A tastefully dressed woman in her late forties came up to me somewhat shyly during a meeting some time ago. She asked if I could help her with a problem. I told her that our techniques work for a lot of issues but there was no guarantee and that we’d have to explore it. She was very concerned that she would have to disclose the issue she wanted to work on. I assured her that was not necessary, and that we could work productively without my knowing what issue she was working on.
Three SciStress attributes.
This is an interesting case because it demonstrates three important attributes of the SciStress work. First, since it is not “therapy”, we don’t need to know the issues in order to coach a client successfully. Secondly, we coach individuals on how to use the techniques most effectively for themselves. They learn the techniques and how to use them in a powerful way to solve their own issues. Thirdly, using the techniques on initial issues a client brings up is not always the most effective way to solve a problem, especially not permanently. In SciStress, we call this a level 2 issue. This requires finding a deeper second issue, which is the root cause. That root cause is usually a very stressful experience much earlier in life, which has been long forgotten, but is still stored in the subconscious long-term memory.
The Internet isn’t always the best source.
Now here is the story of Kathy, not her real name, but her real story! Kathy had learned a similar type of technique on the Internet. She had used it for several weeks on this issue, which she did not disclose to me. Now there are a lot of videos all over the Internet claiming to teach self-help techniques like EFT for example. Unfortunately, many of them are not very useful. Since the techniques appear to be very simple, “experts” out there can cause more confusion than help. In the worst cases they teach something wrong.
Kathy told me that what she learned from the videos did help her relax a bit, but the problem did not disappear. I took her through the basic SciStress technique and made sure she used it correctly. We tried SciStress on another issue, less stressful, as a test. Kathy was very successful alleviating that issue.
Going back to her original problem, Kathy was still very upset. Her stress level on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being the worst was 8 or 9. I could see her stress response in posture and facial expression. After a round of SciStress, Kathy was able to reduce her stress level by a few points, maybe to 5 or 6. Her main fear now was that the stress would come back later. I asked Kathy the key question: did she remember a similar feeling of stress earlier in her life, maybe much earlier.
Getting to the root cause.
Kathy’s face suddenly turned pale . I could see a full-scale stress response. Please understand, when we rediscover a long forgotten very stressful experiences, our old brain will trigger the nervous system to respond just like in the original stressful situation. We therefore will re-experience the memory in a similar way. Kathy clearly felt extremely stressed. I coached her to immediately go through the complete SciStress technique. After the first round she looked a bit more collected. We both knew that we had discovered the underlying root cause of her problem, and only she knew what that problem was.
I coached her through two more rounds of SciStress, guiding her to again focus as much as comfortable on the original experience, now just a stressful memory. After about 15- or 20-minutes Kathy’s face looked much more relaxed and there was even a brief smile. Thinking of her past stressful experience Kathy now rated her stress intensity at about 1 or 2. I asked Kathy to re-imagine the more recent situations which caused her to be upset or stressed and make those as bad as possible in her mind. We then used SciStress again on the stress those thoughts caused for her until she felt relaxed about that. Now she felt confident that she could manage those situations much better.
Using SciStress to strengthen positive expectations.
Here’s a great way to use the SciStress techniques to focus on positive outcomes. Importantly, we use that step only after we have reduced any major stress issues to low levels.
I guided Kathy to use the techniques on the previously stressful situation but to imagine the very positive outcome she wanted to achieve. She enjoyed that process and said it gave her a strong sense of hope and positive feelings about what she could do. I told her to use SciStress to help eliminate any remaining stress which might occur when she got into the situation again. She left feeling happy and full of energy.
We had completed her work successfully. With some coaching she had found the long-forgotten root cause of her current problems. She had reduced the stress level associated that root cause memory. She had activated positive expectations for the current situation. This is something only possible after reducing or eliminating the past root cause of the current stress.
A dark family secret.
Next time I saw Kathy she wanted to tell me what had happened. She wanted me to know how SciStress techniques and our coaching had helped her solve a big embarrassing problem in her life. She still was a little shy and hesitant about explaining the situation, but the sheer energy of having solved that big problem was visible and gave her courage. Kathy, a woman in her late 40s, had remarried about six months ago. She loved her new husband and they had a great sex life. That was very important to her. One big issue however was that she did not want her husband to touch her breasts. This was very difficult for him and very embarrassing for her. But she felt intensely uncomfortable each time he wanted to massage or kiss her in that location.
This issue had not come up with her first husband whom she had married right out of high school. Maybe he was used to her sensitivity or didn’t care. Anyhow, it was a big problem for them now. With her new husband it never occurred to her why she felt that way. Being coached to look for similar feelings in her earlier life, suddenly a deeply embarrassing and painful memory came up. Her dad, whom she loved dearly, started touching her breasts when they started to develop at about age 10 or 11. He did that when she went to bed, and mom was not there. He did it several times fondling and massaging her nipples and checking the size of her breasts. At the time she felt terribly embarrassed and deeply confused.
Kathy said her father never made any other sexual advances. And he stopped touching her breasts after maybe half a dozen occurrences. But since then she always felt very uncomfortable with someone else touching her breasts. Now she knew the root cause of the experience and she had eliminated the stress level of that memory. She reported that she could now enjoy the intimate time with her husband without feeling that old stress reaction. Both Kathy and her new husband were delighted.
SciStress coaching can empower a client to solve problems.
We saw that with targeted coaching individuals can solve difficult and complex issues without the coach knowing about the issue. This case also demonstrates that sometimes an experienced coach is necessary to help a client solve an issue by finding the root cause of the current problem. And another not uncommon phenomenon is shown by Kathy’s situation. In many cases individuals do not want to disclose the issues they want to work on. But once the issue has been resolved and they are free of the stress relating to it, they become very eager to talk about the original issue. Clients often even feel an urge to tell about it because they are so excited to be free of the difficulties it had caused in their lives.
Want to experience similar transformations?
If you or someone you love have issues to resolve, we would be happy to help. Our coaching may not “fix” all problems, but we have helped many people reduce stress in most situations. Check out our free initial consultation. They also will learn the techniques to help themselves any time and any place. You may recommend our book, which explains the brain science in easy to understand terms and teaches the techniques in detail.
With warm regards, Fred & Judy
Fred George Sauer, MS, MS Eng., Chief Stress Coach, Performance & Productivity Specialist
Judith Lynch-Sauer, PhD, RN, Scientific Advisor, Clinical Professor of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
PS: Create a daily routine of managing stress. Check Appendix 2 of the book for quick help with stress.
Fred George Sauer Founder of SciStress
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