Foundation for Research and Exploration of Mind Motivation
The Treasure Chest
EMDR / BLS FOR SELF TRANSFORMATION
by Pamela Chilton, Director
Foundation For Research & Exploration of Mind Motivation, 760-772-6628
A "new" (relatively) technique "sweeping" the fields of psychotherapy and psychology is E.M.D.R., which stands for: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a means of re-processing thoughts/memories to desensitize emotions/trauma / pain and negative beliefs/programming. Which means it also helps with:
EMDR refers to eye movements - the eyes moving side to side. It has been discovered the same effects occur with alternating sound movements such as the sounds of waves alternating from one ear to the other or with alternating physical sensations such as tapping one side of the body and then the other. Therefore many therapist now prefer to use the term Bi-Lateral Stimulation or BLS .
EMDR/BLS has been defined as: "An empirically validated treatment that integrates cognitive therapy and experiential therapy." It is believed this alternating stimulation of the right and left brain activates links between areas of the brain in which "unprocessed" or "erroneously processed" thoughts, beliefs, emotions, memories, pain and trauma have been isolated with parts of the brain used for completing processing and finding adaptive resolutions. Brain scans during and after treatment show such brain changes occurring during the process of EMDR/BLS. (See "Healing Anxiety and Depression" by Daniel Amen for pictures of this.)
EMDR / BLS is particularly helpful for people who say they are "not interested in working with the past" as EMDR/BLS can be described as "working in the present, using the past if it comes up naturally."
What seems to occur during the process is: 1: A linking of stored information. 2. A Mindfulness. (An opportunity to "step back" and observe events / thoughts / emotions / images / pain in a non-judging way which leads to an acceptance and letting go of these.
Psychotherapists and psychologists who do not adequately understand what hypnosis is and what it isnít claim EMDR /BLS is "not hypnosis". Yet, the definition given by the American Medical Association for hypnosis is: "A temporary condition of altered attention". A definition of EMDR/BLS by the EMDR Institute is: "Temporarily alters the focus of attention in a way that allows one to look at things in a different way and thus process them differently." This definition is a good one for both hypnosis AND hypnotherapy. It is interesting to note the "old fashioned" method of inducing hypnosis is to have the subjectís eyes move side to side (EMDR) while watching a swinging watch. Hypnosis is also easily induced by focusing attention on a steady sound (as with BLS) or physical sensation (again, as with BLS).
With EMDR/BLS people do not expect to enter into an unconscious state and thus do not fear these techniques. Many people continue to fear hypnosis because they believe, erroneously, hypnosis is an unconscious state. Thus they fear losing control. Actually, people are in control of themselves no matter how deeply they are in hypnosis. Even the relatively few numbers of people who are able to enter into an unconscious hypnosis state are in control. People in hypnosis can bring themselves out of it or to a lighter state instantly, just by thinking it.
The Advantages of EMDR/BLS
It should be noted when the eye balls actively move beneath the lids during hypnosis brain scans show processing occurring in the brain, just as with the use of EMDR / BLS. Such eye movements do not happen spontaneously or they happen less spontaneously with people who are emotionally "guarded" in hypnosis. The use of EMDR / BLS alone or during hypnosis can be very helpful with such people.
Important Note: Lasting changes will not occur through the use of any therapy or any healing modality unless and until there is both a conscious AND SUBCONSCIOUS resolution of the underlying roots of what has caused the problem. When there is emotional resistance to healing or transformation, this resistance must be addressed by working with the emotional resistant level of consciousness (inner babe, inner child, inner teen, past life personality, sub-personality).
Therapists of all professional backgrounds who are not well trained in regression therapy should use EMDR/BLS very cautiously (or not at all if not trained in these techniques) as doing so can lead to a spontaneous reliving of traumatic memories, including suppressed memories.
Therapists of all professional backgrounds who are not trained in working with multiple personalities or sub personalities should not use EMDR/BLS if they suspect such personalities as the use of these techniques can "trigger" the spontaneous "outing" of such a personality.
Example of The Use of EMDR /BLS:
Brandlyn is a client who was working with reducing her weight. We tested (with NMR, a refined muscle testing response technique described in the Treasure Chest on our website) Brandlynís emotions and level of distress when she said and thought: "My body is ugly". NMR indicated shame at a distress level of 10. The feeling of shame was, for her, a "sinking feeling in my stomach" and a "a burning in my cheeks." I put earphones on Brandlyn as she simultaneously focused on her sinking stomach, hot cheeks and the thought "My body is ugly." After only 30 seconds of listening to the alternating sounds of waves she blurted out: "My God, my mother told me that. How ridiculous. I donít have an ugly body!" She said her shame felt gone and when we tested this with NMR her subconscious indicated the shame was gone. However, when we tested the thought: "I have a beautiful body" the level of belief was a 0. When asked what was blocking this belief she responded: "My husband telling me Iím fat." She thought this remark of his was not making her feel ashamed and sad. NMR indicated this was correct. She was feeling anger, not shame or sadness. She was dismayed when further testing with NMR showed Brandlyn had chosen to express her anger at him by deliberately (albeit subconsciously, so she was not consciously aware of this), getting fatter. I asked Brandlyn to locate the feelings of anger in her body as she thought of her husbandís remark. She reported: "My head is pounding. My stomach is churning. I feel myself shaking inside and I feel a kind of white heat all around my head.." The level of anger was at a 10 and the distress was also at a level 10. I asked Brandlyn to think of her husbandís remark as she listened to the alternating sounds of the waves and to pay attention to the feelings and thoughts that followed. After two minutes passed, Brandlynís face softened and tears trailed down her cheeks. She opened her eyes. I asked her what she was thinking before she opened her eyes. Brandlyn answered: "I suddenly thought about my mother. Being overweight made her miserable for her whole life but she never did anything about it. I think my husband was just trying to tell me I need to do something about my fat - itís making me miserable which is making him miserable. I donít think he meant to hurt me. He doesnít know what to do for me, which makes him mad at himself. Thatís why he sounded mad when he called me fat." When we tested for her level of distress it had gone down to a level 3. Testing showed the anger at her husband was gone, but now she felt shame again (level 3) and guilt (level 7). I asked Brandlyn to think of herself exercising and the weight coming off. I tested to see if this caused her distress. It did not. I tested for resistance to exercise. There was none. I then tested her to the thought: "I can have a beautiful body." The level of belief was a weak 3. I had her close her eyes again and listen to the alternating sounds of the waves as I gave her suggestions for drifting deeper within her mind. I then gave her suggestions for imagining herself achieving the size body that felt comfortable, safe, and attractive to her. Following this her level of belief was total.
To read more on EMDR/BLS go to: www.emdrportal.com
Read More on Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy in the Treasure Chest www.odysseyofthesoul.org
Seven Simple Steps For Self Use of EMDR / BLS
NOT recommended for self-use for traumatic emotions or memories.
EMDR/BLS CAN be used by oneself to reprocess negative (even obsessive) thoughts, beliefs, emotions, urges and memories and to imprint positive ones. How? The steps are:
[Interestingly, unresolved emotions seem to remain in the subconscious no matter how many times they are triggered or released or talked about until the precise events and person(s) that caused them are acknowledged and appropriately addressed by the level of consciousness that experienced them. Fortunately, it is not necessary to do this physically. (Nor is it possible to do physically. Who you are today is not who you were in the past, nor are those with whom you have these "issues" who they were in the past. People change over time.) To the subconscious, the mental realm is as real as the physical realm. Regression therapy can be described as "mental experiences and resolutions that affect the physical".]
NOTE: If working with a negative or compulsive thought triggers greater anxiety, distress or traumatic feelings - mentally place the thought or memory in a briefcase. Mentally lock the briefcase and put it in a closet. Tell yourself, when I am ready, I will take this briefcase and what is in it to a therapist who will help me with it. Then do so! Find a well trained hypnotherapist, psychologist or psychotherapist who is also well trained in regression therapy - which should be done with hypnosis or EMDR / BLS.
A Self-Tapping BLS technique is the "Butterfly Hug". Cross arms and tap your shoulders, or your sides, or your hips, or thighs or knees. To purchase Bi-Lateral Stimulation C.D.ís and Cassette tapes go to: www.BioLateral.com. Or e-mail: email@example.com or phone Laurie at: 516-826-7996. To play them you will need a Stereo Player and Stereo headphones. Remember, it does not work the same unless the sound alternates from ear to ear.
If you wish an appointment with myself or with Dr. Harmon, call us at 760-772-6628. We are happy to answer your questions in person or by phone. We can also make hypnosis tapes (cassette tapes at present) for your use with or without alternating sounds for your home use.
To get an idea of common subconscious negative beliefs, thinking, and programming see Erase and Replace Negative Programming in The Treasure Chest at www.odysseyofthesoul.org)
EMDR / BLS FOR CHRONIC PAIN
(For More Information See Mark Grantís EMDR Pain Protocol http://www.emdrportal.com)
Pain is a signal that something is wrong. Always check with your medical doctor FIRST to find what is causing the pain. Long term - or chronic pain - can become a pattern that has become "locked", in a sense, in the mind, brain and nervous system. EMDR / BLS can be very helpful in unlocking this pattern.
EACH SESSION: Before proceeding, focus on your pain. Note exactly where the pain is in your body. (If pain is in several places, note this. If the pain is all over the body, note this.) Make a mental note as to the color, size, shape you can mentally image for your pain. (A mental image can be a thought, word, or visual.) Note also the following: Is the pain heavy? Light? Sharp? Dull? Does it come and go? Or is it steady? Does it have peaks and valleys? Note the level of intensity of the pain on a scale of 0 - 10 with 0 no distress or discomfort and 10 the highest level of distress and discomfort you can imagine. (Or make up your own scale). This assessment is to help you gauge changes that occur in the pain. Note the emotion, if you can, that you feel as you focus on the pain. Anger? Sadness? Shame? Guilt? Frustration? Fear? Resentment? Bitterness? Hopelessness? Note where you feel this emotion in your body and how it feels physically. (Upset stomach, heavy chest, lump in the throat, tightness in the chest, pinched neck or shoulders, upset guts, headache, shallow breathing etc.) If you cannot name the emotion, note the sensation(s) accompanying the pain.
Proceed with EMDR or BLS. Focus on what you are feeling physically and/or emotionally as you focus on the pain/discomfort and let your thoughts "free flow" . Observe your thoughts as they pass through your mind. Just let whatever happens happen and notice what happens. You may fall asleep. You may notice your pain decreasing significantly or disappearing. (If this happens - great. If the pain never returns - hallelujah! If you notice an increase in your pain, notice what thought you are thinking when the pain increases. Note the level of distress/upset it causes you and where in your body you feel this distress/upset. Focus on this thought/feeling and begin the EMDR or BLS again, once again letting your mind "free flow". Continue this process with each increase or surge of pain - checking the thought that triggered this and beginning the process again, starting with focusing on this thought and sensation.)
Continue this process until the pain has decreased significantly. Note the changes in your pain. Is it smaller? Smoother? A different color? How has it changed?
Now ask yourself the following question: "What do I want in the space where the discomfort was before?" Answer this for yourself. It could be a color that is a soothing for you. It could be a feeling. It could be a thought or a sound. Once you have found a satisfactory answer for yourself, do some EMDR or BLS while you focus on what youíve chosen. Add these thoughts as you do this: "All things are possible. The body has remarkable healing abilities. The soul has amazing powers to heal and transform. Healing is happening now. My body is feeling better. Every day my body is better and better. I embrace perfect health."
NOTE: If your level of distress, anxiety or pain become overwhelming to you or a traumatic memory is triggered - follow the counsel given in the EMDR/BLS Information Paper.
Email the authors at odyssey at odysseyofthesoul.org (Replace the at with @.)
This page and all contents are copyright by Pamela Chilton 2001.
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