The Rewind Technique

The Rewind Technique (also known in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) as the “The Fast Phobia Cure” or “The Visual-Kinesthetic Dissociation Technique”) is an advanced tool to decondition phobias and trauma (such as PTSD). It’s efficacy has been assessed in many academic papers such as the work by Gray & Liotta. It’s safe, gentle and without the drugs, scare tactics, psychological archaeology and exposure used by the older and less effective phobia treatments.

The Rewind Technique is now widely accepted as the most reliable and effective treatment for all kinds of phobias, even long-standing and severe ones. It’s probably the single most reliable and effective tool in psychotherapy today and is being used more and more as a front-line treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including trauma caused by accidents, assaults, war and witnessing critical incidents.

If you have ever seen someone being almost instantly released from their phobia on TV and thought “Wow, how did they do that?” you can bet the therapist used The Rewind Technique.

So how does it work?

A phobia is driven by a pattern-matching process whereby the unconscious mind creates “fear templates” around “dangerous” things or situations to try and keep you safe from the imagined threat in future. It then broadly matches these patterns to more and more situations as a phobia develops.

What The Rewind Technique does, in a very creative way, is interfere with those patterns – it subtly changes the templates by changing the way we experience the memories – so when the unconscious mind tries to match the patterns, they don’t match anymore and the anxiety is no longer triggered. The templates (memories) will still be there, they will just feel different. The emotional tag will be gone. The phobia just won’t work anymore.

This can all be done very quickly because the brain learns very fast. It learned to be phobic very fast. Teaching it how not to be phobic can be, and is necessarily, equally fast. It does not take long-term treatment. The mind can then start to generalise outwards, but this time in a very positive way, as it begins to associate more and more situations with feelings of calm and control.

One of the great things about The Rewind Technique is that it is non-intrusive: the therapist doesn’t need to know the precise details of the traumatic memories or phobic encounters because the sufferer brings their content (their experiences) to the process.

If you have a fear of driving then you can experience The Rewind Technique for yourself because our program uses a specially adapted version to work with driving phobias.

 

Making sense of driving phobia

The most frustrating thing about a driving phobia – indeed about any phobia – is that it doesn’t seem to make sense.

Part of you knows that you are probably a good, competent driver and that nothing else has changed. You have the driving experience and the skills. The roads and traffic are still the same. But no matter what you tell yourself – or others tell you (if you’ve had the courage to tell anyone about your driving phobia) – all the logic and reason doesn’t make any difference because the irrational unconscious mind kicks in and says “No, feel frightened, feel scared”.

So a fear of driving will often start to affect self-confidence and self-esteem. “Why me? Why can’t I change this?”.

Probably even more frustrating, willpower doesn’t seem to change a fear of driving either. Other things in life respond to willpower and effort: you apply some willpower and they change. But the driving phobia doesn’t. Well, again, that’s because it’s a different part of your mind that’s been driving the fear. Willpower is a function of your conscious mind and has little effect on your powerful unconscious, especially when it’s talking “survival”.

But a driving phobia does make some sense at an unconscious level. The unconscious mind is trying to protect you from what it began to imagine were life-threatening driving situations. It attached all kinds of uncomfortable feelings to those situations to try and make it so uncomfortable you wouldn’t even go there, so by it’s own “logic” you would stay safe and survive.

So any effective driving phobia treatment needs to work with the creative unconscious mind that created the fear to start with. And that is exactly what our program does: it uses a range of powerful psychological tools to decondition the fear responses and install some calm patterns for future so you can drive in comfort and feel in control again.

If driving phobia was all to do with logic and reason then you wouldn’t have a driving phobia and you wouldn’t need our program.