects of unwanted flashbacks. RRT is not a cure but a life skill that helps the survivor achieve balance, emotional relief, order and closure. Once the overwhelming emotion associated with the flashback or traumatic memory is rendered ineffective, he or she are able to work successfully through the what happened in the abusive or traumatic event in therapy or counseling.

A 3 year clinical research study proved how powerful and successful this techniques can be with memory. Contact me for the copy of the study. Or learn Rapid Reduction Technique®© through my DVD for survivors or training DVD for professionals.

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14 comments

KiKi Brewsaugh 6 years ago

As a former patient this program works! Thats for the "memorie's" Dr. Bill my life has improved so much in dealing with my past abuse that I never thought I would be where I am today functioning as a so called "normal" person. Your the greatest.


Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Dr Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida Author

Thank you so much for the validating statements to my coaching work with survivors and their traumatic memories and flashbacks. Rapid Reduction Technique - RRT has been so successful with healing the emotional component of flashbacks and has help 1000s of survivors and veterans. Your recovery is reaffirming to the idea that anyone with PTSD from an overwhelming life events can achieve closure and recovery is possible without hospitalization. Your recovery is a testament to what is possible.


opalsf 6 years ago

Yes !!!...RRT's are amazing!!! After working with you and learning how to do this I have freed myself and my parts from so many overwhelming flashbacks---places I kept "returning to" in my mind and body... I also have learned so much about myself in doing these...Thank you Dr Bill for helping me and so many others move forward!!! Suzanne


Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Dr Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida Author

I agree that RRT is amazing for a safe life skill that anyone can learn and use. Thank you for your testament to is healing powers of the RRT from one who has fought hard for her recovery and success.


Susan Z. 6 years ago

I am continually impressed by the power of an RRT. I thought it was a bunch of "hogwash" when I first saw/heard about it. But after my first one, I was hooked! I marvel at the simplicity of such a tool. And the fact it doesn't take years to take the emotion out of a traumatic event. With most of my RRT, I can not remember the specific event. Pretty cool! Amazing! Incredible! Fantastic! Wonderful! Delightful!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I was wondering if RRT is a fairly common therapy around the country. I am in the Pacific Northwest and am in desperate need of something like this. Thank you for a truly important and useful hub on this topic.


Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Dr Bill Tollefson 6 years ago from Southwest Florida Author

Rapid Reduction Technique or RRT for short is memory guided protocol that I have used with survivors reduce the effects of traumatic memories and flashbacks all over the world. RRT has proven to be very successful, effective and quick life skill. Most of the therapists I have trained are in the East Coast of the States. There is one therapist in Las Vegas that uses RRT with his clients. Go to my website to learn more and how you can get it for yourself to move forward in your life. Thank you for your inquiry.


tigerblue72 profile image

tigerblue72 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Is this the same technique as EMDR?


Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Dr Bill Tollefson 5 years ago from Southwest Florida Author

tigerblue72 - No this is a completely different technique than EMDR and the objective is different. The objective is to remove the emotional pain in the memory. This technique takes one session per memory and is completed in 5 to 20 minutes. In a pilot study the success rate was 95%. RRT is now the focus of a university dissertation study. The RRT method allows a client to re-structure the memory and take out the emotional component which causes the client to repress the flashback once it is triggered and surfaces into consciousness. This technique can also be taught to the client as a life skill to be used on future flashbacks.


tigerblue72 profile image

tigerblue72 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Thank you for the information


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Dr. Bill....This is a reality that hits very close to home for me. I have spent my entire life being effected (more or less haunted) by a seriously profound trauma at the age of approximately 3 years old.

Of course, it only began to surface as an actual event as I grew older, had dreams and "picked up" on conversations of adults around me...

Once fully realized it became somewhat of a blessing (of knowing I was not merely "dreaming) but also a curse, in not having the knowledge nor ability to attempt to deal with it.

Decades later, there are times that I still struggle with this one particular memory and the parts of myself that require constant awareness to defend against the pain.

I thank you for presenting this to your readers. I can only reconfirm your explanation as very real and quite vital for all people to see as an awareness of self that must be faced head on..........UP+++


Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Dr Bill Tollefson 18 months ago from Southwest Florida Author

Dear fpherj48,

I want to really thank you for your honest comment on this article and the courage to express what you have gone through.

I developed Rapid Reduction Technique to eliminate emotional pain out of an unwanted or traumatic memory not only for survivors but also myself. I have used it with thousands of wounded souls and it has been 98% successful. It was also clinically studied by a major university and it proved to be as successful as I had found in my clinical practice.

If you ever want to finally heal from the residual effects. Please contact me and could help you in one session. I know that sounds impossible because it has be haunting you for years. But it can. I have DVD for survivors that you could get that would not only educate you on trauma and PTSD but walk you through the steps on how to do it yourself.

I want you to know that you are very brave for your disclosure and survival. Old wounds can make us a stronger person.

Blessings, Dr. Bill


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply to my disclosure. When I am faced with being forced to dance with this monster, I feel a panic that I'd give anything to be rid of it. It gives way to a multitude of questions that I cannot answer and feel that there truly IS no answer.

I'm afraid more profound than this, throughout the ensuing years, I've encountered a bombardment of additional traumas and wounds, only compounding my struggle to keep believing.....especially in myself.

Thank you for your kind offer to help. I will certainly look into your DVD. So often people become curious as to how I am successful at walking others through their own living nightmares due my own maladies. I confidently explain to them that MY LIFE EXPERIENCES ARE PRECISELY WHY I AM GIFTED WITH THESE ABILITIES.

Once again, thank you Dr. Bill...........Peace, Paula


Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

Dr Bill Tollefson 18 months ago from Southwest Florida Author

I again thank you for your brave revealing comment. I encounter the same need for answers not only in my past but also with the survivors I coach. What I have found in all my 48 years of working with survivors is that once the door is open to the compartment where we stored painful memories, dissociative storage area in the imagination, it does not close and painful memories are revealed. The good thing is the door opens because the person has grown stronger and the mind wants to wants to make closure and empty out the storage area. More than not the person does not have the skills to help the mind make closure so they do everything to close the door.

I agree. I also feel the gift. You have to experience something in order to help another else walk the path.

You are welcome. Blessings, Dr. Bill

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    Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

    Bill Tollefson (Dr Bill Tollefson)127 Followers
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    Hi, my name is Bill Tollefson, and I am a life coach who has been in the business of changing and enhancing people's lives for the better.



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