Risks with Using Powerful Therapies
April 3, 2006
Many people assume that explorations of one's psyche using powerful therapies is intrinsically safe. However, this is far from the truth. Even extremely well adjusted people with absolutely no history of psychological problems can uncover sever or even life threatening material in themselves. Common beliefs like "You never get more than you can handle" and similar are simply not true, however comforting they may be. A very important part of our professional training (and part of the reason we have a certification process) involves making people aware of the possible dangers in using powerful therapies with themselves or with clients. To complicate this problem, peak state processes tend to target just the kinds of developmental events that carry the most profound risks - events that most clients would not uncover on their own.
We continue to work on ways to make it safer and simpler to do this work on ourselves and our clients. We anticipate having much better approaches to this problem as we continue to explore and refine the peak states model. But for now, we are limited to educating students about the risks and having them prepare for them.
Paula Courteau wrote this letter in response to an student's erroneous beliefs about this issue.
"My way of thinking about this is that the dangers are intrinsic to the work, and there might be no way to 'make safer processes', short of what we're doing right now: building a better support network, and finding ways to help people zip through the bad stuff quicker. I think we're all on the same side on this. I was happy to see genuine concern coming from each quarter.
"Here's how I see it: when you start healing yourself, sooner or later you get into your *big one*, your core issue (or one of them! :) ), the one you've spent your whole life protecting against. When you do WHH from current issues, your core issue shows up -sort of - when you're ready for it. (That's when you see people running away from the work. And that's the simple reason why people only use WHH or EFT for a few small issues and then forget about it. So it usually happens quite early on, in the first months after their first workshop; if we're lucky it shows up during the first workshop and there's someone there who can help them through it.)
"With Gaia commands, if that particular process touches the person's core trauma, the issue will come out whether they're ready or not. With that in mind, a "completely safe" Gaia command process is a myth. No matter how often you apply the process on people, and how much testing you do, it'll still trigger some people into their big issue.
"Yes, a Gaia command process that regresses people to very early events will be 'riskier' because all the COEX roads lead to Rome, so to speak. The odds of encountering core traumas are magnified.
"But. Don't we want people to get through their big issues? I'd say yes: and safely too. What we can't do is avoid those issues forever. That's a myth.
"What happened to Ann, to Arleahnna? To Ismael, around Christmas? Simply that they met their big one. Their first big one. They needed a helping hand to get through it. There was no way around it. For Ann, it blocked Deep Peace, and for Arleahnna it blocked Silent Mind, besides robbing her of sleep every single night for the past five years. We did not make those issues, they were already there, ruining their lives: chronic abandonment, chronic depression, chronic insomnia. Now they've each had the experience of facing those traumas head on, with support, and the next one that comes up won't seem so bad.
"So I think that's the way it is. We can't protect people from their core issues. Yes, it helps to have them work from current issues until they're comfortable with Whole-Hearted Healing, but sometimes the big one is there anyway, ready to go. Doing more healing circles is a sound idea in this regard. Beginning students, in particular, can gain their sea legs that way. But no, it won't be totally 'safe'. Human consciousness is not safe! :)
"So the best we can do is what we're doing right now: evolve better support networks and better healers to help people through the snags, and continue being as clear as we can about the risks... even if students really don't believe us until they've been there. That, also, is human nature. It's something we must work with.
" :-) Or else we restrict training to people with no core issues, no denials... I think my kitchen table might qualify! No pesky human issues there!
"My best to all of you. Here's to the hope that we can all work together for a long, long time."
Monti Scribner replies:
"Thanks, Paula, for continuing the discussion on this issue. You helped me to remember a time last year when I was thinking it was time to write my will because there was nothing left to live for, and Grant happened to call me. I didn't even realize what was happening. Maybe we should consider compiling some of the examples and provide them at workshops, etc. so that students can "get it" a different way."
All the best,
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Revision 1.0, April 3, 2006: First draft.