Become an SDR Therapy Trainer on Full Scholarship

Full Scholarship to the SDR Therapy Training Program for Psychologists and Counsellors

Here is some more information that may help you decide whether or not you feel that you are aligned with our own hopes for the future of therapy, and that you are in alignment with us in terms of maintaining a true evidence basis for assessing value of therapeutic strategies, realising that perception alone is an inadequate informer of reality.

What does SDR Therapy actually do?

SDR stands for “sensory disruption of reconsolidation” and refers to the rapid extinction of conditioned thoughts, feelings, and behaviours when we precisely “disrupt” the replay of a conditioned stimulus.

We have not previously had a robust, reliable way to go about this type of rapid extinction, although some existing therapies have inadvertently achieved this by accidentally and effectively (meaning accurately and impactfully) inserting disruption into the execution of a conditioned response. Examples of this accidental success are “tapping” and EMDR, both based on flawed theory and which therefore have not been reliable in practice, and have not performed well when tested in well-designed trials.

Very briefly and simplistically, SDR Therapy rapidly extinguishes conditioned thoughts, feelings and behaviours – and that is the sum total of all it does. SDR Therapy does absolutely nothing else so it is not a replacement for therapy, but an adjunct to be used within the therapeutic environment.

But consider what this singular effect means. It means that people can be very quickly free of unwanted conditioned responses, and this has very significant implications for all therapy practices, making progress easier, faster, and genuinely more transformative.

SDR Therapy is not meant to replace:

  • Therapist communication skills
  • Educational or problem solving strategies
  • Exploration/understanding of the client’s experience or array of symptomatology

SDR Therapy is and adjunct to therapy which has a single action: the extinction of conditioned thoughts, feelings and behaviours which constitute the client’s symptomatology, resulting in:

  • Faster and easier progress
  • Far more robust change
  • Far less resistance to the therapeutic journey
  • In the case of non-malignant chronic pain without adequate explanatory pathology, elimination or significant reduction of pain signalling

 Why is there a need for SDR Therapy?

Over the last 20 years and particularly where we’ve had to write our own research papers, we have intensely scrutinised the best available research on these commonly-used modalities. We found not one single paper, review, or meta-analysis which showed that any of these were superior to the therapeutic alliance alone. Glowing conclusions were not supported by the very data provided in those papers. Where positive outcomes were recorded, these were only moderately or minimally clinically significant when compared with an uninformative control such as a waiting list. Frequently, positive outcomes were actually non-existent.

By the end of our analysis we were quite literally begging colleagues to share any paper which demonstrated clinically significant benefit over and above that of the therapeutic liaison. Without exception these studies were no different to those we’d already seen.

We also found strong evidence that these therapies could do harm, such as clients feeling blamed for their thinking, or the therapy being contra-indicated, such as mindfulness being unsuitable for clients with anxiety, depression or trauma because of the risk of making those issues worse.

But there is a problem with therapist perception of “what works” and this needs to be addressed.

The problem with therapist perception

Because we’re human, we’re subject to the same biases and misperceptions as every other human on the planet:

  • We believe what appears to happen in our office and think it’s real
  • We believe that the changes the client exhibits are robust
  • We tend to confuse correlation with causation
  • We tend to confuse statistical significance with clinical significance
  • We trust “common sense” over rigorous examination
  • We place value on anecdotes, especially from someone we like or respect
  • We tend to confuse popularity of a modality (convention) with validity
  • We accept explanations that don’t even attempt to posit a verified causal mechanism
  • We believe in the modalities we use and regard them as causative in our clients’ progress (not something as banal as regression to the mean, the passing of time, false attribution, or error of judgement/delusion)
  • Sometimes we’re so modest that we can’t conceive that it was our competence as a human being and as a superb communicator, not the modality, which allowed the client to get the outcome he/she desired

Because most of us aren’t scientists, most of us don’t have the ability to assess trial design, understand statistical analysis, and critically examine conclusions. We read the abstract, maybe a little of the method, and the conclusions, and believe, particularly if the paper is published by a respected research team in a reputable journal, that the paper has value. (Incidentally this lack of quality research, appalling quality of resulting papers in our field, and the dismal failure of replication, is why real scientists claim that psychology is not yet a science.)

And this is how we therapists come to adopt and practise “stuff” that has no real basis in science, but instead arises from a massive and growing mountain of fatally-flawed papers which claim that a particular modality has a positive effect when it clearly does not.

What we hope to achieve

We cannot fully birth SDR Therapy into the world unless we create leverage by duplication. This means training a core of high-quality trainer/practitioners whom we can support in every way possible to succeed, and we understand that this can only happen if we create an environment and systems designed to deeply support our valued colleagues.

This includes:

  • Trainers retaining 100% of their training fees
  • Continued access to all training, including personal support – we want you to be the best of the best
  • Full membership of the global SDR Therapy Association, which includes promoting you or your practice to your preferred client group/s, provision of educational marketing collateral, and opportunity if you wish to collaborate on research projects.

What’s in it for us?

If you’re like us you’ve probably learned that giving stuff for free usually doesn’t work, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is devaluation/disrespect, let alone suspicion. We hope you agree that being in a caring profession does not mean accepting a low income.

So from our perspective the provision of scholarships is not a charitable activity, but one which is part of a sensible, integrated strategy that is very much win/win for literally all stakeholders.

By ourselves, it should be obvious that we can achieve very little, but by handing over the training function to trusted colleagues/partners, we can concentrate on the “back end” functions to support, support, support, to drive ongoing development that remains strongly validated by the most robust scientific research, and ensure the greater success of the therapy community.

What should you do next?

The next step if you’d like to investigate further is to set up a discussion using WhatsApp or Skype and you may or may not feel ready for that. If you already know that you want to proceed with a discussion please select a time that works for you here: www.sdrtherapy.org/request-a-chat.

If you feel you’d like to know or understand more about SDR Therapy before proceeding then you may be content to read our papers which are in the public domain on Researchgate, or you may want to dive in deeper with a copy of the main text, which you can access at www.sdrtherapy.org/inside-story.

A full description of the SDR Therapy program which will form the basis of your training is at www.sdrtherapy.org/online-program.

Whatever you choose to do, we thank you again for your interest and wish you the best in your practice.