THIS BOOK IS VERY IMPORTANT:
Unlocking the Emotional Brain: Eliminating Symptoms at Their Roots Using Memory Reconsolidation By Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, Laurel Hulley, 2012
SAMPLE SENTENCES AND QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
Make short sentences which sum up your problem and then test them internally for emotional truth.
- “It’s safe for me to continue doing … [problem]”
- “… because then …”
- “… even though the price I pay for this every day is …”
- “… which reminds me of/is just like …”
- “I will continue …” (to do anti symptom position) (eg. “spend time with this person who i don’t want to be with”)
- “Because … “ (pro symptom position awareness gotten in session) (eg. “i don’t want to feel guilty about hurting her”) also i want to feel needed
- “Even though the price I pay for this is …” (the cost of continuing anti symptom position)” (eg. “i feel exhausted being there for her all the time”)
- “just like…. (words bringing up limbic memory of an earlier pro symptom producing decision moment)…” (eg. “my mum did for my dad”)
- “I know …” (about some GREATER EVIL/dreaded event that I must avoid at all costs)
- So… (I engage in the symptom to avoid it)
- Even though… (that doesn’t feel so great either – the “lesser evil”, the anti-symptom complaint)
- “I know that I?ll be left out,
- so I do my limelight/razzle-dazzle routine,
- even though it often leaves me feeling exposed, let-down and ashamed.”
- I know that if I stop caring about where my daughter is
- so I worry about where my daughter is
- even though it often leaves me feeling frazzled
“If I were less depressed….” “If I had a partner…” “If I were not alone…” “If I never had another panic attack…”
“Who would be most affected by me not having this problem any more?”
The 2-step method is asking : (1) “What shift or adjustment in my thoughts and feelings would have to occur that would eliminate the symptom” (presumably I’m a loser) ? and then after noting all that comes up follow up with (2) “Let myself begin to become aware of any unwelcomed, discomfort, distress that would arise if the symptom wasn’t being experienced” and see what comes up.
Starting off an emotional truth statement with, (1) “I hate to admit it, but…”, or saying something like this : (2) “I know this is only a part of you and I know that other parts of you have a very, very diferent view and feeling about this. But even if other parts really disapprove or think it’s ‘irrational’ [or self, childish, etc.], we need to hear how that part [psp] of you sees this and feels about it, because that part seems to be in control.”, (3) “If I stayed in touch with [psp}…”, or saying something like (4) “I am taking seriously your sense that what we’re getting into could be too intense (or too big, etc.) to open up to all at once. It is clear to me…that if we take a small enough step for it to feel really workable for you…I am completely ready to parse down to a truly small enough…” and then proceeding and following the discovery process up with “Is what I just asked you to do a small enough step ?”
Try out finishing the sentence stem, “When others see me (or I see myself) as a ‘loser,’ part of me hopes that …” for the positive necessity of the symptom, Or, try out finishing the sentence stem, “If others see me as really capable and doing well, …” to uncover the negative necessity of the symptom.
“Even though I know that lying is wrong, and I don’t actually want to do it, once I have already told a lie, it’s easier to keep on lying about it than to admit it. Admitting that I’ve lied would make me the most afraid of all.”
Anti-symptom position 1st-order construct: These panic attacks make no sense and mean that something is wrong with me.
Her psp 1st-order construct: Fear so intense that it is physiological panic. (The manifested symptom.)
Her psp 2nd-order construct: This situation here at work is causing me to expose others to my lethal self! psp?s view of the concrete situation.)
Her psp 3rd-order construct: I must shield and protect others from myself; I must prevent myself from having any effect on others (3rd- order is the psp purpose.)
Her psp 4th-order construct: I am a lethal presence. (Nature of reality)
“When others see _______ (insert symptom), part of me hopes/wishes/wants …”
“If you see me______ (without the symptom), I fear you will … (or fear you will not…)”
“If I’m ____ (opposite of symptom), then I fear I won’t be able to…”
“I hate _______ (insert symptom), but living without it is my only hope of getting/avoiding experiencing …”.
- Even though I want to eat in a more healthy way, I choose the bad foods because they cover up feelings that would be hard to tolerate.
- Although it would make sense to look at the reasons for this setback, I’m not ready to do that because I’m afraid what I might discover.
- Until now I’ve avoided conflicts by swallowing it all (literally, as well). Food helps me avoid talking about problems.
- Even though I want to reach certain goals (weight, health,etc.) I don’t want to investigate too deeply because I might feel a lot of sadness.
- Even when I want to do things for myself, I decide to do other work in order to avoid guilt feelings or having to defend my decisions.
- The topic of sadness seems very important but I don’t want to look at it.
What the others want is more important to me than what I want.
- I absolutely don’t want to cry in the practice because I’m afraid that once I start I won’t be able to stop.
- If other people saw me crying they’d no longer consider me to be the strong person they think I am. They’d see a new side of me.
- I’m referring to that part of me that I was never allowed to show as a child.
- In fact, my mother never knew me at all.
- She was so far away from me (emotionally) that now, even in my fantasy, I can’t reach her (client referring to DOBT work where she could have “spoken” to mother)
- Even just thinking about that makes me endlessly sad.
- Nevertheless, I keep on deciding to keep this sadness to myself.
- As difficult/bad/uncomfortable as that is, I imagine it being even worse to show anyone my sadness.
1st order (purpose enacted: concrete thoughts, feelings, behaviour)
- I keep eating “badly”
2nd order (attribution of meaning in concrete situations)
- it doesn’t matter any more (today, this weekend, etc.)
3rd order (purpose to be served by attributions of meaning)
- I don’t need to try any more
- I don’t need to try to control myself
4th order (construal of ontology, nature of self, others, world)
- once I’ve messed up, it’s not possible to rectify the situation (today, this week, etc.)
- satisfaction - it tastes good; it feels good
- I’m doing something nice for myself
- if I don’t try, then I don’t have to feel like a failure when it doesn’t work
- I don’t get what I need and want in this world
- food helps me manage my feelings
- I can’t be happy and satisfied without eating certain kinds of food
game-changing encounter: http://www.coherencetherapy.org/files/Ecker-NPT2013July-NCFTmeetsMR.pdf
Reconsolidation: A Universal, Integrative Framework for Highly Effective Psychotherapy Bruce Ecker, LMFT Updated: Jan 13th 2011 http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=41665&cn=91
Is Memory Reconsolidation the Key to Transformation? By Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, and Laurel Hulley New research into the complexities of memory reconsolidation offers important clues about how we can make the most elusive of consulting room events—the deep, therapeutic breakthrough—a regular occurrence. http://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/magazine/currentissue/item/2156-unlocking-the-emotional-brain
interview of bruce ecker. http://www.shrinkrapradio.com/330.pdf
see also: steve andreas’ blog post on his chat with bruce ecker
Bruce Ecker being interviewed by richard hill
Using memory reconsolidation in psychotherapy for deep, lasting change
reconsolidation is the brain’s built-in mehcanims for profound unlearning of existing emotinaol learnings. therapeutic reconsolidation reconsolidation process, taht type of neuroplasticity, is the only mechanism in the brain that can unlock the synapses. there is no other behavioural whenever we see there are MANY therapies that do this Striking support for Coherence Therapy’s non-pathologizing model and methods comes from the recent, major discovery of reconsolidation by neuroscientists. Reconsolidation is the only known neural mechanism that allows long-ingrained, learned emotional reactions actually to be erased, which was not thought possible for nearly a century until findings published in 1997-2000 showed otherwise. There is point-for-point correspondence between the steps of change defined in Coherence Therapy and the steps of reconsolidation recently identified by neuroscientists for transforming emotional memory. Also, the radical disappearance of a previously intense emotional theme in Coherence Therapy is an indicator of the true erasure that the new neuroscience describes. Striking support for Coherence Therapy’s non-pathologizing model and methods comes from the recent, major discovery of reconsolidation by neuroscientists.
Reconsolidation is the only known neural mechanism that allows long-ingrained, learned emotional reactions actually to be erased, which was not thought possible for nearly a century until findings published in 1997-2000 showed otherwise.
There is point-for-point correspondence between the steps of change defined in Coherence Therapy and the steps of reconsolidation recently identified by neuroscientists for transforming emotional memory.
When negative/painful intense emotional themes disappear, it indicates an erasure of implicit emotional memory (as the new neuroscience describes).
COHERENCE THERAPY MAILING LIST
the authors of “unlocking the emotional brain” run a free mailing list. after you’ve joined you can read the archives - some great reading there. join here: http://lists.coherencetherapy.org/listinfo.cgi/coherence-therapy-coherencetherapy.org
Transformative Emotional Sequence: Towards a Common Principle of Change Hans Welling, Integra Psicoterapia, Lisbon, Portugal http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/int-a0027786.pdf
see also: How to make therapy experiential when the client is far from the experiential level Frans Depestele http://www.focusing.org/fot/How-to-make-therapy-experiential-Edited-version-Depestele-2013.pdf