EXPOSURE TYPE INTERVENTIONS
The way the brain works is to receive triggers, either internal or external, then perform a patter match, then make a prediction. If the trigger finally results in a bad habit then the brain will make the same prediction based on a similar trigger and the bad habit will be repeated.
To achieve permanent change to a bad habit there needs to be an intervention. If there is heightened emotions at the time of the intervention then the memory is re-consolidated and stored in long term memory and further triggers will not result in the old bad habit.
If there is high conflict or trauma at the time of the trigger, then in nearly all therapies the client has to be held in a "safe place" while the emotion is heightened by the therapist and the intervention is implemented.
Various therapies use this technique successful including:
- Behaviourial Therapy treating panic attacks, where the therapist uses exposure therapy and gradually increases the level of exposure.
- Emotional Focused Therapy in couples counseling, where the therapist brings the pursuing partner together with their withdrawing partner, in heightened emotions, so they both achieve insight into each others' response
THE STOP FIND CALM, BIG PICTURE technique.
This technique has been developed in Cognitive Principle Therapy to reduce anger and anxiety within a short period of time. It differs from the other techniques in that it doesn't need a therapist to be there at the time of the heightened emotion.
- The technique is taught as a mantra and a separate visualization.
- The technique is activated at the point the trigger arrives.
- The mantra replaces the therapist and calms the client down.
- The visualization solves the problem and the memory is re-consolidated
The technique can be viewed at the attached link to the Youtube video.