When a trauma occurs, the images and sensations skip the normal processing in the brain. The pre-frontal cortex is skipped and not allowed to integrate what has happened property. The images and sensations that accompany them, go right to the Limbic System, where we feel fear and emotions.
In doing ART, the brain has a chance to reassess what happened by opening the opportunity to do so with the eye movements. As the client imagines the trauma the negative sensations and images are highlighted and using the eye movements they can be removed from view with the methods used during the therapy. This can turn off the alarm bells that may be over cautionary and causing hyper-vigilance. Hyper-vigilance is not a safe condition. We want to be vigilant and careful but not shooting ourself in the foot with an over-reaction.
The client can do what the Developer calls a “lucid dream” and create a positive scenario whereby the images can be what the researchers call “rescripted” and the sensations will change to mirror the positive images.
The client’s cognitions will change naturally to follow the new script. Arbitrary negative connections can be undone using ART.