Mervin Smucker (2016). Interface between psychobiology and imagery rescripting?

There is a growing body of empirical evidence that corroborate the efficacy of imagery rescripting therapy, especially in the treatment of posttraumatic stress.  Increasingly, questions relating to the possible effects on the neural substrates compromised in persons with posttraumatic stress have emerged in the scientific community.  Recent neuroscience research has reportedly found alterations in the neuro-humeral response, as well as in interregional brain activity (functional connectivity) and neurological development, among persons who have been exposed to significant trauma. These findings could enhance our understanding of how processing of traumatic experience may later directly impact neuroprocessing with respect to trauma memory storage and recall, affect regulation, and physiological response during trauma memory activation in individuals with posttraumatic stress.

It is conceivable that imagery rescripting, when successfully applied, redirects patterns of functional connectivity in persons with posttraumatic stress such that trauma processing, neurohumeral response and subsequent behavioral responses more closely resemble traumatized individuals who have not developed posttraumatic stress.  It remains to be seen whether such phenomena can ultimately be demonstrated – such as by means of fMRI research – and whether imagery rescripting therapy can potentially lead to subsequent alterations in neural development.

Mervin Smucker