The latest fast therapy is called “Havening” originally created by Dr. Ronald A. Ruden and his twin brother Dr. Steven Ruden, this therapy creates lasting change in minimal sessions, with clients often being cured in one session.
Havening works well with PTSD and Phobias. A traumatic event will often become embedded in the subconscious. As you remember this traumatic event, you will often see the traumatic event in your minds eye, from the perspective of your own eyes – imagining being back in the traumatic environment, this associated state allows you to relive the same emotions that you felt when the traumatic event first took place; anxiety, fear, helplessness, etc
The Neuroscience of Therapy
Recent research in neuroscience is highlighting to researchers how the brain codes memories, phobias and fears. Through various scanning techniques we are learning which part of the brain is active when accessing emotional memories. Neuroscience has also taught us how to recode the brain’s neuro-network.
We are still at an early stage in this learning, and neuroscientists are monitoring the brain activity when people are in hypnosis, trance and a meditation state, to see what happens in the neuropathways when clients are cured of past phobias, etc.
We already know that in these states some regions of the brain are less active, and it is this state that creates emotional memories. Your brain through plasticity changes, which means we can change the frames of reference you recall when thinking about new situations ie you can change your thoughts so you won’t recall the fear, anxiety when you find yourself thinking about a past traumatic event.
The Limbic System
The limbic system is the part of the brain that keeps us safe. In the limbic system and the amygdala, is where we make immediate decisions, react unconsciously and it is here where our fight, flight and freeze response is activated.
To activate our flight, fight or freeze response the receptors at the end of the neurons in our brain are activated. When we first find ourselves in a traumatic place, these same neurons and receptors record this as an emotional memory (the memory becomes encoded in our brain)
When we find ourselves in a similar situation, the brain looks for a frame of reference (an emotional memory) if the brain links the new situation with the traumatic event you will feel the same emotions the same neurons and receptors fire off, that were created in the original event.
This is a safety mechanism that works well. Instead of having to learn each situation over and over again, which in dangerous environments can be life threatening, the neurons and receptors immediately tell you how to feel and react.
Detaching the Detectors
Without the receptors the emotional memory cannot be recalled. Havening techniques and NLP submodality techniques help to remove these receptors (the glue like substance that holds the receptors to the neuron) from the neuron through distraction techniques. The distraction technique produces an increase in delta waves which releases calcium based chemicals which dislodges/unsticks the receptors from the neuron.
Havening practitioners use touch (rubbing arms, palms and face) as well as asking the patient to rapidly move their eyes from left to right and finally to visualise and count objects to distract the client while producing delta waves. Research into delta waves have found the rubbing of arms, palms and face produces a higher level of delta waves.
3 Step Havening Process
Step 1 recall memory (and for a short period of time) to create the fight, flight and freeze responce created by the neuron receptors.
Step 2 increase delta waves by rubbing arms, palms and face
Step 3 create distraction by visualising activities and counting
Prior to the three steps clients are asked to scale their response to the memory (on a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing calm and confidence and 10 representing fear and anxiety what number on the scale are you when you recall the trauma?)
Following the three steps, clients are asked to rescale their response and the 3 steps are repeated until the response to the trauma is gone at a manageable level agreed to by the client on the scale. This Havening process can also be taught for clients to use the same self havening techniques without the need for a therapist.
Self Havening Process
Step 1 Recall the traumatic event. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing calm and confidence and 10 representing fear and anxiety what number on the scale are you when you recall the trauma?
Step 2 Distract Yourself. Name what you had for breakfast three days ago – this is to help clear your conscious mind of the traumatic incident.
Step 3 Rubbing. Cross your hands across your chest so your right hand is on your left shoulder, and your left hand is on your right shoulder. Close your eyes and rub from top to bottom around 10 times
Step 4 Distraction Imagination. While rubbing your arms, imagine walking through a peaceful and safe place, as you walk count each step out loud from 1 to 10. Next imagine people watching at a safe distance, and count out loud every time you see a smiley face until you reach 5 (you can use any type of visual counting exercise – I like to use comical ones such as imagine stepping in ten buckets of jelly, or count out loud every time you see the clown rub a custard pie into another clowns face) Finally hum out loud “old McDonald had a farm”
Step 5. Rapid Eye Movement. Stop rubbing and now without moving your head move your eyes left and then right 5 times.
Step 6. Repeat Arm Rub. Again close your eyes and rub your arms ten more times
Step 7. Check the outcome. Open your eyes, try to think about the traumatic event again and On a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing calm and confidence and 10 representing fear and anxiety what number on the scale are you when you recall the trauma?
This should have reduced. Complete the whole process until you reach a manageable number on the scale or until the traumatic event no longer bothers you.