The Reverse Movie Technique (also konwn as The NLP Fast Phobia/Trauma Cure) is named as such because it involves playing a traumatic event backwards through your head.

  1. Is the technique effective at dealing with traumatic events?
  2. In particular, is it more effective than playing the event forward through your head?

2 Answers 2


The Reverse Movie Technique (RMT) is a particular form of what is sometimes called exposure therapy, or prolonged exposure therapy or imaginal exposure therapy. It seems like "Reverse Memory Technique" is a niche term that isn't used in the scientific literature (e.g., 0 hits on Google Scholar). So, if you are wanting to get a scientific answer to your question, I'd check out the literature on "imaginal exposure therapy" (195 hits at time of posting) or imaginal exposure therapy without quotations.

More generally, there are a few links in the Wikipedia PTSD article to evaluations of psychotherapeutic interventions.

To take one example of evaluation research, Taylor et al (2003) compared the efficacy of exposure therapy, EMDR and relaxation training on 60 participants with long term PTSD. They found all three techniques were effective when comparing pre- and post- intervention scores, although for some symptoms (i.e., reexperiencing and avoidance symptoms) exposure therapy was more effective. You might also find the literature review in the article useful.


  • Taylor, S., Thordarson, D., Maxfield, L., Fedoroff, I., Lovell, K., and Ogrodniczuk, J. (2003). Comparative efficacy, speed, and adverse effects of three ptsd treatments: Exposure therapy, emdr, and relaxation training. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(2):330. FREE PDF

Note that this is not my area of expertise, so anyone reading this, don't see it as clinical advice.


The NLP technique known as the "Fast Phobia Cure" works by dissociaton. The practitioner would have the client imagine themselves in a large movie theatre, watching a movie of themselves having the phobic experience. Watching it in fast motion, forward, then backward, etc. This is the first dissociation -- They are watching themselves on that screen.

Next, the client is asked to go into the projection room, and look down at themselves in the theatre, watching the movie. Same thing, watching it in fast motion, forward then backward. This is the second dissociation (watching themselves in the seat watching the movie)

Finally, the client is asked to visualize the movie theatre, watching it from a distance, watching themselves in the projection booth watching themsevles in the seat, watching themselves on the screen. This is the third dissociation.

This is all happening subconsciously, and disssociates themselves from the reaction to the phobic event.

Source: I am a hypnotherapist, and NLP practitioner, and I use this technique in my practice. It


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