I took a workshop in Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) which is designed to put the past behind you, especially if you’re a trauma survivor. I’m blogging about RRT to alert you to its existence, not to promote it. After a one-day seminar, I claim to be neither an expert nor to know enough about it to say that it is reliable, effective clinical treatment. However, disclaimer aside, it’s worthwhile to understand the principles behind it.

Psychology distinguishes between kinds of trauma: “big T” such as war, rape, sexual or physical abuse, serious physical assault, kidnapping or living through a disaster, and “little t,” including chronic emotional abuse or neglect. RRT claims to resolve trauma suffering, describing itself as “a state of the art and cutting edge approach that heals the invisible wounds of trauma. Holistic, gentle, and compassionate, it painlessly eliminates the negative influences from traumatic events even when there are no conscious memories of these events.” The RRT-trained therapist “clears the effects of trauma“ through “multi-level hypnotic communication” in which “negative emotions are replaced with energy and peace and self-destructive behavioral patterns disappear.”

I came away from the workshop with valuable concepts to put to use immediately in therapy and pass on to you. One is for you to recognize and accept that trauma is in the past and that any suffering you experience is from the memory of trauma, which is composed of impressions, attributions, and confusing similar circumstances in the here and now with ones that occurred years or decades ago. The problem with trauma is the way the emotional memory of it is stored in the brain’s hippocampus and amygdala, ever ready to be triggered. The goal of RRT is to tap into the executive functions of your brain and employ your higher order thinking (eg, What I’m feeling is only a memory, I’m safe now,) to intervene so that the trauma memory is moved to storage in your frontal lobes where it belongs. By grounding yourself in the present and in safety, you eliminate the cause of your suffering: the past cannot hurt you now.

I discourage trauma survivors from trying RRT on your own, but I strongly advise everyone to develop an RRT mindset, which is that what you experienced is now gone. Only the residual effects of trauma memory linger in the present. As the RRT lecturer explained, often we say that trauma is in the past, as if the past were some kind of receptacle still holding a part of our life. RRT says that past trauma is done, over with, finito; it exists only in memory and knowing this on a deep emotional and cognitive level is what helps you recover. I’ve tried this approach with clients and it works!