History of Right Left Technique

Francine Shapiro PHD discovered how to remove people’s trauma while they move their eyes back and forth, but her method is very complicated.  She wrote a book to teach her new idea, and called it Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). 

 But with eight phases and eighteen steps, EMDR is so complex that only trained professionals should use it.  All those steps lengthened the treatment and clouded EMDR’s usefulness.  Trauma relief was out of reach for the masses of people who could not afford psychiatry bills.

 Starting with EMDR and its many steps, Simplified Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (SEMDR) was created.  SEMDR reduced the many phases and steps to only five complete steps.  SEMDR’s ease of use was a great improvement over the plodding rituals of EMDR.

 But that wasn’t enough.  SEMDR was simplified to create the first use of the Right Left Technique (RLT).  RLT has is now a fast, easy, safe and effective trauma reducing therapy for people of all ages.  RLT is a single step that any one can use.



        Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., discovered EMDR.  The book we used as an EMDR reference is:
EMDR, by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. and Margot Silk Forrest, Published by Basic Books, 1997.

        The main differences between our RLT method and the EMDR method are as follows:





Self-help procedure

Need a Psychotherapist

RLT procedure - simple

EMDR procedure - complex

RLT procedure - easy

EMDR procedure - difficult

RLT procedure - fast

EMDR procedure - lengthy

RLT procedure - safe

EMDR procedure - can be dangerous*

RLT procedure - no cost

EMDR procedure - costly

RLT has one step

EMDR has 8 phases, 18 steps

Procedure - explained

Procedure is not explained

Self taught

Requires professional EMDR training

Can be combined with prayer

No prayer mentioned in EMDR book

*  See "Author and Published Disclaimer" of Dr. Shapiro's book, EMDR.

        It is recommended that the reference book be read for background and for the history of EMDR.  The referenced book goes into a lot more detail on the usage of EMDR and has a wider variety of subjects.  Every place EMDR can be used, RLT can be used.

RLT is the CPR of Psychology

 Why call RLT the CPR of psychology?  Both CPR and RLT were developed with similar patterns.  CPR started with:

a.   In the beginning, only professionals should use CPR.

b.   Later, only trained emergency people should use it.

c.   Finally, the general public learned the training, also. 

 CPR opened to the public because doctors believe it is better to get a heart attack victim to the hospital alive with injuries, than to get them to the hospital after they die.

 The treatment of trauma follows the same path.  In the beginning, only professionals used EMDR.  Today, with RLT, we can train emergency personnel and the general public to simply and easily eliminate trauma.

Self Help

 Using RLT by your self, without the help of psychotherapists, has some advantages over seeking professional help.  These advantages are:

a.   Secrets do not need to be told to others

b.   The technique is relaxing

c.   Instead of paying therapy fees, it costs nothing

d.   It’s safe and natural

e.   It’s fast and easy.


The Authors

        One of the authors, a retired professional engineer, started using Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) on his wife.  After several sessions it became obvious that the EMDR procedure is unnecessarily long and complicated.  He and his wife simplified the procedure to five steps, called Simplified EMDR. 

         They then discovered that only one step was needed, with “knee patting” as the most convenient rhythmical movement while talking about the trauma.  They called this the Right Left Technique (RLT).  Examples of their experience and the lessons they learned can be found in Case Examples of RLT below.  Based on their experiences, these two people then co-authored the book, “Fast Trauma and Stress Relief" and this website.



Methods That Heal Trauma

The problem with healing trauma is that trauma resides in the brain’s right hemisphere, whereas memory and speech reside in the left hemisphere.  Conventional therapy often does not work, because as a method, it usually engages only the left hemisphere, and teaches people to live with a trauma instead of removing that trauma from their lives.


Right Left Technique (RLT) engages both hemispheres of the brain.  RLT transfers unconscious trauma from the right hemisphere, into the conscious memory of the left hemisphere, where you can think about it rationally.  When the trauma reaches conscious memory, no longer can it cause reactionary subconscious problems.  This places the individual in control of his or her life, instead of being led by trauma’s invalid reactionary force.

Even when a person cannot remember the original traumatizing event, RLT still works.  In this situation, while using RLT, the person talks about their reactions and feelings when something activates the trauma.  RLT removes people’s trauma, when they perform the right left motion and talk about the trauma’s effects.

 RLT works to heal trauma.  With RLT, you apply stimulus alternately to the right and then to the left side of the body, and there for the right and left hemispheres of the brain, in a repeated cycle. 

 Three methods that heal trauma are:


1)    RLT, the Right Left Technique, is a one-step version of SEMDR

2)    SEMDR , the a simplified version of EMDR

3)    EMDR, the original and most complex of the three



A.  Right Left Technique (RLT)

 RLT works with or without the need of a second person.  That’s because this is a self help technique that you can accomplish alone.  Working alone eliminates trauma that you don’t want others to know about.

 The Right Left Technique is not only compatible with other therapies, but in fact enhances the effectiveness of those other therapies.

 RLT removes trauma, rather than re-traumatizing the person each time they face the trauma-producing circumstance.

 Anyone can use RLT as a relaxing technique.  Because of this, a person does not need to solely teach RLT as a trauma solver.  Instead, the byproduct of using RLT for relaxation is that people’s trauma will still be solved.


 B.  Simplified Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (SEMDR)

 SEMDR can eliminate lifelong trauma in as little as four minutes.

 SEMDR is a simplified version of EMDR (discussed in C, below).  SEMDR relieves or eliminates trauma by removing it from the brain’s trauma section in the right hemisphere, and placing it in the conscious memory of the left hemisphere.


 C.  Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

 EMDR’s development began in the spring of 1987, and the first book was published in 1997.

 EMDR is a trauma eliminating method proven by Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and Ear Temperature measurements.  In work with war veterans, EMDR eliminates Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 70% of cases, during their first fifty minute period. 

 Psychotherapists trained in EMDR require many appointments with the patient, because EMDR is such a complex procedure.

 Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., discovered that the combination of simple eye movement, and thinking about her trauma at the same time, healed the trauma that was troubling her.  She developed this simple discovery into the long, complex procedure called Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR).  Licensed therapists can now attend certified courses to become an EMDR Psychotherapist, and to help others using this method.

 We started with Dr. Shapiro’s complex EMDR, and simplified it to five simple steps.  We called it Simplified Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (SEMDR).  Later we developed the one step Right Left Technique (RLT).  Next Pat-Pat Power came for kids (See "Ben's Story, A Child's Healing of Fear").  Pat-Pat Power is RLT with a different name.


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