Notes from the session
Date of session: AUG 27th, 2017
Client's Name: Jennifer (Psuedo)
Medium of communication: Facebook chat
Jennifer had anxiety, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors and rituals for as long as she can remember. At age 24 she witnessed her sister getting hit by a drunk driver, which left the sister blind and brain damaged.
Jennifer blamed herself for the accident and for what happened to her sister, and since the accident the compulsive behavior and rituals got worse.
Today she has no more guilt, no anxiety, and as you will see below, she took a video of herself breaking each and every old "OCD" pattern while laughing about her old behavior.
If you or someone you know still suffers unnecessarily, do contact me and we'll start gearing you towards a brighter future ASAP.
Notes from the session
You are about to see my notes about the 11 interventions we've done in this session, followed by a complete unedited word by word transcript of the conversation. Some of the "dry" details were slightly altered to preserve her privacy.
I want you to notice the general background feeling of the interaction, as you go through this. The "11" interventions are powerful on their own, but it's not as powerful as me doing this entire session as one long induction, in which I clearly set the frame of me having control and that as long as she continues to do what I say, her problems WILL be over, and there's just no two ways to go about it.
I will write a dedicated post for frame control later on, but for now just notice the ongoing "tone" I'm setting here.
This is something I'm harping on with many of my students and colleagues. The client needs to KNOW and feel ONE HUNDRED PERCENT that there's just no way I'm going to let her stay the same way. It's just not an option.
Let's begin ...
Right out of the gate, she pretty much gave it away:
J: "OCD is your head telling you to carry out rituals and do things perfectly or something bad will happen ... If I don't do these things my head tells me something bad will happen"
She has an internal dialog telling her "do this or else ..." At a later point she also mentioned the voice is followed by visualizations of loved ones dying.
Intervention #1 - Slowing down internal dialog
So the first things I've done with her is changing the way she talked to herself. I had her choose one of the more "nasty" sentences she had going on, and running it through the internal dialog scrambeler, a tool to slow the tempo of the voice methodically.
She reported immediate relief: "I feel much less stressed and almost see the funny side ... I am very chilled out and not panicking"
Then we generalized the learning and ran the same process on more nasty sentences she was saying to herself, until it became automatic, and she could literally not talk to herself that way anymore. I do this with almost every client, and I've found it to be immensly useful and powerful. This is the turning point of hope and belief. When a client literally cannot engage in the old behavior, and cannot make herself feel bad, it's like a positive "point of no return."
At this point all the internal dialog that used to terrify Jennifer was now laughable and actually inducing calmness.
Intervention #2 - Building want and anticipation for the future
I leveraged that state to build want and anticipation towards a brighter future after the "condition" will be "cured", using clean language and hypnotic patterns. AG: "did you expect to feel so calm before we started? ... and to be able to laugh at those sentences? ... you did not expect to feel as good so fast, did you? ... take a moment to think about all the things you will do when life is much easier"
This is also something I do with amost everyone I work with. It's a sneaky little trick to engage the client in unconscious positive processes, because I KNOW Jennifer did NOT expect to feel this way, and I want her to start wondering what else she can feel great about without expecting it. It's a very useful state to have your client in, especially since I've found almost 100% of clients (and people) I encounter tend to look for what's wrong and what COULD go wrong in their lives, and be in constant state of dread.
This is a simple and quick way to start switching a person's grid in which she sees life through. There's only so much we can percieve in any given moment, and the more I can tune her RAS (reticular activating system) towards good feelings and experiences, the more she will notice (and create) them, and the less place she will have left for negative stuff.
Intervention #3 - Recoding future visualizations of loved ones dying
Before we've done the internal dialog scrambeler on the "do this or else" voices, she mentioned she has visualizations of loved ones dying following the voices. Her internal method to generate the compulsive behavior was: Internal Dialog - "do this or else" -> Visualizations of loved ones dying
Even tho the first part of the strategy, the internal dialog, was broken/cured, I did not want to leave her nasty visualizations "floating around" her psyche.
It's not needed "per se", but it's fast and easy to do, AND it will teach her more about running her own brain, so it strikes me as a good return for our time together.
I had her run the trauma relief process on one of these visualizations, and during that a past trauma has popped up ...
J: I'm getting mixed up with an event in the past that did happen and my visualisation
Intervention #4 - Clearing the trauma of the accident
I had her use the trauma relief tool on that "event in the past", and she said:
J: It's probably the first time I've not cried thinking about the past event ... It's still upsetting having it okay in my mind but I'm calmer
Since there were still negative emotions ("still upsetting") I've proceeded to walk he through the process, step by step.
This is when I learned about the accident of her sister (the past event she was referring to).
I've found that when working with traumas and bad experiences, one of the key points for healing is identifying a "before" and "after" moments, in which the person is perfectly safe.
Jennifer picked an "after" moment which is after the accident itself, but still dealing with it:
J: I felt sorry for her she was a mess and covered in blood blaming herself
This happens from time to time, as most traumas will have two parts: The event itself, and the "dealing" with the event afterwards and thinking about the consequences.
In our story here, the plot thickens, as the accident was followed by 2 years of her sister being hospitalized, so there's no clear "after" moment in which there's no trace of the event. If that's not enough, her sister suffered brain damage AND got blind following the accident, and that still goes on today, so I had to be creative here.
Intervention #5 - Inducing positive state and finding a positive hook after the accident
I had her find of the best moments in time after the accident, in which she feels really good, and it's a pure positive moment. Then had her intensify the good feelings of that moment with the feel good generator tool.
The point here was:
- Get her out of the negative state she was in
- Find a strong positive feeling to "hook" the end of the accident to. This moment will serve as the "after" moment for the trauma relief process we'll do on the accident memory.
In that memory she is 26, holding the hand of her new born baby sister, feeling "Proud and full of love, Excited". That's 2 years after the accident.
J: My tears have stopped I feel happy and relieved
So point 1 from the above was achieved. I had her intensify the good feelings even more and then repeat the process from her baby sister's POV. The reasons for doing this deserve a dedicated post of their own, so briefly the benefits from doing this is:
- Intensifying good feelings even more, but from a different angle (and a different area in the brain).
- Experience her own love towards her baby sister from the recieving end.
- Experience herself through the eyes of someone who loves her AND feel protected by her.
- Since this is done under the context of the accident, we are connecting more and more positive emotions to the accident.
Intervention #6 - breaking the compulsive rituals (mentally)
Since I got her high on good feelings I felt this is a good chance to see how she feels about the compulsive thoughts and behaviors WHILE feeling so good.
Many people make the mistake of NOT thinking about their problems when they feel good.
I found many times the simple process of making a good feeling and then thinking of a problem is enough to dissolve it completely.
AG: let's do a little test, what were some of your old triggers?
J: Things not being equal 🙈 fear of number 3, things not in order or not closed properly
Notice the monkey overing eyes emoticon here. She can't believe that was actually her once!
Time to move in for the kill ...
AG: does that sound silly to you now?
J: Yes embarrassing
AG: lol I want you to see yourself doing some of your old behaviors ...
and notice how silly was it ...
to live that way ...
and notice ...
which kind of laugh does that induces within you the most ...
describe that laugh to me 🙂
This is an extremely high packed moment in the session, let me break down what's going on here ...
let's do a little test
Presupposing this is nothing big, we are going to test something trivial
what were some of your old triggers?
Presupposing it's all in the past now:
What WERE some of your OLD triggers, and not what ARE some of your triggers.
does that sound silly to you now? ... laughable?
Attaching silly feelings in the present to her old past triggers
I want you to see yourself doing some of your old behaviors
"see yourself" - Dissasociating
"old" - stacking past presupposition
"behaviors" - before we applied silliness to the triggers, now we are addressing her behaviors directly
notice how silly was it ... to live that way
"silly" - attaching silliness to her past behaviors themselves
"was" - stacking more past presuppositions
notice ... which kind of laugh does that induces within you the most ...
This is an intersting comparison I have her do here. I'm asking her to go through all the kinds of laughter she knows, and try out her old compulsion triggers with each one, and notice which one is the STRONGEST.
It's an elegant way to get her lost in different types of good feelings (different types of laugher), and unconsciously link them to be induced by what USED TO BE her problems and unwanted behaviors.
This is one of the benefits of going into deep altered states (deep trance) while working with a client.
Going over this now, I literally find it hard to believe that was me producing that sentence.
There's so much packed into that moment, it's way more than a conscious mind can process in a split second. I did not thought in my head "hmmm let's make her compare between different types of laughters".
This is me surrendering to the "flow" of the interaction, and I highly suggest you do the same with your own clients. My best moments (almost) always come from being in this state, when working with clients and otherwise.
- describe that laugh to me
Intensifying the strongest laughter feeling from the comparison in point 6.
I then proceeded to intensify the laughter feeling, add sparkles and a color to it (induce synesthesia), and have her go through all her past compulsive behaviors and increase the silly feeling with each one, and increasing the synesthesia by adding a smell to the feeling.
Intervention #7 - breaking the compulsive rituals (physically in real life)
While spinning the good feelings, I had her break all her old compulsive behaviors one by one, and making a joke out of each one in between.
Intervention #8 - Future pacing a life without the problems
I had her spin and integrate the silliness feeling while going forward through time, imagining her next 20-30 years laughing at her old limitations.
Intervention #9 - Video of herself breaking old behaviors
This is not something that's "required" per se, but it's a good amplifier. I want her to have a tangible "trophy" for this experience, and a physical proof of how silly her old behaviors, which she percieved as collusal problems, really are.
Our minds can be tricky devils, and any past experience can be distorted to fit a narrative, so having a recorded video will make sure this will be available for her to watch, enjoy, and remember, for years to come.
Also, I want her to have an extremely powerful resource as an anchor that past limitations do not need to affect her anymore in a way that is not useful, and that any situation can be turned around to a positive one.
Intervention #10 - Clearing the guilt from the accident
We did another trauma relief process on the accident, with two main alterations:
- Just before starting, have her watch the "trophy" video she just made of breaking old habits
- Have her end the process this time in the point in which she learns about her mother pregnancy, and the baby sister she is about to have. This is mainly for hooking the end of that memory to hope and anticipation (for her soon to be born baby sister)
All her guilt was gone:
J: It feels clearer and I don't feel guilt
Intervention #11 - Establishing sister as cue for good feelings
I then had her intensify the good feelings from clearing the trauma and everything else we've done, induced synsteshia, and elicited a metaphor for the good feelings, which she described as a white clear liquid.
Then had her think about the next time she sees her sister that had the accident, and enjoying that liquid with her. I want her sister to now be a cue for GOOD feelings, instead of the old feelings of guilt, shame, and compulsive thoughts.