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Meeting: Thursday 19th February, 2004

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A workshop presented

by Dr Dale Beckett

This process has been designed for the minor form of traumatic sequela that comes up in the normal course of therapy. I have never used it for the PTSD that arises as a consequence of overwhelming trauma such as a serious car accident or a hold-up. In the following, (Patient) is the first name of the patient, (Part) is the name of the part causing the symptoms, (PP) and is the name of the prioritising part.

Please Note
Guidance for the therapist is in this font and colour
What you say to the patient is in this font and colour

1. I'd better tell you that the first thing we're going to do is to access the fearful state very briefly, so that your unconscious mind can be reminded of what we are going to work on, and after that you'll be feeling good. Comfort will be shielding you and protecting you, all round you. And I'm going to ask you to think of a really secure place where you feel totally safe. Then I'm going to lead you through a process that transforms your experience so that you won't have to feel those bad feelings again.

2. Are you ready? You don't have to say what it was but I just want you to step briefly into that incident that has been causing you such trouble. You can close your eyes if it helps. Put yourself there in that actual time for a moment. Lift one of your fingers when you're there.

Remember the patient's physiology: expression, body posture, facial colouring etc.

3. Come back. It's all right now.

4. Now I'd like you to bring to mind that place where you feel absolutely safe. When you know where your safe place is, close your eyes and put yourself in it and get in touch with that feeling of comfort and ease and security that you have in that safe place.   Lift one of your fingers to tell me when you're there and feeling you're safest.

Remember the physiology.    Good. Thank you.

5. Now, luckily we all have different parts, different aspects of ourselves, which enable us to deal with things properly. When we were growing up we came into contact with all sorts of different people   -   mother,   father,   brother,   sister,   teacher,   friend, postman,   caretaker, everybody.   So we developed different aspects, different parts, to deal with each different person in the particular way that was right. With constant practice, these parts became so habitual and ingrained that now we still tend to relate to other people in the way we used to relate to those original figures. In the same way we used to want different things - for example love, safety, recognition, fairness - and we developed parts that were designed to achieve them. So every single part we've got has now, or used to have then, a proper, useful action. Did you know that this is true of the part that causes your unwanted bad feelings? Your unconscious mind always wants the best for you and the part produces those feelings in order to help you in some way, though we don't know what that way can be. We'll be working with both that part and the part that wants to get rid of the bad feelings. It's also true of the very useful part of you that allocates priorities, and we'll be working with that part too.

6. I'd like you to please to look over at your safe place from where you are now. If eyes are not closed, invite this.   Is it in colour or black and white? Whereabouts do you see the image? (It may not be right in front but a bit off centre.) How far way is it? Is it bright or dim? Small or large? Is it still or is it moving?   Three-dimensional or two-dimensional? Has it got a frame around it?

Note down these submodalities.

And tell me what you hear.   Is there any sound?   ( If so Is it loud or soft? Is it hard or gentle? Is the pitch high or low?) What else?

Note down these submodalities.

Now please step right into that safe place and let the feeling of safety and comfort be all of you. Feel the safety. Feel the peacefulness.

7. Now that you are safe and in your safe place I would like you to let your imagination float over to that bad scene and look at it.

Get the patient to describe the submodalities and note any that are different from those of the safe place. Location is the most significant.

Now I'm going to call upon the part of you that produces the bad feelings to come forward. (Different voice) Part that causes the bad feelings please come here and when you're here say 'I'm here'.   I'm here. Thank you. Now I don't want to sound condescending when I talk to you by calling you part all the time. I'd like to talk with you on an equal level and not sound patronising, so what would you like to be called? (Part) Thank you. (Normal voice) (Patient), let (Part) that has the job of making the bad feelings that you've been having feel understood, because (Part) is really trying to do something positive for you. So welcome (Part) and thank (Part) for what (Part)'s been doing and is trying to do for you. Then bring (Part) back with you to your safe place.

8. Say to (Part) "I realise you have a reason for giving me those feelings 1 don't like. It must be because you're wanting to be helpful, (Part). Tell me what it is that you're wanting to do for me."

What does (Part) say?

What do you say to (Part) about that? Pause Step into (Part) and become (Part).

(Part), Did you hear what (Patient) said? Yes What do you say to (Patient)?

Step back into (Patient).

Did you hear what (Part) said? Yes What do you say to (Part) in response?

Now step into (Part) and become (Part). (Part), did you hear what (Patient) said? Yes What do you want to say to (Patient)?

Now step back into (Patient). (Patient), ask (Part) "What do you want for me in the long run?" What does (Part) say?

This is a process of concretising the part to make it as real as possible. Continue as long as new information comes.

9. (Patient), I'd like you to take (Part)'s hand now and together walk out into the sun. Feel the sun shining down on you both, filling you both with its love and strength. Feel the rays of the sun bathing you both, penetrating you both. Watch (Part) with you in the sun. (Pause quite a while) What's happening? Does (Part) seem different?

10. Say to (Part), (Part), I'd like you please to step aside just for now, but I'll be asking you to be with me again soon.

Now once again look over to that old event. Does it seem different? (If so) In what way? Does it sound different? (If so) In what way?

If there is only a little change, get the patient to alter the submodalities so that they more fully resemble those of the safe place.

11. And come back. Now let yourself back into that feeling of relaxation and safety, back and back, deeper and deeper, feel all that comfort and relaxation and safety and peace. And you know you are good at knowing what's important and what's not important and good at sorting things out, so you are bound to have a part with the job of putting things in order. And I'd like that part to please (Different voice) come forward and tell me when you're here. I'm here Thank you. What name would you, like to be called? (PP) (Normal voice) Thank you.

12. (Patient), Just as you did with (Part), ask (PP) "What is it that you're wanting to do for me about that incident?" What does (PP) say? What do you say to (PP) in response?

Now step into (PP) and become (PP). Did you hear what (Patient) said? What do you want to say to (Patient)?

13. When you have concretised as much as necessary, gently lift the patient's palms up (Patient), now I want you please to put (PP) in the palm of one hand and that new image of (Part) in the palm of the other hand. Which one is where?

14. Speak to each image, addressing it by name, telling it how much you appreciate it and admire it for what it is doing for (Patient). (in simple language - the unconscious is very young.)

(Patient), I'd like you to go down to one of those palms and become the part there. Which one do you go to first? Good. Feel what it's like to be (Part or PP). Look across to the other to check out what quality (PP or Part) has that you would like to have for yourself as well as the ones you, (PP or Part), already have, saying out loud what those qualities are.

Give any necessary suggestions about any qualities that are being missed (e.g. perseverance)

Then get to step back into Patient, and then go down to the other hand and identify with the part there and follow the same procedure.

15. Do a VK squash. (Patient), in your mind's eye see (Part) and (PP) just as far apart as your hands are, and no faster than your two palms come together, as the images in your mind's eye start to come together, and fuse, watch them as they merge, and become one new image.

When the palms have come together What is the new image?

Now, no faster than your palms slowly and gently come up to your chest, the (specified new image) moves towards you with relief, so that the new image can dissolve into your heart.

If things have gone well the patient sighs as the hands meet the chest.

Pause for quite a while,   while the patient integrates. And let your arms relax.

16 . Rouse. And in your own time and in your own way, taking all the time you need, just begin to make a start to come back here, and when you're here open your eyes and notice how good you feel. And that good feeling will last.

Keep silent until fully roused. (it takes time.)

17. Test for the unwanted state again. A contrast in the physiology?

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