2 January 2016

The Affect Bridge Technique on The Self: Healing Repressed Trauma

The Affect Bridge Technique
Following on from my article 'Repressions Within The Subconscious and Their Impact on Your Life', here's a technique for you; it's called the Affect Bridge Technique.

The aim is to identify repressed trauma that has arisen due to a singular event or multiple traumatic events in your past. Repressions can also arise due to ongoing circumstances that seem rather commonplace in society such as mild child neglect, a lack of emotional support, or child shaming. Symptoms occur in adult daily life due to programs written and stored in the subconscious mind, initiated by these traumatic events. The memories and emotions stored there must be examined with conscious reasoning, understanding and forgiveness. Your conscious mind of today can make it right.

The Affect Bridge Technique on The Self:

Lay or sit down and get into a very comfortable position. Relax and listen to your breathing. The aim is to reach the alpha state which can be achieved very quickly simply by relaxing your body completely free of external stimulus, for just a few minutes. Concentrate on your shoulders, neck and head and feel them relax. Then concentrate on your chest and abdomen and feel them relax. Work your way down your body, all the way down to your toes. Feel them relax. Spend time thinking about the word 'relax', being mindful of the present moment and not thinking about anything much, just relaxing.

Take an issue that you experience in your everyday life; be it anxiety, fear, guilt, sadness, shame, anything like that, something that's really been bothering you. A fear of open spaces, a fear of dogs, confidence issues, anxiety around certain people, feeling unworthy, feeling ridiculous, anything. Now imagine you're in the very situation which triggers the symptom to occur. Imagine you're in that situation, feel the sensations of the symptom; feel the fear of driving, feel the anxiety of open spaces or social groups. Really feel it, magnify it, it can be quite horrible to do yes, but really magnify that emotion, magnify, magnify, until you're really feeling it. Then, you need to speak to your subconscious mind and say; 'Subconscious, please take me to the very first time that I felt this way'. Then just wait.

What should happen is... a memory will pop into your head. Don't miss it, just look at it, what was that? A memory from your past, the first memory that pops into your head. Look at it, hold it, examine it, what is that? Quite often you will think, 'why has that particular memory popped into my head? You've asked your subconscious mind to take you back to the very first time, the first significant time you felt a certain way and the memory that pops into your head should be observed. It may not be the memory you expected.

What you need to do is stay in that moment, stay in that event. Picture it. It may feel a little traumatic and scary, and if it's too much for you then stop, you can try again another time. Try and remember it, go through it. Next, picture yourself, in the third person, in that situation as if you're watching the event unfold, the event from your past that popped into your head. When it finishes playing through, imagine taking the you of the past aside and speaking to them.

You're going to play a little role play. There are two of you in this visualization; the present day you and the you back then. Say to yourself of the past, 'It's okay, it wasn't your fault, that wasn't supposed to happen,' or 'You didn't cause that to happen,' or anything appropriate that you would say to yourself to try to reconcile the situation. To comfort your past self, talk to yourself, put your arm around yourself, hug yourself. Understanding the situation using your reasoning powers of today - you can comfort the past you. Accept the situation and accept what happened, no matter what it is. Forgiveness is key, forgiveness of yourself and forgiveness of others.

Forgive yourself for something by explaining to your past self that it wasn't their fault, nothing could have changed, and it doesn't matter. It's okay, it's in the past. You weren't to know. Or if someone else has done something to you, you can have another little role play. Speak to that other person: 'I was angry about what you did to me'. Listen to their response and say to them in your imagination, why it hurt you and why it was negative. Listen to their reply and say; 'I forgive you'.