Anyone that is looking for emotional healing, who wants to feel better about themselves and to heal will have come across CBT.
I’ve already mentioned how important emotional healing is to recovering from chronic illness
I’ve seen so many psychologists and other people talking about how awesome CBT is, I don’t know why because it doesn’t work very well in reality and it’s not a surprise that the most effective methods are not ‘approved’ by the mainstream. I personally don’t care if they don’t ‘approve’ a certain method, because most of what they do recommend doesn’t work anyway.
In my experience, and talking to and observing many others.. the things that have helped them the most aren’t the mainstream methods and if you’re here you most likely agree.
So what’s the problem with CBT?
CBT only works at the level of thoughts, basically attempting to force yourself to change your thoughts which they tell you will change your emotions. Sounds great, sounds logical but it works for like 5 minutes.
If at the deeper level you have intense emotions, trauma, limiting beliefs and such then attempting to change your thoughts at the conscious level will do almost nothing. Sure it’s a small part of it, but there is much deeper things driving your feelings and behaviour.
If instead you are able to go back to your past experiences, heal the emotions connected to and being generated from those.. then your thoughts and feelings will start to change more naturally without you having to force it!
CBT is a bit like just getting more and more angry at yourself for not doing something, and each time yelling louder and louder like “just fucking stop, just fucking don’t be angry ok!”. The deeper parts will come up and cause more ‘resistance’ to this, and in alot of cases the emotion will actually get stronger.
I tried it several times, with different therapists it did little other than piss me off, and I still wasn’t able to shift how I felt until I actually dealt with it at the deeper emotional level. It’s lead me to conclude that though your thoughts can send you into a downward spiral, it’s not really what’s generating most of your issues at the deeper level.
So I want to recommend the methods that i’ve found most effective, and i’ve tried many things over the years, some probably a little weird!
- Inner Child Work.
Inner Child work helped me more than most other things. I’ll take the example of being comfortable socially. I’d do alot of EFT and FasterEFT and it kind of helped, but still something felt off socially, and in my confidence.
When I started doing Inner Child work which helps to connect with and actually feel the emotions that I had suppressed to naturally allow them to discharge, plus learning to stop when I had reached my tolerance for that day instead of continuing to constantly try to bring up more intense stuff like with EFT… I noticed a big difference.
EFT never allowed me to learn to ‘stay with’ these emotions and build the capacity to feel them, instead it just wants to get rid of them as fast as possible.
With Inner Child Work I started to be more consistently comfortable socially, more talkative, more able to connect with people. I started to actually go and enjoy socializing for the sake of it, connecting with people I may not have before because i’d only really want to go out just to meet women in the past.
I learnt that if I was going somewhere and felt anxious, that I was able to connect with my Inner Child and reassure him that everything is okay, that even if he’s feeling ‘this’ then i’m still there for him, I still love him. Then i’d go there and it would be okay, i’d go talk to people and enjoy myself.
I realized that this was one of the best things I had done to reconnect with myself, in a way that EFT and other methods didn’t allow me to do. EFT was mostly all about forcing yourself to bring up more intense emotions to get rid of them, and less about reconnecting with that deeper part of yourself that I was able to do with Inner Child work.
Yes I know there is elements of EFT where you bring in the positive, I did it for years.. but it just didn’t have the same effect that Inner Child work did for me.
If you want to find out more about Inner Child work, you can sign up to get my free guide “Exploring and Healing The Deep Pain of Your Inner Child.”
2. Somatic Trauma Healing.
I got into this more after Inner Child work, and I was able to take my experiences from that and use it with the somatic trauma work.
After working ALOT on trauma with different methods, the best work I found was by Irene Lyon.
It helped me discover something important, that expanded on the learnings about reconnecting with myself. Most trauma work wants to go straight for the intense emotions and just deal with them, and I did that for a long time.
What can happen is this is overwhelming and makes you not want to do the process anymore.
The truth is, you do have to allow yourself to feel some of the emotions to discharge them. The difference is learning to just feel them a bit at a time, and building the capacity to do so instead of overwhelming yourself you learn to listen to your system and know when it’s time to stop.
There is also another important first step that I didn’t find covered in any other method!
When you have alot of trauma, the common denominator is a feeling of a lack of safety in yourself and your body. And the first step of this work is building that sense of safety back in.
What is very cool, is as you do this over time the trauma and emotions come up naturally and you can just let it come up a bit at a time, feel it and let it discharge. Compared to always forcing yourself to bring up the really intense emotions and overwhelming yourself.
It might sound like a subtle distinction but it’s a big one, it’s an important step that is missing from the trauma work I had done before this.
This video talks about ‘building capacity’ in the context of anxiety. She has TONS of other videos that are awesome, so it’s difficult to pick just one.
PSTEC gets a special mention because of my story i’ll mention soon. Also it’s fairly simple to pick up and do yourself. This method is mainly a way of releasing negative emotions connected to a certain event or trauma (the paid programs offer other things such as getting rid of negative beliefs and installing positive beliefs).
As i’ve mentioned in the first 2 methods it is very good to build a foundation of safety in your system as a first step. But before I learnt that I still found PSTEC very beneficial for me. It helped me deal with some pretty intense emotions and past experiences.
It’s simple in that you listen to the instruction audio, then basically focus on the emotion or past event and allow the audio to guide you through releasing it. You just need to tap your fingers in different ways, as weird as this sounds it works very well.
Instead of getting too technical, I want to tell you what PSTEC did for me.
Years ago I got attacked with an axe by a woman’s ex husband, without going into the details it was the most crazy and traumatizing experience i’ve had. I was fine physically but it really messed me up emotionally. I put on heaps of weight, I started to isolate myself alot and wouldn’t ‘reach out’ to people, I lost friends because of that and because I didn’t really feel like I wanted to go out and socialize.
I wasn’t able to stay at women’s places after that and would leave in the middle of the night. I’d have some kind of good excuse that I even rationalized to myself.
I was doing PSTEC on this memory alot, and something shifted. One day I did it multiple times and I suddenly thought “Hmm maybe I can stay around at someones place again” and since then i’ve been able to do so.
I find it difficult to sleep with someone else in the bed and I don’t know if it’s still something left from this.. but that was a big one that really showed me the effectiveness of PSTEC.
Now I personally prefer the first 2 methods. But PSTEC was one I found years ago and if you do want to work on an intense past experience or emotions around a certain situation or issue then it’s a great place to start.
The first 2 methods take more time are can be slower before it gets to the deeper emotions.. but in the end the patience and working on them consistently is really worth it.
But if you want to start to deal with an issue NOW.. then PSTEC is something you might want to look at.
The other awesome thing is you can do ALOT with the free course before you even look at purchasing any of their paid courses.
Click the banner below to find their free course.