Subject is the person who is being helped to overcome their trauma.


Rhythmical Movement is any rhythmical, alternating or repetitive motion that stimulates first the right side of the body, and then the left side.  Ensure that this rhythm is approximately one second for each complete cycle.



While seated, the subject and helper both place their hands upon their knees.  Each raises their right hand and pats their right knee.  Then each raises their left hand and pats their left knee.  Continue this side to side patting.  Again, this complete cycle takes about one second.



Many Rhythmical Movements are useful in RLT:

Use each movement below as an alternating movement:


Visible Motions *


•     Repetitively touching knees

•     Eye movement, back and forth

•     The “Butterfly” – arms crossed, with hands patting the upper arms

•     Finger and thumbs touching, then not touching


Hidden Movements *

•     Moving toes of each foot inside the shoes

•     Hands or fingers, perhaps under a blanket

•     Squeezing arms when arms are crossed with the thumbs

•     Tongue, side to side


External Stimulation *

•     Sound in one ear and then the other

•     Light that causes the eyes to move from right to left

•     Vibration from opposing sides of the body


* Any side to side stimulation will cause the desired affects.  Every alternating movement or stimulation must stimulate both sides of the body.  Use the motion that is the most comfortable for you at the time.


 Helper is someone who ensures that the Subject continues the rhythmical movement while relating their trauma.  If the Subject forgets to continue the movement, the helper can exaggerate the motion, thereby reminding the subject to continue. 


    The Helper should mimic the Subject’s right/left movement during the story, not only to remind the Subject to keep going, but also to keep from being traumatized by hearing the Subject’s trauma.


Trigger is something (a look, sound, thought, or action) that causes the Subject to have an automatic reaction to the original trauma, without their thinking about it.  The automatic reaction leaves the Subject with a feeling of being out of control.  This out of control feeling may be physical, or may be only in their thought or emotion.



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