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320 | A Christian Approach to Memory Reconsolidation Therapy with Traumatized Clients

Christian Psychology: Theory, Practice, and Integration, Friday 9/15 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Workshop Tracks


Barbara Lowe, Ph.D.



Approved For CE

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Approved For CME/CEU

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners




Often, clients come to therapy due to cyclic emotional distress, and reducing this distress is often a primary goal of treatment (Herz et al., 2020). Psychologists and licensed mental health professionals have struggled with what actually works in trauma therapy (Dawes, 2008), given the vast number of therapy modalities from which to choose. “Although the psychotherapy field has existed for well over 100 years, it nonetheless still cannot be classified as a mature science—one where there exists an agreed-upon core or consensus. With its numerous competing schools of thought, psychotherapy has yet to achieve an agreed-upon consensus” (Goldfried, 2020). Many clinicians and medical professionals have felt perplexed over disparate and seemingly unrelated therapies purported to be effective and why mechanisms within these therapies seem discrete. Since the late 1990s, neuroscience research has been shedding progressive light on the neurobiology involved with therapeutic changes in emotional learning (Nader, Schafe & LeDoux, 2000; Przybyslawski, Roullet & Sara, 1999; Przybyslawski & Sara, 1997; Roullet & Sara, 1998). Moreover, clinical research has been pointing to a possible mechanism for changing pathogenic emotional learning (e.g., trauma symptoms), namely, Memory Reconsolidation (“MR”), also termed the Reconsolidation Framework Hypothesis (Ecker, Hulley, & Ticic, 2015; Hase et al., 2017; Welling, 2012). This workshop will summarize a hypothetical unified theory of neuroscience and clinical research that seems to be at work in several therapy modalities that appear to use MR as a mechanism (Ecker & Alexandre, 2022; Ecker & Bridges, 2020; Ecker & Vaz, 2022; Kredlow & Otto 2015; Lane et al., 2015; Astill Wright et al., 2021; Welling, 2012). In addition, applications of several Empirically Supported Treatments (ESTs) that appear to use MR will be discussed (Chamberlin, 2019; Hase et al., 2017; Lane, 2018; Oren & Solomon, 2012; Schwabe, Nader & Pruessner, 2014; Solomon & Shapiro, 2008). Moreover, the integration of Christian resources, in particular, attachment to God and encounters with God (John 15:4; Psalm 27:10), will also be examined with the therapy modalities (Currier et al., 2022; Keefer & Brown, 2018; Mayer, 2013; Post & Wade, 2009; Vietin & Scammell, 2015). Applications for two ESTs, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (Solomon & Shapiro, 2008), and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (Schimmels & Waits, 2019), will be considered, as well as an intervention still undergoing thorough research (Lehman, 2016; Hodgdon et al., 2021).

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the three phases of Memory Reconsolidation therapy
2. Analyze five therapy models that seem to use Memory Reconsolidation as a mechanism of change
3. Explain a procedure for integrating attachment with God into the trauma healing process
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