Questions & Answers

Do I need a therapist to use EMDR TriSense?

EMDR TriSense is an app that facilitates an EMDR therapy. So if your goal is to do an EMDR therapy, then yes, you need somebody qualified to guide you through the process. The therapist may use the EMDR TriSense app during the therapy session, and may suggest using it between the sessions. You then use the app under his/her guidance.
However, you may also use the app yourself for general relaxation or anxiety reduction. This is not the same as an EMDR therapy, but definitely has its benefits.

Do I need to have two smartphones to use the app?

EMDR TriSense uses three modalities to provide desensitization: visual, auditory and haptic (touch). The app can be used on a single smartphone, but in such case only auditory modality is available. To use any of the other two, you need to have two smartphones. That said, many people report success with just auditory stimulus.

What kind of smartphones are supported?

The application is developed to work on even very old smartphones. Since two smartphones are needed for best results, you may try to use your old smartphone that is not being used anymore for making calls. The app works on any Android version 2.2 (Froyo) and higher. Use the older (less powerful) smartphone as the left handset for best performance.

Which sound works the best?

It depends on a person. Try all of them and pick the one that works the best for you. From the viewpoint of the EMDR protocol, all sound choices are equal, as they all provide proper bilateral stimulation, just in a little different form. However, the Swoosh sound is a little different than the rest, as it contains a subliminal signal at Schumann resonance frequency. This is within the alpha range of brain waves, which occur naturally during a relaxed state of the mind. Inducing alpha brain waves has a calming effect on the mind. Alpha waves also occur during the dreaming sleep phase (REM sleep phase). Note, however, that this aspect of the stimulation is not part of the classical EMDR protocol.

What is an optimal session duration?

The original EMDR protocol prescribes 2 minutes. This is not a hard constraint. In practice 2 to 2.5 minutes works the best. After such session, the thoughts and insights that occurred during the session are evaluated and discussed. If the app is used for general relaxation purposes (rather than psychotherapy), longer uninterrupted sessions will work better. Use the app as long as needed and as long as it feels beneficial.

What is the optimal cycle speed?

For the EMDR sessions, faster cycles work the best: between 2 and 3 seconds per full cycle. When using the app for calming and relaxation, slower cycles are better: 4 second and longer. Feel free to experiment.

Which modalities should I use?

Use those modalities that are not your primary modalities. A primary modality is the one you rely the most when retrieving or reliving memories. For most people it is visual (imagery), but many people have primary auditory modality (sound memories) or kinesthetic (body sensations or feelings). Some people have two primary modalities for accessing memories. In such case, use the other one for EMDR. For instance, if your primary modality is imagery, use audio with vibration for EMDR. But if your primary modality is imagery and feelings, use audio only for EMDR.
The premise is that while the app should provide bilateral stimulus to the brain to effectuate desensitization, the stimulus should not be in the way of the way accessing memories. On the other hand, of using the app for the purpose of relaxation or calming down, using your primary modality will probably work the best. In any case, some experimenting will help finding the optimal combination.

In dual handset mode, do I need to use two identical smartphones?

Not at all. Any smartphones that can run the app can be used. When using two different smartphones, it is recommended (though not required) to use the more powerful one as the right handset.

Is there an iPhone version available?

Not yet, but it is being developed. The iOS version will be fully compatible with the Android version, meaning that you can use an iPhone with an Android phone as left and right handsets.

The sound gets interrupted, how to remedy it?

Some types of sound are generated while playing. If you are using an old smartphone, or the smartphone is overloaded with background activities, the app may not get enough processor resources to generate the sound. A workaround to this problem is to generate necessary audio samples before the start. This can be enabled by selecting Pre-generate audio option in Advanced Settings. The trade-off is that there may be a slight delay between pressing the start session button and the moment when the session actually starts.

Vibration used to work but now it stopped working.

It is a known Android bug. It affects all apps. Shutting down and restarting the handset usually helps.

The sound and vibration occasionally gets out of sync, what to do?

The problem is related to the previous one: the smartphone is overloaded with background activities. This has a higher chance of happening in old smartphones, which do not have very powerful processors. Here are some tips how to remedy the problems, in the progression from simple to more radical:

Can I use a wireless headset with the app for the ultimate "no wires" experience?

Yes, you can use Bluetooth headphones, if configured properly.