Handling Abreactions

Postby cassius84 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:56 am

I Remeber the first time i had a abreaction happen it scared the hell out of me i didnt know what to do and i can tell you its no fun having lot of people blaming you for it happening. people will tell you abreactions happen only with age regressions FALSE it can happen at any time

So here is what i do to handle them

1-set up a out as the first thing you do after the induction

2-make two different outs one physical & 1 verbal because some times the person is so in to the emotion that they cant hear you so having a physical out is a good idea

3-if you do age regression do it from a third person view point (get them to see it through a movie sceen or a Tv sceen

the above are just some of the ways you can deal with abreactions. Feel free to add more. Peace Jon
cassius84
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Postby Mark Tyrrell » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:13 pm

Hi Jon

I think your ideas for dealing with an abreaction are spot on. Doing regression from a third person "observing" position is vital to manage emotions associated with past events. If someone does abreact it basically means they have experienced a "faulty pattern match". For example one woman I worked with for PTSD after years of sexual abuse became emotional whenever she closed her eyes (she had been forced to keep her eyes closed during the abuse) So to avoided that unfortunate pattern match I asked her to keep her eyes open as we dealt with the memories.

It used to be thought that abreaction was a vital part of therapy and the outpouring of emotion worked to release it-like releasing poison by lancing a boil. Shell shocked survivors of WW1 treated by psychologists like William Sargent were encouraged to relive their trauma until the point of "collapse" at which point the PTSD symptoms could be removed. This worked successfully but only because the emotional collapse led to calm and when the trauma was reviewed calmly for the first time the memory trace could at last be reassigned to the less emotive memory centres-lifting the PTSD. But Its much more comfortable and effective to go directly for calm reviewing of troublesome memories which leaves the safety and dignity of the person intact.

So someone will abreact if something in the environment (and remember you and your words are part of that environment) reminds them unconsciously of a traumatic event.
I've found that even the word "memory" may have negative connotations and so I might refer to bad past events as being like "out of date videos".

If someone does abreact I'll ask the to open their eyes, reassure them and get them to focus on something in the room (abreaction is a hypnotic phenomenon so we need to get them back with us) I might say: Okay now just take a moment to think about your breathing and notice that as it calms right down again your body and mind become more relaxed again..."

I will use language of the less emotional "left brain" like "think" and "notice" "weigh up" "what are your thoughts on" and so forth; and avoid emotive words like "feel" or "emotional". The much bleated therapeutic linguistic staple: "How do you feel" can ignite the situation by directing attention even more toward feelings when things need to be calming down. Think words mobilise the "thinking brain" (and therefore dilutes emotion) and "feel words" get the emotions going even more.

Over the past 16 years of practice I think I've encountered abreaction extremely rarely. But if it does happen it's vital to stay cool and deal with it-it's amazing how fast people can calm down again : )

Mark














cassius84 wrote:I Remeber the first time i had a abreaction happen it scared the hell out of me i didnt know what to do and i can tell you its no fun having lot of people blaming you for it happening. people will tell you abreactions happen only with age regressions FALSE it can happen at any time

So here is what i do to handle them

1-set up a out as the first thing you do after the induction

2-make two different outs one physical & 1 verbal because some times the person is so in to the emotion that they cant hear you so having a physical out is a good idea

3-if you do age regression do it from a third person view point (get them to see it through a movie sceen or a Tv sceen

the above are just some of the ways you can deal with abreactions. Feel free to add more. Peace Jon
Mark Tyrrell
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