It offers foundational methods and an easy to understand treatment for trauma. Erickson Foundation Newsletter "[B]rief and broadly accessible read Erickson Foundation Newsletter. Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 7 to 10 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book!
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Quick Steps to Resolving Trauma by Bill O'Hanlon
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A friendly and brief guide to trauma resolution. Community Reviews Login or Register to post a review. Other titles by: Bill O'hanlon. Change Your Life Book. Do One Thing Different, 20th View All. Other Titles in this Subject We Recommend:. In an Unspoken Voice. If this is the correct understanding of what lies at the heart of curing trauma, we have a straightforward scientific explanation of what is going on.
This, I believe, will be highly reassuring to people, particularly those used to a commonsense, scientific, logical way of understanding the world, such as people are in the West. We don't have to import ideas about moving energy sources, which belong to ancient metaphysical systems that have little relevance to today.
It also enables us to look dispassionately at the different techniques for treating trauma and see that they are using a common set of mechanisms. If, then, there is a common set of mechanisms, does it matter which technique practitioners use? Is one more appropriate than another, or in certain contexts?
Quick Steps To Resolving Trauma
I would say yes. For instance, we have had reports from therapists that patients with symptoms of psychosis found the experience of tapping or being tapped highly threatening. Also, when the therapist does the tapping, some people find the experience unpleasantly invasive.
Others are reluctant to be touched, if they have in the past experienced sexual abuse or if it goes against their culture. However, when the therapist guides them to do the tapping for themselves, this problem is easily circumvented. Yet others find tapping uncomfortable because it seems 'weird'.
However, if it is explained to them that the tapping action is firing off the brain's curiosity reflex, which distracts attention and causes brief amnesia for the trauma, so that they can put it into perspective as an event in their past, they may find it less threatening. Another important caveat, however, is the piece-meal way that traumatic memories appear to come to light when using both tapping and EMDR.
Indeed, Shapiro has in the past urged against using the method with multiple traumas because of the amount of emotionally disturbing material that can surface during its use.
On one of the videos I have viewed, in which Craig demonstrates the tapping technique with a male client, the man accessed the pain and anger aroused by the fact that his ex-wife had stopped him from seeing his daughter and, on a scale of 1 low to 10 very high , managed to get his arousal down to the level of 2. However, almost immediately, another painful memory surfaced of the affair his ex-wife had had while they were still married. As soon as you cut down one tree, another one pops up As soon as you cure a headache, the patient becomes conscious of a toothache, then a stomach ache.
However, the phenomenon does raise the possibility that a client could leave a therapist's office hyper-aware of new concerns or, having dealt with smaller concerns, vulnerable to other larger ones rushing into consciousness later, when immediate help is no longer available. Another advantage of the rewind technique is that practitioners produce a profound level of calmness in the patient beforehand, so that they have much more control over keeping emotional arousal down once the patient gets in touch with the traumatic template.
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By monitoring their emotional state closely and, if arousal increases, guiding them to take a break from 'viewing' the trauma and to return in their imagination to the 'safe place' identified prior to starting the procedure, we have a means to stop the patient getting too fearful and emotional. However, the rewind doesn't work for everyone, particularly those who have difficulty relaxing or with visual imagery or who have difficulty getting in touch with feelings associated with the original trauma.
This might especially apply to people on the Asperger continuum, who don't seem to store and have access to specific emotional memories in the way that the average person's brain does. If the rewind technique doesn't work, it would certainly not be unreasonable to try the tapping technique, if the client agreed and felt comfortable with it although, for the reasons described above, it may not be helpful for people on the Asperger continuum. In the light of the explanation I have offered in this article, it is unlikely that any particular order is required for the tapping and, indeed, Dr Okhai has pointed out that therapists have had success with the method even when tapping in a random order.
Although my own experience of EMDR is limited, Martin Murphy of NOVA, the Barnardo's charity in Northern Ireland that works primarily with victims of the political conflict, has trained in both EMDR and use of the rewind technique, and has found the latter to be more acceptable to clients, and more effective. Finally, I have been experimenting recently with another possible method of achieving the same effect; it draws on the same principles as tapping but may be more acceptable to some people. If it is indeed the orientation response that is the effective dynamic underlying the successful treatment of traumas by these techniques, we can elicit it another way.
Tiny finger and toe movements often accompany the firing of the orientation response during dreaming, in the same way that rapid eye movements do. This can be observed in animals too, when they are dreaming.
Also, when we introspect and jump from one image to another inside our minds, rhythmic movements of the fingers and toes can often be observed, and they can be seen in hypnotised subjects as well. When I was angry with someone about something, I brought to mind the incident, and then gently and rhythmically moved my fingers to and fro, towards the palm and back again.
When I kept this going for a couple of minutes, along with the rhythmic movements, I found that my anger levels started significantly to diminish. I have tried this method out with a few people and found each time that arousal levels go down. It's as if, when the arousal levels go down, the cortex has to find some way to resolve what appear to be two conflicting positions, anger and acceptance — what psychologists would call cognitive dissonance.
It has to look for a bigger frame of reference because the curiosity reflex is fired and is looking for meaning. So, at this stage of lowered arousal, provided the cortex knows how to see things in a more realistic frame, you find yourself spontaneously taking a new perspective.
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If anger levels go down only a certain degree and seem to be stuck there, I suggest the chances are that the anger aroused was actually a pattern match to an earlier significant traumatic memory involving anger. It is then necessary to create what is known as an 'affect bridge' — to do this, you go back into the feeling where you are stuck, be aware of it and focus on it, and tell yourself that you are going to leave your mind open to any memory connected to it. Very often a memory from an earlier time, even childhood, about which anger persists, floats into mind.
Helping Clients Heal from Trauma: Solution-focused Approach
This is called a sub-traumatic memory. For example, I was trying this rhythmic finger movement technique with a friend, to deal with his anxiety about responding to recorded messages on his answering machine. First, using the tapping technique, he found that he could diminish his anxiety by about 50 per cent but he was still stuck at that point and hardly shifting.
So then we tried the version I have just described, making the hand movements, and the anxiety reduced from a level 5 to a level 4, where it remained. So I asked him to focus on the residual feeling, and see if a memory would come back into his mind. The memory that surfaced was of the presents he used to receive from his grandfather as a young boy, and the fact that, on a number of occasions, he didn't write to thank him.
He would feel highly anxious and guilty afterwards, particularly if he was going to see his grandfather again before having thanked him. So his reluctance to deal with the recorded messages on his answering machine was a pattern match back to experiences in his childhood when he hadn't done something that he thought he ought to have done, and the residual guilt attached to those memories. I brought those memories and guilty feelings back into consciousness and, while he was doing the hand movements, I asked him, as he is himself a father, how enthusiastic he thought his own children would have been at the age of six about thanking grandparents for presents.
He started to smile and acknowledged that they would be very unenthusiastic. Do you think that he really expected you to write these letters with enthusiasm? Do you think that six-year-olds do this? He reported that his arousal level had gone down markedly and within a minute it was a 1. So what we seem to be seeing here is a firing of the orientation response by yet another means, allowing communication between the cortex, the hippocampus and the amygdala that enables a new frame of reference for understanding the old traumatic memory.
However, the possibility that additional traumatic memories may swarm into consciousness as Craig describes occurring during tapping , and perhaps at a time when help is not available, is equally a risk element in this method.
To sum up, there is likely to be a significant degree of effectiveness in all the techniques for the swift resolution of PTSD that have been described, as they seem to have the same under-lying operational mechanism. However, we remain open minded about all such techniques and any helpful refinements that may be developed, and will continue to keep abreast of research.
He is, with Ivan Tyrrell, co-founder of the human givens approach and co-author of many best-selling publications. Over the last two decades, as co-developer of the human givens approach to psychology and behaviour, thousands of health professionals have enjoyed his practical workshops and seminars on brief therapy for treating anxiety related disorders, depression, trauma and addiction. As the Educational Director of the College he works at the leading edge of skills-based therapy research and practice. He is widely recognised as one of the most informed and entertaining speakers on human behaviour.
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