• =Limitations of ‘rewind technique’=
  • by
  • Ian Plágaro-Neill

I would like to add some observations to Ian Stevenson’s letter regarding Human Givens’ claims about the treatment of clients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I work in a primary care mental health team and for several years I used the Human Givens ‘rewind technique’, with varying degrees of success, to treat clients with PTSD.  Specifically, it seemed to be effective for clients who had suffered single event traumas and I was very successful with a couple of clients who had experienced traumas whilst under anaesthetic. However, I also became aware of the limitations of the ‘rewind technique’ and subsequently trained in EMDR, which provided me with a much broader understanding of the complexities of PTSD and introduced me to the realm of dissociation. EMDR places an emphasis on client safety and an early part of the protocol requires a thorough exploration of the client’s trauma history and an assessment for possible dissociation. This is based on the assumption that there are potentially underlying traumas which could be feeding a more contemporary one. In this respect, treating a current trauma without first checking the client’s past history could be likened to pulling the head off a weed without digging out the roots! Additionally, many clients with PTSD when confronted with reminders of trauma are likely to dissociate, especially those who have suffered traumas in childhood, and it is important that the practitioner is aware of this before attempting to undertake any treatment.  In my opinion attempting to treat a trauma – which may initially appear to be quite innocuous – without assessing for previous trauma and dissociation, is potentially deleterious to the client’s mental health. Whilst I cannot comment on other training offered by Human Givens/MindFields, I am uncertain how they can make realistic claims to resolve traumas so rapidly; evidence and my own experiences would suggest otherwise.

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