David Ebaugh is a Portland, Oregon trauma therapist trained in memory reconsolidation, specializing in treatment for phobias and compulsive disordersQuoted From: https://traumafocusedtherapy.com/memory-reconsolidation/
"The current standard of treatment for phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress, and generalized anxiety revolves around exposure therapy. This involves repeatedly presenting the feared object or frightening memory in a safe setting so that the patient acquires a new safe memory that resides in the brain alongside the old fear memory. As long as the new memory remains unchallenged, the fear is suppressed.
However, if a person is re-traumatized or re-exposed with sufficient intensity to a similar experience, his or her old fear will return with the same intensity. This is one of the limitations of exposure therapy, along with the fact that it generally works in only about half of the PTSD patients who try it. Many also find it upsetting or intolerable to relive memories of assaults and other traumatizing experiences.
New research suggests that it may be possible not just to change certain types of emotional memories, but even to erase them, through a naturally occurring memory function called consolidation. Memory consolidation is a neurological process by which new learned experiences are transformed into long-term memory through the strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons (from: Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference, 2008).
Memory reconsolidation is the process whereby an old memory is recalled and then returned to long term memory when we stop thinking about it. It is a bit like pulling up a file on your computer, rewriting the same material in a bigger, bolder font, and saving it again. Interrupting reconsolidation is like retrieving a document from your computer, erasing some or all of the text, and then writing something new in its place. Changes made through reconsolidation are much more durable and longer lasting and most likely permanent, compared to exposure-based treatment modalities"
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