By Deb Kennard,PTI Founder
Freedom is possible. At the Personal Transformation Institute we see amazing transformation happen. We offer a somatic and attachment lens and unique tools that invite an opportunity to access the true experiential root of a problem or symptom. By getting to the true root of the problem, the client has a chance to heal more quickly.
Most people believe that the problems they have in life are externally caused and believe that if they could just have a better job, more money, a better partner or other external things, they could finally be happy. While there are many external events that create problems, the fastest route to freedom is identifying and resolving internal issues or patterns.
Do you hold a grudge? When is the last time you felt angry, hurt or took something someone said or did “personally”? Maybe you are hanging on to something someone said or did a year or more ago, maybe even decades ago. When you remember the thing someone said or did you may even be able to conjure up images, sounds, intense emotional feelings or other experiences that keep that painful experience alive in you.
You can keep this negative life experience lit like a flame, we call this becoming activated in the mental health field. Sometimes that activation happens and we are aware that the past is present. We are aware that the present experience that lit a flame in us, is actually activating a previous event in our lives. More often however, we are activated and we do not see the link to our past experiences. We just assume that our reaction is “righteous” and we have a judgement that something outside of us has created the pain we are experiencing.
The SAFE Model includes a concept we call “Radical Responsibility”. We have this concept because I believe that freedom is important. The fastest way to emotional freedom is to find the source of the pain within and take steps to heal the source, the root of the pain. While it is also important to change the world, that is possible only when we can clearly see our part of creating, joining in or reinforcing the problem we are seeing outside of ourselves.
Sometimes the joining in can just be a belief like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not lovable”. This belief may also be covered by what looks like the opposite. For example, someone who has a belief of “I’m a failure” or “I’m worthless” might spend a lifetime working hard to prove they are a success or worthwhile. They could be very successful in their career or financially successful and appear to the world they have everything, yet they are unhappy or having difficulty with relationships or intimacy.
This is basically, the EMDR Therapy model; the past events and unprocessed traumatic experiences remain alive in our system and become activated in the present, even when those experiences happened one, two, ten, fifteen or even sixty years ago. That activation is real and has been kept alive and reinforced every time it is lit by a present experience. It is like an old, unhealed emotional scab that gets bigger and more painful every time it gets bumped or breaks open. What if all of humanity was committed to healing the wounds within, taking “radical responsibility” for our reactions and pain?
I want to be clear, I’m not suggesting blaming the victim. I’m actually suggesting the opposite, empowerment for all, especially those who have been victimized.
All you need to do it look at social media to see that most people do not know how or do not wish to take this approach in life. I’m not saying it is easy, it is actually making a choice to go toward pain, our own pain, with curiosity and wonder.
“What is the story I am making about this experience?”
“What unhealed wound is in me that is being activated and exacerbating the present issue?”
“What is the longing under this pain?” “What do I want that I am not getting?”
At Personal Transformation Instite, PTI, we are committed to empowering mental health professionals through training. Our trainings are very experiential because we believe that is the best way to learn. We also believe that mental health professionals are also humans who can benefit from increased awareness and healing.
Every month I offer a free live webinar and this month the focus will be on the concept of “The Universal Theme” or as we call it “Finding the Problem”. We teach this concept at our 6-Day EMDR trainings but it is not an easy one to grasp for many. If you would like to know more about this concept, I hope you will log in and join me.