A common refrain heard around Shift is that we are not talk-therapy. This doesn’t mean that we don’t see a certain amount of directed discussion as being valuable to the therapeutic process. We prefer to use the talk to gain more insight into your concerns and build the treatment plan. We can then be more precise when targeting these issues in the reprocessing phase and then listening to your feedback.
The reprocessing then removes the emotionality from the memory allowing it to become a part of the declarative memory. The memory does not vanish; it simply changes the emotions and body sensations attached to the memory so that it can be discussed calmly, without huge emotional reactions. What makes it so great for processing trauma is that it does not require discussion of all details and events, which is a time-consuming aspect of traditional kinds of talk therapy and can have the effect of re-traumatizing or disturbing the client, as well. Instead, there is very limited discussion and the only words are around images and sensations that the client is experiencing.
The first memory that is processed is the earliest one that can be accessed and is linked to the belief the client is working on. It is a very different experience to traditional talk therapy or other types of therapy, but, has been proven to be very successful in dealing with many psychological concerns. Once the limiting beliefs have been removed and the memories have been reprocessed, our clients notice a dramatic improvement in their life satisfaction. They either have a new view of their potential or are so relieved with the absence of familiar reactions that they can see new opportunities and paths that were not evident to them before. This protocol is about getting to the root of the problem, not simply symptom management. It bears repeating: It’s not magic, it’s just plain hard work.