Some Emotional Healing Myths
There are a few wide-spread myths about emotional healing which actually contribute to suffering:
- It takes a long time to heal. If you are digging a hole with a spoon, yes it takes a long time. Using a shovel to move the earth is way faster and if the hole needed is bigger, then a back-hoe is in order. Many of the mainstream approaches to healing are designed to nibble away at the pain, allowing only a little of it to be released at a time. Obviously, this approach means that it takes a long time for stored feelings to be released. (Using AER to accelerate the natural release process, one can let go of feelings in minutes instead of nibbling away at them over a number of years). Another factor here is the normal human tendency to avoid pain, which leads many practitioners to unconsciously shun any pain in themselves that gets triggered while they are working with clients. Typically, a practitioner who has their own pain triggered will engage in actions to cut short the session or steer the focus to safer (i.e., less painful for them) topics. This means that the client's progress is impeded by the practitioner's own healing progress.
- Issues never go away. If one limits oneself to only obtaining relief, then the issue (stored pain) will not go away. If one releases the stored feeling, then the issue gets released as well. Associated with this is the widespread mistaken belief that relief from stress, pain and suffering equates with resolution of the underlying issue. Research has shown that relief is not the end of the release and healing process, but actually a mid-point. (With AER, the objective is to reach full release so as to empty the system of the stored pain.)
- We need to understand why we feel the way we do. There is an overemphasis in traditional cognitive therapy on the importance of the rational mind and its capabilities and proper use. This results in approaches which spend a lot of time revisiting past events, examining them in detail, analyzing and puzzling over them. fMRI (functional MRI) scans of human brains have shown that different parts of the brain are activated when one thinks about from when one revisits an experience, so all this thinking is not actually contributing much to the releasing of mind, heart, and body components of stored stress and trauma. Chasing after the "why" is a good distraction, but it does not lead to release.
- You need to really shout that anger out of you. There is often an inaccurate equating of the intense experiences and catharsis that clients may have and the process of releasing of stress and healing of emotional wounds. Intense experiences are no guarantee of release. Deliberately invoking anger by shouting or beating on pillows, for example, rehearses that emotion, actually re-energizing the neural pathways associated with it. Yes, one often feels somewhat better, but that is mainly emotional and physical exhaustion, not real release. And rehearsal of stored pain can actually create for you a setback on your path to a better life, instead of allowing you to move forward.
- You need a therapist for everything. No, you can handle a lot of your stored issues using AER and your natural release process. For those issues which you find more challenging, you can consult a facilitator. The media has done a good job of teaching us that psychotherapy/counseling is needed for almost every issue, but many people are happily letting go of their stored pain all on their own with the help of AER.
- You need to peel the many layers of the onion. Issues are not layered - they are where they are and can be accessed in any order. You can think of them as being in a line-up (queue) for a bus. The first one you notice just happens to be the first one in that line-up. IT is not necessarily more or less important or relevant than any other issue/stored feeling that you will eventually release.
- You are just where you need to be. While this is true in one sense, as in you are where you are, it should not be used as a way to imply that anyone is stuck in something. In each second you have the opportunity to decide to release anything (a thought, a feeling, a body sensation, a belief, etc.) that is holding you back. Once you have made that decision, you can use AER to facilitate that release.
- You are resisting. Don't let anyone blame you for their process not working. Humans do avoid change, but when change is made safe, one can advance.
As a result of these myths, many people continue their constant searching for the "cure" as they assume that there is something inherently wrong with them when they don't get better no matter how many healing modalities they try or how many years they are in therapy. In fact it is usually the modality which does not provide them with a resolution to their stress and pain, not them.
Many times modality used was only taking clients to a level of relief, at best, providing an aspirin, as it were.