Louise is an amazing and creative woman. She is a therapist and author working on her second book, this one on relationships. Fiercely independent, she had left her marriage a long time ago. Since then Louise had several long-lasting deep relationships with equally independent men. Her most recent partner died suddenly a little over a year ago. She still felt the pain of this loss intensely.
Coaching helps with difficult problems.
Louise is an expert in the SciStress techniques in addition to traditional tools. She has used SciStress for herself and with her clients. Actually, Louise has helped me edit my book. Why would this accomplished therapist come to me? Because having somebody else coach you through a particularly difficult set of issues and emotions can bring relief and resolution much more quickly. What is the reason that a coach can be so helpful in such a situation? Because these deep issues are processed in our emotional brain, which is subconscious. Therefore, it is helpful to have an experienced coach guide you with particularly difficult issues. Still the client, in this case Louise, does all the work using the techniques. To be sure, most day-to-day issues and stresses an individual can handle completely on their own.
Pain explodes into hot anger.
As soon as we started working on the pain of having lost her partner Sam, that emotional pain flipped into red-hot anger. “Why did he leave me?” Louise assessed the intensity of her anger at a level 7. We use the same subjective pain scale a doctor might use when she asks you how much does it hurt on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being very minor, 10 being unbearable. You could see by her expression that Louise was really in a rage. She described it as red-hot with black lightning. As she described it the intensity of her anger increased to a level 8. With two sets of the quick SciStress technique Louise was able to reduce her intensive anger to a level 0. Louise knew the effectiveness of the technique and was not surprised by the sudden change.
Raging anger replaced by deep sadness.
Now she began to feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, level 8 or 9. It was almost unbearable, “I want to die.” This time the tapping didn’t work correctly. It seems the intense emotion was stuck. Louise kept describing it in intellectual, mental terms. Our emotional brain does not react well to thinking mind representation. It has to be more concrete for the emotional brain to process.
Making an emotion real.
For the subconscious to process something effectively you have to make it “real”. There is a straightforward trick of the trade to do that. I asked Louise the following question. “If that feeling of sadness had a shape what would it be?” Louise didn’t hesitate: “It is like a big lead ball, very heavy in my chest.” I continued, “If that lead ball had a color what would it be?” “Dark gray to black,” came back as the answer. “What is the temperature?” “It is cool, maybe cold.”
Shift is good.
Louise tapped several quick rounds on the cold gray lead ball in her chest. It had started out as a level 8 and didn’t budge immediately. Then after the third or fourth round it suddenly dropped to a 1. The perception of the heavy gray lead ball had virtually disappeared. But now it shifted to a very tight feeling in the throat. That discomfort Louise rated as a 7. Now, these kinds of shifts in emotion and their perception may sound strange to somebody who has never experienced that. In practice however it is quite normal. The emotional brain is closely connected to the body's autonomic nervous system. Therefore, it quickly and automatically connects emotions to specific perceptions in the body. Shifts between strong emotions and corresponding feelings in the body are a natural part of releasing trauma and pain. These shifts are clear signs of progress in releasing.
Opening to good feelings.
Working with difficult feelings will result in significant relief most of the time. The intensity of the negative emotion may drop to a level 1 or 2 or even a 0. Sometimes the emotional brain will spontaneously shift to a positive emotion. This is a wonderful experience. It is also proof that the negative feeling has been permanently transformed. Especially if you have lost a loved one or had a bad experience with an individual, the release of the negativity allows positive memories and positive perceptions to flood into consciousness. This is what now happened for Louise. Her training and her work now paid off. She suddenly was filled with intensive positive emotions about her last partner Sam. You could see it in her face. A deeply joyful smile had replaced a painful frown.
Losing a loved one can happen to all of us.
Remember, all instruction for dealing with difficult emotions, which includes a loss, are in the second part of the book. They are easy to learn. Most of the time you can even do it yourself. But as you have read in the above case, even experienced people may benefit from being coached in some cases. If you don’t have the book, you can get the book at Amazon. If you have the book, go and read it again to refresh your skills.
Should you have difficulty dealing with a loss, please let us know. We may be able to help.
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: Don’t forget to keep 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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