Clinical Research



Three Trials of Our Own – Hundreds by Other Independent Researchers

We have undertaken three important research trials which demonstrate the effectiveness of the SDR therapy approach (formerly called MDR) in treating a range of disorders.

It is important to understand that the SDR therapy method relies on identifying and then eliminating very specific conditioned responses which drive the client’s unwanted thoughts, feelings (emotional and physical) and behaviour.

Until recently it was thought that conditioned brain activity could not be easily eliminated, and certainly not rapidly. We have shown that when we accurately trigger and then disrupt a precise conditioned response, we can significantly weaken that response, and usually eliminate it, both immediately and permanently.

Until recently technology did not exist to test our assertion that conditioned responses could be modulated in this way. The last 10 years has seen a great array of research utilising pathology diagnostics including fMRI, and indeed this is exactly what is being demonstrated.

Our review of the literature around reconsolidation and extinction of conditioned responses gives us cause to be optimistic that other researchers are close to understanding our work. Currently they are not identifying specific conditioned responses, but are merely having subjects remember an event in a very non-specific way, while the researcher applies chemical or other disruption. Even this clumsy attempt to disrupt reconsolidation is achieving some results, but of course nothing like what is possible, as we have shown.

Below you will find links to our own research papers, followed by a list of references which you may find useful. (Note the reference to MDR – the old name for what is now known as SDR.)

2001 – MDR Chronic Pain Trial

2001 – MDR for Academic and Behavioural Performance in At-Risk Children

2001 – Clinical Trial – MDR Treatment Approach to Clinical Depression

2020 – A Sad State of Affairs – A Review of All Current Treatments for Non-malignant Chronic Pain without Sufficient Explanatory Pathology

2020 – Frontiers in Chronic Pain – A Rationale for a New Understanding of Chronic Pain without Sufficient Explanatory Pathology and Subsequently a New Paradigm for Improved Treatment

Other References

When carrying out your own search for related reading material, it’s obviously best to stick to the most respected scientific journals rather than rely on PubMed and other collections. This is because by this time there are so many invalidated studies (ie, they have been accepted for publication but have since been found to be deeply flawed and of little or no consequence).

In addition, avoid YouTube videos, and scam sites including anything written by an alternative practitioner. These may sound scientific to people untrained in the material, but are so full of error that they can only be called fraudulent.

The following list represents researchers working in the area of conditioned brain activity. Some of them are investigating biochemical processes involved in conditioned responses, and some are investigating various means of disrupting the reconsolidation phase in order to achieve extinction of the conditioned response.

A longer list, including commentary is to be found HERE.


Bouton ME. 2002. Context, ambiguity, and unlearning: Sources of relapse after behavioral extinction. Biol Psych 52: 976–986.
Chan WYM, Leung HT, Westbrook F, McNally GP. 2010. Effects of recent exposure to a conditioned stimulus on extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning. Learn Mem 17: 512–521.
Chaundhry A, Granneman JG. 1999. Differential regulation of function responses by β-adrenergic receptor subtypes in brown adipocytes. Am J Physiol 227: 137–153.
Clem RL, Huganir RL. 2010. Calcium-permeable AMPA receptor dynamics mediate fear memory erasure. Science 330: 1108–1112.
Davis M. 2006. Neural systems involved in fear and anxiety measured with fear potentiated startle. Am Psychol 61: 741–756.
Davis M, Whalen PJ. 2001. The amygdala: Vigilance and emotion. Mol Psychiatry 6: 13–34.
Dębiec J, LeDoux JE. 2004. Disruption of reconsolidation but not consolidation of auditory fear conditioning by noradrenergic blockade in the amygdala. Neurosci 129: 267–272.
Dębiec J, Doyère V, Nader K, LeDoux JE. 2006. Directly reactivated, but not indirectly reactivated, memories undergo reconsolidation in the amygdala. Proc Natl Acad Sci 103: 3428–3433.
Dirikx T, Hermans D, Vansteenwegen D, Baeyens F, Eelen P. 2007. Reinstatement of conditioned responses in human differential fear conditioning. J Behav Ther Exp Psych 38: 237–251.
Doyère V, Dębiec J, Monfils M-H, Schafe GE, LeDoux JE. 2007. Synapse-specific reconsolidation of distinct fear memories in the lateral amygdala. Nat Neurosci 10: 414–416.
Dudai Y. 2006. Reconsolidation: The advantage of being refocused. Curr Opin Neurobiol 16: 174–178.
Effting M, Kindt M. 2007. Contextual control of human fear associations in a renewal paradigm. Behav Res Ther 45: 2002–2018.
Gilman AG, Goodman LS. 1996. Goodman and Gilman’s: The pharmacological basis of therapeutics. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Hamm AO, Weike AI. 2005. The neuropsychology of fear learning and fear regulation. Int J Psychophysiol 57: 5–14.
Han J-H, Yiu AP, Cole CJ, Hsiang H-L, Neve RL, Josselyn SA. 2008. Increasing CREB in the auditory thalamus enhances memory and generalization of auditory conditioned fear. Learn Mem 15: 443–453.
Jockers R, Issad T, Zilberfarb V, de Coppet P, Marullo S, Strosberg AD. 1998. Desensitization of the β-adrenergic response in human brown adipocytes. Endocrinology 139: 2676–2684.
Kindt M, Soeter M, Vervliet B. 2009. Beyond extinction: Erasing human fear responses and preventing the return of fear. Nat Neurosci 12: 256–258.
Klorman R, Weerts TC, Hastings JE, Melamed GBG, Lang PJ. 1974. Psychometric description of some specific fear questionnaires. Behav Ther 5: 401–409.
LaBar KS, Gatenby JC, Gore JC, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA. 1998. Human amygdala activation during conditioned fear acquisition and extinction: A mixed-trial fMRI study. Neuron 20: 937–945.
Lang PJ, Bradley MM, Cuthbert BM. 2005. International affective picture system (IAPS): Affective ratings of pictures and instruction manual. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Laxmi TR, Stork O, Pape H-C. 2003. Generalisation of conditioned fear and its behavioural expression in mice. Behav Brain Res 145: 89–98.
Lee JLC. 2009. Reconsolidation: Maintaining memory relevance. Trends Neurosci 32: 413–420.
Lee JLC, Milton AL, Everitt BJ. 2006. Reconsolidation and extinction of conditioned fear. J Neurosci 26: 10051–10056.
Lissek S, Biggs AL, Rabin SJ, Cornwell BR, Alvarez RP, Pine DS, Grillon C. 2008. Generalization of conditioned fear-potentiated startle in humans: Experimental validation and clinical relevance. Behav Res Ther 46: 678–687.
Lovibond PF, Hanna SK, Siddle DAT, Bond NW. 1994. Electrodermal and subjective reactions to fear-relevant stimuli under threat of shock. Aus J Psychol 46: 73–80.
Milad MR, Orr SP, Pitman RK, Rauch SL. 2005. Context modulation of memory for fear extinction in humans. Psychophysiology 42: 456–464.
Mineka S, Öhman A. 2002. Phobias and preparedness: The selective, automatic, and encapsulated nature of fear. Biol Psych 52: 927–937.
Monfils M-H, Cowansage KK, Klann E, LeDoux JE. 2009. Extinction-reconsolidation boundaries: Key to persistent attenuation of fear memories. Science 324: 951–955.
Nader K, Hardt O. 2009. A single standard for memory: The case for reconsolidation. Nat Rev Neurosci 10: 224–234.
Nader K, Schafe GE, LeDoux JE. 2000. Fear memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval. Nature 406: 722–726.
Norrholm SD, Jovanovic T, Vervliet B, Myers K, Davis M, Rothbaum BO, Duncan EJ. 2006. Conditioned fear extinction and reinstatement in a human fear potentiated startle paradigm. Learn Mem 13: 681–685.
Orr SP, Metzger LJ, Lasko NB, Macklin ML, Peri T, Pitman RK. 2000. De novo conditioning in trauma-exposed individual with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. J Abn Psychol 109: 290–298.
Pedreira ME, Pérez-Cuesta KM, Maldonado H. 2004. Mismatch between what is expected and what actually occurs triggers memory reconsolidation or extinction. Learn Mem 11: 579–585.
Schiller D, Monfils M-H, Raio CM, Johnson DC, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA. 2010. Preventing the return of fear in humans using reconsolidation update mechanisms. Nature 663: 49–53.
Soeter M, Kindt M. 2010. Dissociation response systems: Erasing fear from memory. Neurobiol Learn Mem 94: 30–41.
Soeter M, Kindt M. 2011. Disrupting reconsolidation: Pharmacological and behavioural manipulations. Learning & Memory. 18: 357-366.
Squire LR, Stark CEL, Clark RE. 2004. The medial temporal lobe. Ann Rev Neurosci 27: 279–306.
Stegeren AH, Rohleder B, Everaerd W, Wolf OT. 2006. Salivary alpha amylase as marker for adrenergic activity during stress: Effect of beta blockade. Psychoneuroendocrinology 31: 137–141.
Suzuki A, Josselyn SA, Frankland PW, Masushige S, Silva AJ, Kida S. 2004. Memory reconsolidation and extinction have distinct temporal and biochemical signatures. J Neurosci 24: 4787–4795.
Thonberg H, Fredriksson JM, Nedergaard J, Cannon B. 2002. A novel pathway for adrenergic stimulation of cAMP-response-element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation: Mediation via α1-adrenoceptors and protein kinase C activation. Biochem J 264: 73–79.
Tronson NC, Taylor JR. 2007. Molecular mechanisms of memory reconsolidation. Nat Rev Neurosci 8: 262–275.
Walker MP. 2009. The role of sleep in cognition and emotion. Ann NY Acad Sci 1156: 168–197.
Weike AI, Schupp HT, Hamm AO. 2007. Fear acquisition requires awareness in trace but not delay conditioning. Psychophysiology 44: 170–180.