This remarkable technique enables you to spot this destructive force, and heal it, freeing you to make progress. Developed from NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinders work using hypnotherapy a psychosensory modality. Everyone knows that trauma is a part of many problems. But very few know to what extent, and more importantly, how to treat trauma with hypnotherapy. If you are a person with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) or severe phobias, you’ll know these are among the worst things to live with. But it’s not just PTSD (as if that weren’t enough).
Depression, anxiety conditions, obsessive thoughts, OCD, addictions, and substance abuse – all these problems and more are often ‘powered’ by hidden trauma. So when you have depression you just can’t lift, an addiction that just won’t shift, or anxiety that keeps coming back no matter what you do, it’s worth considering that a trauma may be driving it. And then, when you know trauma is present, what do you do about it?
Since the first World War, psychologists and psychiatrists have been trying to treat trauma in a myriad of frightening ways:
And of course, using cognitive therapy to treat trauma is nigh-on impossible as it’s a different part of the brain– that’s like trying to tether a raging bull with sewing thread.
So what treatment does work for trauma?
To understand this, we need to first see exactly what trauma is. So let’s get back to basics.
What exactly is happening when someone has a traumatic flashback? For example, a soldier who has been in a war zone is walking down the street and a car backfires. Instantly, he feels as if he’s back in the front line and reacts as if a bomb has just gone off nearby.
He knows he’s on a normal street, so what is going on? It’s as if he never took off his combats. His brain has ‘pattern matched’ the backfire to being similar to the sound of gunfire or explosions, and triggered the ‘fight or flight’ response in him. He is flooded with adrenaline and his overwhelming instinct is to run. In his brain, there is what we call a ‘global pattern’ for loud bangs, created by the focusing effect of the terror he experienced in battle. This is very different to the pattern you and I have for it, which will make us jump, but once our brain figures out what caused the bang, it will step down the alert procedure.
However, this global pattern in the ex-soldier’s brain has no context to it (in other words, it doesn’t matter where he is when the sound occurs, or what else is going on around him). His brain has decided that this sound is so closely linked to potential death that it warrants being a global pattern that goes off at the slightest provocation.
We can turn this global pattern back into a contextualized one. Or in other words, stop his brain setting off the alarm when he hears a bang. We need the soldier to be able to hear a car backfire as just that. But how can we do this when traumatic memories are so powerful? Anyone who has ever treated a traumatized person knows that even talking about the traumatic incident can catapult them into a highly emotional state. And once they’re highly emotional again, you can do nothing until they calm down. So this tells us that we have to somehow approach the memory without them becoming emotional. And this is where the Rewind Technique comes in. Although it seems almost too simple, the Rewind is a precision instrument.
When you’re dealing with a traumatic memory, you need to approach it carefully and quietly, like tiptoeing up to a sleeping tiger.
The structure of the Rewind is precisely designed to hold the client in a specific relationship to the memory so that it can be re-processed by the technique, and contextualized. This way, as we explained above, it can stop being a global pattern firing off alarms all over the place, so there are no roaring tigers in your therapy session.
And the beautiful thing about the Rewind Technique is that you don’t even need to know any detail about the traumatic memory – so it is highly respectful to the client. It’s a psychosensory modality.
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