Coherence Therapy & Memory Reconsolidation

Does change have to be unpredictable and take months or years of therapy?

Is it possible for therapists, with the help of specific tools, to be regularly effective in their psychotherapeutic practice?

The purpose of psychotherapy is to reach a profound change of inner and social behavior and this should last over time. Symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or unwanted behavior should lose their power after a treatment. Coherence Therapy carries this ambition directly from the first session and differs in several ways from traditional and established psychotherapies in the Nordic Region.

Coherence Therapy?

Coherence Therapy (CT) is a framework in psychotherapy and has a non-pathologizing and constructivist perspective. Through “emotional coherence”, CT actively strives to engage the human brain’s naturally processes of profound change. The method developed in the USA by Bruce Ecker and Laurel Hulley based on clinical micro-studies and was first called “Depth Oriented Brief Therapy”. CT is based on two important aspects: human agency and emotional coherence. By this, we believe that symptoms, problems, or suffering are often based on implicit (unconscious) coherent knowledge, ie. meaningful contexts from previous experiences in life. Suffering can manifest itself in a myriad of different ways, but we believe it is very often rooted in logical constructs connected to emotional memory. In the early 2000s, when the new neuroscientific discovery that it is possible to transform emotional memories, Memory Reconsolidation (MR), was launched, the framework was renamed to Coherence Therapy.

CT is practiced through three phases using specific tools in real-time. We focus on experience-based knowledge and try to avoid abstract theorizing perspectives and reasoning.

  • 1. Discovery
    You make implicit knowledge conscious through praxis and verbal statements.
  • 2. Integration
    You integrate the new knowledge into your everyday consciousness.
  • 3. Transformation
    You transform old knowledge to new. The symptom loses its function.

A complete description of the three phases and examples of concrete tools and samples from authentic sessions can be found in the video and literature below.

MEMORY RECONSOLIDATION: Key To Transformational Change in Psychotherapy — Bruce Ecker, LMFT
* Unlocking the Emotional Brain: Eliminating Symptoms at Their Roots Using Memory Reconsolidation by Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic & Laurel Hulley New York: Routledge (2012).

* Coherence Therapy Practice Manual & Training Guide by Bruce Ecker & Laurel Hulley Oakland, CA: Coherence Psychology Institute (2011).

* Depth Oriented Brief Therapy: How To Be Brief When You Were Trained To Be Deep, and Vice Versa by Bruce Ecker & Laurel Hulley San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (1996).

* How the science of memory reconsolidation advances the effectiveness and unification of psychotherapy – by Bruce Ecker & Sara K. Bridges Clinical Social Work Journal, 48(3), 287-300 (2020). doi:10.1007/s10615-020-00754-z

* Clinical Translation of Memory Reconsolidation Research: Therapeutic Methodology for Transformational Change by Erasing Implicit Emotional Learnings Driving Symptom Production – by Bruce Ecker International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, 6(1), 1-92 (2018). doi:10.12744/ijnpt.2018.0001-0092

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