IARRT Rewind Therapy for PTSD




The Rewind Therapy

Rewind Therapy (RT)  has become internationally recognised as indispensable to treating PTSD.

It is easily learnt; applicable to survivors trans culturally and usually requires no more than two sessions to bring about closure for single traumas. The results are enduring** – a follow-up of two years showed no relapses in that period of time.

(RT) was first introduced into the literature of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by Dr David Muss (founder of this association) back in 1991; ** “A new technique for treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1991, 30,91-92. 19 policemen with PTSD were treated with the Rewind and followed for two years. All reported being well, returned to work and there wasn’t a single relapse.

The Rewind is different from other imaginal exposure therapies because no details are disclosed to the therapist Hence the treatment is known as “closure without disclosure”

The benefits of non-disclosure include:

  • Minimizing the risk of the client being re-traumatized.
  • There is no fear of disclosing sensitive information e.g. In the case of servicemen, for example, about deployment.
  • For survivors of rape and sexual abuse, the benefit of not having to disclose details of the event to a stranger is self-evident
  • Minimizing the risk to the counsellor of developing compassion fatigue, particularly for those therapists involved with heavy workloads.

The Rewind offers a way of permanently stopping the involuntary recall by filing the traumatic event so it comes under control, Voluntary recall remains.

FOR SINGLE EVENT TRAUMAS, two to three sessions at most are required.

FOR MULTIPLE EVENT TRAUMAS, such as combat, sexual abuse; domestic violence; etc. each traumatic event can be dealt with separately over separate sessions but, depending on the way the involuntary recall represents, can also be dealt with in one session.


The exact science of the Rewind treatment, as for all treatments, is unknown, but attempts have been put forth to explain the mechanism by:

Changes in the integration of the memory are mediated by the modulation of arousal (Dietrich,2000), and dissociation from the traumatic sequellae (Dietrich et al,2000).

Bio Informational Theory (Foa et al.) 1997Treatment aimed at introducing new information incompatible with some or all of the memory structure at the root of PTSD symptoms

In the classical Learning ( rooted in basic behavioural psychology)Conditioning paradigm, Traumatic Memory is associated with implicit and explicit cues which evoke the memory outside of the conscious control of the sufferer.

Dual Representational Theory (Cognitive) Brewin, Dagleish, Joseph 1968Traumatic memories are held in two separate forms, explicit verbally accessible memories and implicit situationally accessible memories

Temporal Dynamics Model of Emotional Memory Processing (Diamond, Campbell, Park et al (2007) based on animal studies.

Most recent thinking, based on neuronal research, suggests the mechanism of the intervention may be explained in terms of memory restructuring through the mechanism of reconsolidation Riccio, D.C., Millin, P.M. & Bogart, A.R. (2006).


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