BILATERAL DUAL ATTENTION STIMULATION (commonly referred to as DAS) is a unique technique used for EMDR desensitization, reprocessing, and installation of positive resources. It is a “bilateral stimulation” during “dual attention.”
Bilateral stimulation refers to the rhythmic side-to-side pattern of external cues that can be visual, auditory, or tactile in nature. The original technique was visual and involved following the therapist’s fingers with your eyes as the therapist moved his/her hand from side to side across your line of vision (hence the “EM-Eye Movement” in EMDR).
Since then, auditory and tactile mechanisms have been introduced. In my practice, I have found that most clients choose the combination of tactile and auditory over using just one of them or the eye movements. The settings of the audio/tactile equipment have a wide range of adjustability.
Dual attention refers to the fact that you are focusing simultaneously on the tactile and/or auditory stimulation AND specific elements of the disturbing memories (which are now in your working memory due to the focus). It is believed that this dual attention and the bilateral stimulation of the brain help restart the brain’s information processing.
For details on how DAS is used during treatment, go to the 8-Phase Treatment Protocol section.