Somewhere in this world might be a child who had perfect parents and unbelievably good luck. Always nurtured, never feeling insecure or threatened. The other 99.9999% of us haven’t been so lucky. The degree to which we are unlucky can have profound effects and cause a constant cycle of failed relationships and self-sabotage. But there is hope for those who’ve been trapped in these patterns.
Young children typically learn to react to perceived threats to relationship security in one of two ways. Of course, the degree of intensity to these reactions varies hugely from person to person and environment to environment. For some, the subconscious assumes it needs to hang on for dear life lest they be abandoned. As adults, the attachment style when they fall for someone is rapid bonding, becoming clingy, insecure and needy. Making the other person feel responsible for their security and happiness. This is hugely destructive and tends to drive our partner away. The scent of desperation is not an aphrodisiac. In some cases, it’s even worse. We become co-dependent. This is a dead-end trap because but no one else can make us feel secure when it doesn’t match our subconscious programming.
For those with the opposite attachment style, the subconscious says “I’m not getting my emotional security needs met so I’m on my own”. As adults, when the inevitable relationship challenges or misunderstandings occur, their tendency is to shut down or cut and run.
Most of us will have some degree of one or the other tendencies but when they’re deeply rooted and powerful we can find relationship after relationship following the same sad and frustrating patterns.
This is where energy psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) come in. An experienced and skilled EFT therapist will pair cognitive awareness with specific acupressure techniques and coach clients how to use these tools for themselves. This typically allows clients to quite painlessly and typically surprisingly quickly, remove the emotional power from each of the negative memories or maladaptive beliefs which are causing such havoc in their lives.
The following is a graphic example. A woman was referred to me because all her life she’d felt physically and emotionally disconnected. It was as though she was living behind a thick glass wall. We started with the feelings she was experiencing right that moment before beginning our 1st session. We then followed the trail of thoughts and feelings her subconscious felt safe revealing.
She was progressing quite rapidly then during our 2nd session she suddenly experienced an intense body memory. She could feel her hands holding bars. Of course, scientists now know memories are stored in the body as well as the brain. Once again we used EFT to remove the uncomfortable power of her body memory. She then had a mental picture of standing in her crib as a little child. She was standing in the dark looking at her sleeping parents. When asked what she was feeling, the answer was “unnoticed and unimportant”. This felt painfully intense but we continued to use the acupressure points while staying focused. Step by step, the feeling faded away until there was nothing left of it. At that point, for the first time in her living memory, she became free to connect with the world around her and the people in. Her subconscious mind now understood it was safe to do so. These techniques hadn’t papered over her feelings. The brain had actually reconsolidated new understanding and perception. The initial subconscious programming associated with that emotionally traumatic experience had been entirely re-written; not over-written.
Clients tend to say “that darned subconscious mind” but the subconscious mind’s just trying to keep us safe the best way it thinks it knows how; given the programming it’s received since birth.
For further information on EFT, contact the author, see www.ecosyswellness.com or www.EFTInternational.org.