What is Trauma?

In the normal course of events, memories are laid down as immediate impressions in the brain, and then organized in a coherent way in the hippocampus, and finally stored in the neocortex in ‘long term memory’. This process makes a remembered event a ‘narrative memory’ – something you can talk about, something that feels past, and eventually fades with time. However, when people are exposed to a traumatic event, and traumatized, this process can get blocked, and the traumatic memory may never get turned into narrative.


Imagine all your worst memories feeling ‘live’ – feeling as if they are happening now – even if they are of things that happened half a lifetime ago. This is what happens to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferers – the memory doesn’t fade with time. It feels absolutely current and impossible to talk about.

The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in some of the following ways:

  • Distressing recollections of the event that cause the body and mind to experience the same or nearly the same degree of fear and horror as the original experience.
  • Recurrent distressing dreams of the trauma.
  • Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring in the present (flashbacks). This can occur in the form of hallucinations or when feeling disassociated from reality during the day.

People with PTSD display avoidant behaviour or high anxiety at the thought of the stimuli, event or of real exposure to it. When asked to think about the stimuli and then scale their anxiety from one to ten, ten being awful panic and one being happy and totally relaxed, they will scale high when even thinking about it.

Getting people to ‘relive’ their trauma by talking about it can actually worsen the trauma by re-activating it in the brain, and embedding it deeper.  Techniques that don't require a person to relive the trauma are better at treating PTSD.  One of these techniques is the Rewind Technique. The technique is a non-intrusive, safe and highly effective psychological method for de-traumatising people.

The Rewind Technique is my preferred approach to helping people overcome trauma and phobias. It's quick, safe, comfortable for the client, and is performed once a person is in a state of deep relaxation. I think one of the best things about the Rewind Technique is that it is completely ‘non-voyeuristic’. I don’t need to know any of the details of the traumatic event.

The technique works by allowing the traumatised individual, whilst in a safe relaxed state, to reprocess the traumatic memory so that it becomes stored as an 'ordinary', albeit unpleasant, and non- threatening memory rather than one that continually activates a terror response.

The UK's Human Givens Institute uses the technique extensively and you can read about the evidence in support of the technique's effectiveness here.

If you are suffering with trauma, PTSD or an unwanted phobia then the Rewind Technique could provide the solution and relief you've been looking for. Contact me to today to for more details about how I can help you.

Wishing you a safe, relaxing week.

Go well


Tony Yuile is hired by people seeking help to perform at their best in one or more areas of their lives. He is a Personal Performance Coach & hypnosis professional based in Wellington NZ, where he specialises in helping people perform under pressure, reduce anxiety and manage stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Contact Tony today to discuss how he can help you, or if you think Tony could help someone you know, you might like to encourage them to get in touch with him.

This article contains the personal views and opinions of the author, which may change over time. It is intended to be for information only and does not constitute medical advice. For medical and health advice, always consult a qualified medical professional.