Based on the recent discoveries in neuroscience, the innovative Reconsolidation Therapy™ has been the subject of numerous large-scale clinical trials. This method combines the use of a pharmacological agent with psychotherapy. It aims to reduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for people who have been exposed to an intense emotional shock (i.e. an accident, aggression, attacks, or natural disasters). This therapy strives to treat post-traumatic stress disorder rather than mask its symptoms, becoming a marker of a therapeutic revolution in psychiatry.
The Reconsolidation Therapy ™ – A source of immense hope for victims of PTSD
This method has impacted individuals internationally, as seen through the numerous studies conducted in Canada, USA, France, and Nepal. More than 50% of symptoms have decreased during clinical trials and 70% of patients undergoing this 6-week treatment have shown significant improvements. This method consists of combining the use of a beta-blocker and psychotherapy, laying the foundation for a new paradigm for treating PTSD.
From Research to Scientific Validation
Dr. Brunet’s Reconsolidation Therapy™ is the culmination of 30 years of research in post-traumatic stress disorder.
Today, with the help of French doctors and Canadian and American scientists, Alain Brunet has proven to the scientific community that it is possible to reduce the impact of traumatic memories and treat PTSD.
A Universal Therapeutic Breakthrough
Dr. Brunet designed a unique therapeutic experimentation protocol, which was introduced on a large scale in France. The “Paris Mémoire Vive” project, conducted in partnership with the Paris Hospital Network (AP-HP), has treated up to 400 patients with PTSD following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice. This exceptional project shows that it is now possible for victims of PTSD to recover in 6 weeks.
An Effective Therapy with Quick Benefits and Simple Patient Management
Following an exposure to a gruesome traumatic event, the experience is created and stored as an intense emotional memory. It constantly resurfaces with the same intensity at each recollection of the incident. Sensory perceptions may trigger the recall of the event.
To find out if a person can benefit from the Reconsolidation Therapy™, they must complete a trauma assessment questionnaire.
This PTSD diagnosis makes it possible to establish whether the subject is indeed in a state of post-traumatic stress and whether they are eligible for therapy.
What is Reconsolidation Therapy™?
Memory Reconsolidation Therapy is a brief psychotherapy. The patient must take a beta-blocker and follow a precise protocol to reactivate their memory, if not the medication is ineffective. The patient is asked to write a narrative of their trauma and must read it aloud at each session. The reencoding process is hindered by the beta-blocker the moment the emotional memory shifts from short-term memory to long-term memory. This process does not alter the memory, rather it reduces its intensity. After 4 to 6 weekly sessions, most patients experience a significant decrease in their post-traumatic stress symptoms.
The Benefits of Therapy
At the end of each session, the patient completes the same PTSD assessment in order to measure the evolution of their symptoms and progress.
By administering the beta-blocker with the Brunet Method™, it reduces the emotional impact of the traumatic memory and transforms it into a “banal bad memory”.
The post-traumatic stress symptoms are reduced, allowing the patient to return to their normal life.
The Science behind Blocking Memory Reconsolidation
The Role of the Amygdala in Memory
When an event becomes engraved in our memory, two parts of the brain are simultaneously activated: the amygdala and the hippocampus. They represent the memory control center.
The hippocampus is located at the center of our episodic memory and holds the facts of the memory; whereas the amygdala retains the emotions attached to the event. If an emotional event is worth remembering, the amygdala and the hippocampus save the memory in the long-term memory. The stronger the emotion, the more memorable it will be.
If you recall an important memory, you will remember some of the emotion attached to it, but less intensely. For victims of post-traumatic stress disorder, memory does not fade over time. It is constantly relived by the individual, with the same intensity experienced at the time of the event.
The Emotional Deterioration of Memory
Latest discoveries about the brain and how memory works have shown that when you recall a memory, it is possible to change it.
This was (re)discovered by James Misanin (1968), Susan Sara (1997) and Karim Nader (2000). Through their experiments on rats, they demonstrated that a memory is malleable when it leaves the memory folder. As a result, it is possible to reduce the emotional part of the memory that is too intense, in order to decrease its distressing symptoms.
The chemical process of re-recording the memory is disrupted by the combination of the memory reactivation and the blocking of reconsolidation, caused by the beta-blocker. The memory generated is thus emotionally deteriorated. Although it still remains present, it is much less intense.