Two levels of training in Multichannel Eye Movement Integration are offered by TCTT. In addition, several related techniques especially helpful in the treatment of PTSD are taught via mini-courses. At this time, all individual and group trainings are conducted virtually, although in-person trainings may resume when the global health situation improves. Individuals can also request one-on-one skill development sessions with Dr. Mike related to any aspect of the courses offered by TCTT.
MEMI Therapist Training
- MEMI Level I (8 hours) is a basic course designed to ground therapists in trauma science, research controversies, and the history and development of eye movement therapies. The theory, protocol, basic eye movements, procedures and assessment techniques used in MEMI are the main focus of this seminar. Through lecture, demonstration and individual skill development, participants learn all they will need to know to conduct MEMI client sessions and evaluate the results. The basic eye movements used in the therapy are explained, written instructions, sample scripts and a worksheet for recording pre and post treatment outcomes are provided for reference following the training. Other topics include how to “establish rapport,” therapeutic dissociation, the differences between MEMI’s “Thoughts” and cognitive restructuring, and the Neuro-Linguistic Programming presuppositions undergirding MEMI’s theory.
MEMI Level I is designed for licensed mental health therapists, allied licensed professionals (masters level medical professionals), and mental health graduate students who have completed at least one field experience. The course is normally taught in one 8-hour session or 2-four hour segments scheduled approximately one week apart. Upon satisfactory completion of Level I, participants are awarded a certificate of achievement from TCTT in the use of Multichannel Eye Movement Integration.
- MEMI Level II (6 hours) is an advanced course providing instruction and skill development in the more intricate features of MEMI, particularly how to perform the four MEMI eye movement sets and to synchronize the therapist verbalized reframes, embedded commands and metaphors at the heart of the therapy with the eye movement sets. After a review of Level I content, participants receive instruction in and view demonstrations of the eye movement sets with vocalizations, before practicing the sets in dyads. This module also includes instruction in the use of the MEMI Worksheet, the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), and MEMI’s Intensity Scale. The PCL-5 is a standardized measure for diagnosing PTSD and assessing therapeutic outcomes before and after MEMI treatment. The Intensity Scale (I-Scale) is a formative measure that assesses the intensity of client sensory and feelings-related reactions before and after each eye movement set. The I-Scale was developed specifically for use with MEMI. Completion of MEMI Level I is normally a prerequisite for Level II registration. This course is taught in 3 two-hour segments or 2 three-hour segments and normally scheduled one week apart.
Another option for developing skill in the use of MEMI is by reading Multichannel Eye Movement Integration: The Brain Science Path to Easy and Effective PTSD Treatment and then supplement what you’ve learned with the mini-courses listed here. The book is designed to provide everything a therapist needs to know to use this therapy and evaluate the results, but some practitioners may prefer this approach to taking the 14-hour Level I and Level II courses. The instructional modules below provide basic training in MEMI’s presuppositions, theory and procedures as well as several NLP techniques utilized in the MEMI protocol.
- Introduction to MEMI (4 hours) Explores MEMI’s origins, presuppositions, and techniques used in its protocol and procedures. This seminar explores MEMI’s grounding in NLP and provides basic information to therapists who are considering whether to take the Level I MEMI training. This module also provides the most accurate description to date of the history of eye movement therapies and why MEMI’s straightforward theory and procedures are preferred over EMDR’s complexities.
- Submodality Assessment (4 hours) is a unique and valuable NLP strategy used as a formative, “bottom up” measure of sensory and feeling-related reactions to traumatic events. Moreover, this effective technique can be used with any therapeutic orientation.
Submodalities are defined as the components that make up a modality. In MEMI the sensory modalities include sight, sound, smell, and taste. The three kinesthetic modalities are visceral, emotional and tactile feelings. Examples of submodalities for sight (traumatic imagery) are: 1.) distance (near or far away); 2.) clarity (clear or unclear); and 3.) movement (movie or still photo). Examples of visceral submodalities are: 1.) pain (dull or strong); location (in the stomach or neck); and heat (hot or cold). Assessing changes in submodalities before and after eye movement sets provides a formative test of changes in several symptoms measured by the PTSD DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. This information can also be used to corroborate changes detected by other MEMI assessments.
Through a combination of lecture and demonstration, participants will learn the definition of submodalities, how they can be assessed and how to record sensory and feeling-related changes on the MEMI Worksheet. There are no prerequisites for participation in this seminar. Approximately two hours are devoted to lecture and demonstration; the other two focus on skill development. This is perhaps the most practical and useful NLP technique for assessing and treating trauma symptoms.
- Resource Anchoring and Therapeutic Dissociation (6 hours) are “sister” techniques used in MEMI to provide added levels of protection to clients during trauma exposures.
Resource anchoring: Most trauma therapies use some form of reciprocal inhibition during treatment to offset harsh reactions to reexposures. Typically, this takes the form of breathing exercises or relaxation techniques (e.g., mindfulness or progressive relaxation) or cognitive (“top down”) strategies like imagining a favorite relative at their side. It’s believed that a “muscle-relaxed body” inhibits the connection between the traumatic stimulus and its fear response. Resource anchoring is an NLP strategy used in MEMI, because it’s more powerful and relevant in neutralizing reactions, and therefore, provides greater client protection than other techniques.
When anchoring a resource, the client chooses a word that is the opposite of how they think and feel when recalling the traumatic event. If they are fearful, they might select the word fearless. They then select an actual experience from their life when they felt fearless. With guidance from the therapist, the thoughts, feelings, images and sounds associated with that experience are rekindled in the present. When those thoughts, sensations and feelings from the fearless experience are felt at their fullest—at their peak so to speak—the therapist intones the word fearless (the anchor) several times with greater volume and emphasis. This establishes a conscious and unconscious link between that word and the thoughts, feelings and sensations from the fearless experience. Thereafter, whenever the therapist says the word fearless, the uplifting sensations and feelings are revived in the client and counterbalance the traumatic reactions.
Participants in this seminar will learn how to assist clients in selecting an anchor (word) and then “install” the anchor in clients. Written instructions and sample scripts for therapists to use are provided.
Therapeutic Dissociation: Visual imagery plays a primary role in maintaining the intensity of a person’s reactions to traumatic experiences. Not surprisingly, when imagery becomes less threatening, other reactions to a traumatic memory are also softened. A few PTSD therapies ask clients to view traumatic imagery as if they are back in the experience again, believing this level of exposure is required for lasting desensitization. Because this is so difficult for survivors, these therapies experience higher dropout rates. In MEMI we use a technique called therapeutic dissociation to create “distance” between the imagery and the client, without ever compromising the results. Clients are asked by the therapist to project the image onto a wall or blank surface about 8-10 feet away. They are instructed not to be “back in” the experience but viewing it from a distance instead. They are even encouraged to alter the image in any way that might make it more palatable to them. They can make the image smaller, move it farther away, or put it out of focus. This “separator state” between the client and the imagery affords more protection but does not in any way interfere with memory desensitization.
Participants will learn how to establish therapeutic dissociation with clients. Complete instructions and sample scripts for therapists to use are provided.
Resource Anchoring and Therapeutic Dissociation are taught together because they are both designed to shield clients from the harsh reactions resulting from exposure to traumatic memories. There are no prerequisites for this seminar.
- MEMI Assessment Techniques (4 hours) This seminar provides instruction in the use of MEMI’s three assessment techniques. The first is the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5)—a standardized instrument developed by the PTSD Center of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Intensity Scale (I-Scale) is a formative measure of the strength of the visual, auditory and kinesthetic reactions clients experience before and after trauma exposures that occur along with the eye movements. The Subjective Units of Distress Scale is a 10- or 100-point scale commonly used in medical and mental health treatment to measure the degree of pain or psychological disturbance in relation to some predetermined factor.
PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5): This checklist is appreciated as much for its simplicity as it is for its validity and reliability. The first version of the checklist was designed for use with DMS-IV’s PTSD diagnostic criteria. The PCL-5 is the second version. Introduced in 2013, its 20 items are aligned with the PTSD diagnostic criteria and clusters from the DSM-5. Norms are provided for determining a provisional PTSD diagnosis and for concluding when symptom improvements are treatment-related and clinically significant. The PCL-5 has been used in many PTSD treatment effectiveness studies. Because this measure is in the public domain, the checklist and instructions for its use can be downloaded from the PTSD Center’s website via the following link: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/assessment/adult-sr/ptsd-checklist.asp. Participants in this seminar also receive a MEMI rubric I developed for scoring the PCL-5.
Intensity Scale: While developing the MEMI protocol and testing various eye movements for their effectiveness in reducing PTSD symptoms, I discovered that the sensory and kinesthetic modalities most relevant to desensitizing traumatic symptoms were visual imagery and visceral and emotional feelings. Because these variables play such a critical role in symptom amelioration, I decided to assess the intensity of these reactions before and after each eye movement set. The “I-Scale” produces an “I-score” that measures the intensity of reactions to each of the three variables mentioned on a scale from 0 (no intensity) to 4 (highest intensity).
Subjective Units of Distress (SUD) Scale: Almost anyone who has gone to a doctor with pain has been asked, “How severe is the pain on a scale from 0 to 10, with zero equaling no pain at all and 10 the worst possible pain?” This global measure was developed by behaviorist Joseph Wolpe (1969) and is used in some fashion by many trauma therapies. The question can be in relation to one aspect of a problem (like stomach nausea caused by a traumatic memory) or in relation to the entire problem state as in, “When you think of that whole traumatic experience now, what score would you give it?” The SUD Scale is used in MEMI during the pretest, after each eye movement set and as an aggregate measure at the end of a treatment session.
Participants will learn how to administer each of the above assessments and record the results on the MEMI Worksheet.
Wolpe, J. (1969). The practice of Behavior Therapy. New York: Pergamon Press.