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PowerTips September 2001
This month we have the following: Update on GaugeWork. Would you believe that gauges can be "applied" to events?! Trial notes and book announcement. A discussion of the most effective aspects of the depression treatment program, and announcing a book in progress comprehensively describing our successful approach to depression treatment. Neuro-somatic Treatment for Depression: A Preliminary Report on a Group Treatment Program. This is the research paper on a successful clinical trial of a self-treatment program for depression in a group setting.
Electronic Journal for
the New Psychotherapies - V18/9/01
Welcome all readers, old and new, to the September 2001 edition of Power Tips, the first electronic journal in the world for the new psychotherapies.
This month we announce a new focus for Power Tips. In line with our commitment to the dissemination of evidence-based therapies, Power Tips will try to publish at least one research article each month.
I am kicking off that process this month with my own paper on our depression trial, together with a less formal discussion about what I believe were the key components, as well as an update on the progress of the trial participants 9 months after completion.
I encourage anyone who has completed a research
project or who has come across an interesting research paper relating to
innovative approaches to mental health to contact me on Christine@lifeworks-group.com.au
so that it may be considered for inclusion in Power
Similarly, if you have a resource or an article which you consider advances our knowledge of our field, please contact me.
As an update on GaugeWork, which many of us continue to play and experiment with, I include a case study of a recent experience in "applying" the gauge to a traumatic past event, with instant and dramatic result.
Update on GaugeWork
I've shared Astra Johnston's GaugeWork several times in this journal and have been pleased and interested to hear feedback from subscribers and others on the lists, describing their various experiences.
I now want to share a way I devised just 2 weeks ago of "applying" a gauge to a problem event.
I realised we had not even begun to "get to the bottom" of GaugeWork, and indeed, there's much more to GaugeWork than first meets the eye, but I really do believe that any experienced therapist will discover for themselves ways to use it effectively, with true artistry, as many have already.
I think that most of us are very aware of the "literal and precise" nature of the so-called "subconscious" and probably exquisitely sensitised to the client's language and physiology. These twin skills make GaugeWork both rapid and easy. And of course most of us would use GaugeWork in combination with other approaches and probably flow rather seamlessly from one to the other, depending upon the task at hand.
Recently, I discovered that gauges can be "applied". I had been wondering about the nature of energy therapies and what it is we are actually doing, and thinking to myself, there has got to be an even faster way, once we discover the "key" to this. I felt that possibly this related to internal states (as in NLP). This has been continually nagging me for the last several weeks. Then, as I was working with a client and she blurted out "It's like they just don't have any respect for me" complete with strong physiological effect, my alarm bells went off. I gently inquired about her level of respect for herself and she began to cry. I figured at the time (and I think I was wrong - will explain in a moment) that this was a key "value" for her (neurological level).
So we did a gauge for "I deeply respect myself at every moment and in every situation". I noted her dramatically changing physiology and thought, "This is one very powerful gauge!". I wondered what would happen if we could take this gauge and "apply" it to a past event. So I MT'd to check her unconscious mind would indeed do that in a comprehensive way, and proceeded to test on a relatively minor "hurt" she had reported earlier. It cleared. Applied it to another. It cleared. Went for broke and applied it to the biggie she had come to me for in the first place and which I had been moving in on very slowly because of its traumatic nature. Saw the "smoke coming out of the ears" look.
Applied it to every single emotional response to those events, every single physical response to those events, all shock/trauma, anger, judgement, unforgiveness (thanks Larry Nims). This took maybe 60 seconds. Asked her to just touch the trauma. Just a smile. Asked her to fully relive. Laughed and laughed. Complete physical transformation. Voice, posture, gestures, cognitions. Powerful person sitting in front of me.
Now the mistake I made. I assumed this gauge was a powerful one because it was set at the level of values, rather than environment, behaviour, capabilities. Now, after more experimentation, I believe it was actually higher, the level of spirit/connection/vision. I think for her it had that higher/deeper meaning.
I'll share a personal example as further explanation. I decided to deliberately set a gauge for myself at the level of spirit/connection/vision and did "I am one with God", thinking this must be the "supreme gauge". To my surprise and dismay I found "I am important" was the statement that expressed that level for me. I may just be rationalising something crass; however I also wonder if that word truly represents that level, sprit/connection/vision, and it could, because for me I discovered it carries a sense of awe at everyone and everything.
I cannot say "I am important" and feel separate. When I say "I am important" I have a sense of "going out" and "being one" with all, as if I lose myself in everything. So you see, once again, this stuff isn't necessarily logical and may even seem paradoxical.
To get the most out of GaugeWork, one has to put aside surface meanings and judgements and be prepared to work with what presents. What words come as you work? What response do you have, physiologically, to them?
I also experimented with combining gauges by "applying" one gauge to another. Astra has put her happiness gauge "over the top of" all her gauges. Kevin (thank you Kevin) has "aimed" his gauge at a target.
I encourage everyone to play with these concepts, and ask, in the words of Richard Bandler "How much delight can you stand?" :-)
Trial Notes and Book Announcement.
Now that our clinical trial of a group treatment program for depression is essentially finished, and we have only the 12-month and 24-month follow-ups to complete, it is time for a more meaningful discussion of what it was that worked.
Immediately on conclusion of the 6-day trial, 90% of the women and 75% of the men no longer met the criteria for clinical depression. The remainder had statistically and clinically significant decrease of their depression rates. At 6-month follow-up, all but 1 of the trial participants no longer met the criteria for depression, and that 1 person had continued to improve.
I am currently writing a comprehensive text on the trial, in a format which I hope will both assist therapists and promote self treatment for the rapid elimination of depression. The following notes, while based on the content and findings from the trial, also delineate the structure of the text.
1 The Experience of Depression
Conventional approaches to depression have been: no treatment (because it is very often missed by the health professional), pharmacotherapy alone, or pharmacotherapy in combination with "talk" therapy. Sometimes ECT has been used as a therapy of last resort.
Various theories exist to explain depression and it is believed that approximately 50% of people suffering from depression have a genetic predisposition to low seratonin production.
Although depression is found across all age groups, it seems predominant in females (approx 2:1 according to Australian ABS data) and also clusters around certain life cycle events/stages.
We propose a new model for depression, encompassing learning theory and brain function, orthomolecular medicine, and neuro-somatic theories.
2 Declaration of a Breakthrough
Our research indicates that regardless of genetic influences, or whether the depression is endogenous or exogenous, treatment outcomes using our self-treatment/training program are uniformly outstanding. Not only that, but treatment effects seem to magnify over time.
It is apparent to us that permanent results can be obtained, even with severe depression, in a matter of days at most.
3 Making a Start
Because the experience of depression is so unique to each individual, we teach clients to construct a mindmap of their problem. This may well be subject to modification as self-awareness grows and also as progress is made.
We stress the importance of a complete nutritional review by a qualified person. We do not at present believe that anyone but a medical doctor specialising in biochemistry could properly understand and work with the subtle and highly complex chemical ratios which underpin proper mental and physical function.
Our reason for including this type of investigation (which was not part of our clinical trial) is that although subjects report elimination of depression, it was common for some fatigue, digestion or sleep disturbance to remain. In a zinc taste test, over 90% of the trial participants were found to be zinc deficient (and zinc is vital for serotonin and melatonin production).
We also stress the importance of light physical exercise, done on a daily basis in the outdoors. This recommendation is made in support of a recent Duke University study which showed the positive effect of this type of exercise (though interestingly not when combined with pharmacotherapy!).
Whilst we believe people will get far better and faster results if first weaned off medication, we must strongly discourage anyone from simply withdrawing. Evidence is to hand that withdrawal from anti-depressants (particularly the new SSRI's) can be dangerous (note 26 August 2001, class action against Glaxo Smithkline Corporation by thousands of Paxil users and recent murder case in Australia attributed by court to reaction to Prozac). Titration must be managed under the supervision of a medical specialist.
4 The Resource Triangle
This is the centrepiece of the treatment program. Participants are shown how to use this simple but powerful neuro-linguistic/neuro-somatic process (developed by NLP genius and master trainer Rex Steven Sikes) to eliminate their depression. I have my colleague Dr Allen Gomes to thank for the innovation of using extremely horrid and bizarre (but often fun) states to ramp up the effectiveness of this technique.
The Resource Triangle works not by fighting against the depressed state, but by adding other intense states to it. Like any recipe, the neurological recipe for depression cannot turn out a predictable result if we "stuff around" with the ingredients.
5 Emotional Freedom Techniques, and Be Set Free Fast
EFT, developed by Gary Craig, and BSFF, developed by Dr Larry Phillip Nims, are used to treat every aspect of the depression, as uniquely experienced by each person. These same techniques are used later in removing internal blocks to goal achievement.
6 Metaphor - Watch Your Words!
Here we make clients aware of metaphors they use to filter or describe their life experiences and demonstrate how powerful and easy it is to simply swap metaphors.
7 GaugeWork - Latest Breakthrough in Fast Change
This work was not included in the trial -- it wasn't even invented at that time, and it continues to evolve even now. The section includes a brief history of GaugeWork, GaugeWork for aspects of depression, applying gauges, and using gauges to go beyond depression to what we really want in life.
8 Exercise - a Vital Component
Full description of Duke University study. We also include cross-crawling type movements from kinesiology.
9 Problem Solving
Depression is not caused by problems, but they certainly do affect quality of life. We found that our trial program did not necessarily equip people to solve the problems in their lives. In the 5 follow-up meetings with each individual no treatment was offered because the aim was merely to support the participants' own self-treatment. We commonly found a strong focus on problem solving, leading us to believe that with the depression basically eliminated, people had higher expectations of being able to solve their problems but did not necessarily have the skills to do so. Therefore we now teach several approaches to problem solving, including NLP approaches.
10 Staying Well in the Face of Family Pressure
We explain family systems for health and dysfunction, based mainly on the work of Virginia Satir. We also use NLP extensively to teach clients how to maintain rapport and connection while saying "no" to people.
We discuss "being a model" for family members, rather than "supporting" the family, as well as recognising problem "ownership".
Here we also teach "boundary work" and approach that using muscle testing and BSFF.
11 Getting the Life of Your Dreams
All good goal setting aims not "at" but "through". Therefore rather than simply aiming at eliminating the depression, we teach powerful processes for planning for and getting goals, based on my own dream information which could be called a "Web of Life", but which is in fact a common symbol through many cultures and times.
We teach a process for sharing and maintaining your dream with others.
This book is expected to be published by the end of 2001 and will retail at $AU96 plus postage and handling. Anyone who would like to register their interest is warmly invited to email me on Christine@lifeworks-group.com.au.
Research Paper - "Neuro-somatic Treatment for Depression: A Preliminary Report on a Group Treatment Program
For a full copy of this paper, please go to address below and select article: http://www.lifeworks-group.com.au/research/
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