Depth Enquiry and The Memory Hole

Body Wisdom, Trauma
Depth Enquiry: Gestalt Meets EMDR

Depth Enquiry: Gestalt meets EMDR

Depth Enquiry

We’re pleased to announce a new page on the Therapy Duo site that discusses Amanda’s Depth Enquiry technique. She’s been developing this technique for several years now, and has achieved some remarkable results with clients.

Depth Enquiry (DE) is an extension to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). DE can take clients to a deep level of remembering and reprocessing past traumatic experience. The gently supportive space provided by the therapist, in conjunction with the technique itself, serve to release natural healing. Clients experience significant relief, and in some cases are not quite aware of how this has been achieved. The process does not feel like hard work!

The Memory Hole

Then, with a movement that was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames.
– Winston’s action, in George Orwell’s 1984

Orwell’s description of discarding a message (memory), followed by the internal notes about that memory, is a useful metaphor for what people who have experienced traumatic events (either recent or in childhood) attempt to do. There is evidence, however, that these memories become locked into an ongoing traumatic memory system, rather than being truly forgotten. And where they need to be is in long-term memory, so they can be experienced as being in the distant past.

DE unblocks resistant traumas and negative beliefs using a gentle, supportive process.

From the traumatic memory system the events relentlessly take their toll on the happiness and health of the individual. Despite Winston’s action with the message and the notes, all might not be turned to ashes, as he might have hoped.

The ANP and the EP

Recent researchers suggest that a traumatic event splits the healthy personality into these parts:

  • An Apparently Normal Part (ANP) that continues to adapt to the demands of daily living, and is motivated to appear normal in order to remain connected to the social world, and
  • An Emotional Part (EP) that holds the sensory perceptions of the trauma in the form of reliving the experience.

Negative symptoms occur when the experiences of the EP become known to the ANP. The ANP tends to deny the experiences of the EP. The person has flashbacks and an associated sense of low self-worth, and is confused and defensive about the intrusions of the EP. It seems not possible for the trauma to be “devoured by the flames”.

Yet a sense of freedom, of the trauma being truly devoured by the flames, is possible for people undertaking a process such as Depth Enquiry.

Working with Amanda in Depth Enquiry

Amanda delivers Depth Enquiry as a short program of 4 to 6 one to one-and-half hour sessions. (These can be undertaken in parallel with other therapeutic work, if necessary.)

Please contact her if you’d like to have an experience of this work as a client; or if you’d like to train with her, to provide Depth Enquiry to others. (Training is available to accredited therapists only.)