of Eye-Movement Desensitization:
Dr. Allan Botkin's
Allan Botkin is head of the
The Center for Grief and Traumatic
www.induced-adc.com and is a
clinical psychologist with over
15 years of experience in the treatment
of psychological trauma (PTSD)
and grief. Many years ago, Dr. Botkin
began to experiment with variations
of a relatively new and very powerful
psychological treatment using Eye-Movement
Desensitization and Reprocessing
He discovered by accident how one
variation of EMDR reliably induced
an experience known as Induced After-Death
Communication (IADCs) which almost
all patients believed was authentic
spiritual contact with the deceased
regardless of their prior belief
system. He published his findings
in his book
Induced After-Death Communication:
A New Therapy for Healing Grief
and Trauma with R. Craig
Hogan and Dr. Raymond Moody. An
November 2003 article about IADCs
and Dr. Botkin involving the IADC
of a journalist can be found on
Dr. Botkin's Experiences section
of his website.
The ADC research
Bill and Gudy Guggenheim describe after-death
communications (ADCs) in their book
Hello From Heaven. ADCs occur spontaneously
in about 20% of the population, and are
now recognized by a number of authors and
many professionals in the field as emotionally
transforming and very healing experiences.
Just as near-death experiences convince
those close to death of the continuation
of life after death, ADCs convince survivors
that the deceased are still very much alive.
Dr. Raymond Moody, who sparked the public's
interest in NDEs with
Life After Life, was the first to purposely
induce ADCs with any success. He describes
the results of his technique in
Reunions. His 50% success rate with
highly motivated individuals indicates that
we do have some control over the production
of the ADC experience. Dr. Botkin's discovery
is simply a method, based upon a variation
of a new and very powerful psychological
technique (EMDR), that induces ADCs in a
much more reliable (98%) manner across a
more heterogeneous population.
since the ADC induction procedure provided
by Dr. Botkin's method provides greater
control of the experience, they are generally
more elaborated than either the spontaneous
variety, or those induced by Dr. Moody's
procedure. These more elaborated experiences
not only result in a more complete resolution
of grief, they are also more NDE-like (going
through a tunnel and towards light, seeing
beautiful and rich landscapes, etc.). Dr.
Botkin cogently makes the argument that
ADCs and NDEs are essentially experiences
of the same phenomenon, although clearly
from different points of view. If true,
then all arguments that NDEs are nothing
more than the physiological by-products
of a dying brain, can be seriously questioned.
Dr. Botkin's patients routinely experience
nearly all of the same components of NDEs,
and they are, in almost all cases, very
healthy and not near-death.
argues that the most important aspect of
this discovery is its clinical application:
it simply works, and offers hope that we
will be able to ameliorate a great deal
of suffering. From a scientific and philosophical
point of view, however, we also now have
a means to study ADCs, and logically NDEs
as well, in laboratory settings. The results
of these efforts, which will hopefully be
multi-disciplinary, may answer some questions
humans have had ever since we evolved to
the point that we had the brain capacity
to consider our ultimate fate.
Botkin's article appears in the Volume 18,
No. 3 (Spring 2000) edition of
Journal of Near-Death Studies.
following article is an example of Dr. Botkin's
IADC therapy used by permission.
Vietnam veteran spent many years experiencing
guilt and sadness over killing a young enemy
human beings can kill another without feeling
great remorse, even in the heat of battle.
That is especially true when the soldier
can see the face of his enemy, the living
person carrying photos of his family, hoping
to return home to them at the end of the
war hope ended by the soldier's bullet.
The face becomes a permanent image in the
soldier's memory that will appear again
and again for the remainder of his life,
wherever he goes, at every age. And when
the veteran arrives at a maturity where
regret over the killing is too great to
suppress, the image creates unbearable sadness,
often masked by rage and guilt.
is what happened to Mike.
in Vietnam a few days before his first major
battle. The battle went on for some time
and when his unit started running low on
ammunition, Mike was intensely afraid they
were all going to die. Just when it appeared
all hope had faded, a helicopter arrived
with supplies. As they were unloading boxes
of ammunition, Mike looked up and saw a
young enemy soldier running towards them.
He could see his face clearly. Overcome
with intense anger, he shot and killed him.
Even though it was the first time he killed
another human being, he felt exhilarated
and in control of his fate. When the battle
was over, Mike was congratulated by other
soldiers, and he felt fully trusted and
accepted by his peers. He didn't think much
more about the event for the remainder of
However, when he returned
home, Mike experienced nightmares of the
event that continued for the next 25 years.
He repeatedly saw the face of the young
enemy soldier he killed and began to wonder
how old this enemy soldier was and whether
he had a family who grieved his death. At
times, he could retrieve his combat anger
to justify the incident, but at other times
he felt great remorse and sadness. "I just
feel terrible. What I did goes against everything
I have every believed," he said to me in
my office. It was clear that Mike needed
to confront his sadness by fully grieving
the death of the person he killed.
I performed the IADC procedure and he
closed his eyes. He described what he saw.
"I can see him, the young soldier's face,
but it doesn't like the face I saw in 'Nam
and what I see in my nightmares. I see him
smiling and happy." Mike sat quietly for
a moment, then opened his eyes. "He communicated
to me that he was very content where he
was, and he understood that I had to do
what I did."
After a few minutes
of describing what happened, he ended by
saying, "I'm really surprised that the person
I killed would have such feelings. This
is really strange. I feel like he and I
are not just OK with each other; I feel
like we're friends."
After that session,
the look on the enemy soldier's face before
he died that had haunted Mike for over 25
years was replaced by the smiling and happy
face he experienced in his IADC. He told
me at the end of the session, "I'm trying
to bring up in my mind the old image of
his face I always saw in my nightmares,
but I can't."
A two year follow-up
revealed that Mike's nightmares of the incident
had vanished from that day on, and he felt
only an important connection to the enemy
soldier he had killed.