Re-Entry Protocol For De-Stressing With WHEE
For soldiers, children after divorce, released prisoners, people involved i
Daniel J Benor, MD, Psychiatrists, Amer. Board Integrative Holistic Med
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New approaches to dealing with severe stress are enormously helpful in clearing emotional traumas. The Wholistic Hybrid derived from EMDR and EFT (WHEE), briefly described below, can often reduce and even eliminate stress reactions within minutes.
WHEE invites the body to participate in releasing anxieties and stresses. You simply alternate tapping on the right and left side of your body while reciting an affirmation, and the negativity melts away. You can then use the same process to install positive feelings, beliefs and awarenesses – to replace the negativity you have released. (Benor 2000)
One of the clearest situations where WHEE can be effective is in wars and their aftermaths. Troops coming home from a war often suffer severe re-entry stresses. In going to war, they are indoctrinated by the military in ways that make them more capable of killing and more able to survive in very stressful situations. Being in a war zone, where they may have to kill or be killed, these lessons are often strongly reinforced by repeated frightening challenges. For instance, terrorist activities make it impossible for troops to trust anyone, because terrorists could attack at any time in any place. Soldiers may have to choose between shooting innocent people and risking becoming the victims of suicide bombers.
Upon returning from war, soldiers carry with them the residues of considerable stresses they were unable to process and had to "stuff away" – in order to survive and function in as healthy a way as possible while in the war zone. This is a "survival mode" of functioning, because all of their psychological resources must be available for combat duties. Soldiers cannot afford to be distracted by their emotions, even when these would otherwise be overwhelming. Therefore, soldiers end up carrying a bucket full of undigested stresses, anxieties and fears.
Returning soldiers' buckets of buried traumas may be so full that if any further stresses come along, the buckets overflow. Some may over-react to minor challenges and explode in tears, anger or violence. Some may be unable to focus or concentrate, may have memory lapses, and may feel grossly misunderstood and unaccepted.
Others may find it difficult to fall asleep, and powerful nightmares may waken them – in replays of the terrors they had to “stuff away.” They may suffer flashbacks and periodical emotional overflows from their "buckets." (Technically, much of this may be labeled as a "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.) These symptoms are much worse if the traumas involved participating in or observing the killing of enemies or comrades (McNair 2002; recent references below). A recent Wired.com article notes that
As many as 17 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, one congressional study estimates. Nearly 3,300 troops have suffered traumatic brain injury, or TBI, according to statistics assembled last summer. And the lifetime costs of treating these ailments could pile up to as much as $35 billion, a Columbia University report guesses.
Rescue workers’ stresses
Rescue workers who witness unspeakable horrors of natural and man-made disasters may have similar stress reactions. These may occur in the process of the rescue work, as workers may be unprepared for the magnitude of the disasters they encounter, or may also occur upon return to their homes.
Civilian stress situations
While we are perhaps more acutely aware of the dramatic re-entry problems of soldiers and rescue workers, others frequently suffer similar re-entry difficulties. I see this often in children and families I work with as a psychiatric psychotherapist.
Children who have been abused may have PTSD reactions of fears, sleeplessness, nightmares, and rages. Even on being moved to a safe home, they may exhibit all of the reactions that soldiers experience on re-entry to normal society.
Children who move from the home of one separated or divorced parent to the home of the other often experience repeated re-entry stresses, and may exhibit very similar behaviors for a day or more upon their return to one home, following their visits to the home of the other parent. They are often irritable, oppositional, crying and have temper outbursts.
Children who visit parents in jail often return home distressed over the visits, and experience overflows of feelings stuffed in their buckets.
Prisoners released from months in jail often have re-entry anxieties. Much as they are relieved to be out of prison, they are unused to being in an unpredictable environment. They may over-react to minor stresses, such as noises, motor vehicles moving near them, or having to sort out the requirements of daily living. Being questioned about their situation is extremely stressful to many who anticipate being criticized or rejected for their past misdeeds.
People who witness the horrors of war and natural disasters may experience stress responses – simply from seeing the horrendous images on their TV screens or through other media. There are people who still shudder to this day when recalling the sights of those who perished in the Twin Towers on 9-11. They may fear that they are no longer safe in their homes, unlikely as it may be that they would ever be targets of similar disasters.
Any life changes can bring about stress reactions. All of us may have re-entry challenges after going on vacation. We may experience stress re-entry problems on returning to work or to family obligations.
Even coming home from work or school at the end of a stressful day can be a re-entry challenge.
A rapid, potent method for de-stressing:
WHEE - Wholistic Hybrid of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
This method of self-healing helps release psychological and physical pains, enhances confidence, and improves work and sports performance. Very rapidly effective, it is like a vacuum cleaner that allows you to clear away old junk that you carry around with you from hurtful experiences.
WHEE can also transform attitudes surrounding stress - from annoyance, frustration, or despair to acceptance, forgiveness, and even to gratitude that you are being offered further opportunities to clear the bucket of "stuffed" junk that you carry with you.
WHEE can help to build up positive feelings and self-confidence.
WHEE essentially gives you the tools to reprogram your hard drive (which you let a little child program for you as you were growing up). Many of us carry unhelpful programs for dealing with stress – which are carry-overs from our childhood traumatic experiences. As children, we often run away from whatever is painful – either literally or by burying the feelings in our unconscious mind. These habits of stuffing our feelings become automatic. WHEE enables you to change these childish ways of dealing with adult situations.
WHEE is one of the fastest of the many meridian based therapies, and taps into the research database of EMDR.
Broader contributions of WHEE
Anger is a major component of many people’s buckets. This is a destructive feeling that can fester and spill over when current irritations stir more angers. Often, in the heat of our initial responses and in the relief of emptying our buckets of old angers, we don’t stop to consider that there might be better ways to deal with these feelings (Benor, 2003).
Practicing WHEE can offer us benefits in more and more difficult situations. While WHEE can be helpful for anger, as for any other emotions, it may be difficult for beginners to use it under stress – unless one has practiced using it before.
Having a way to deal with anger can be far more helpful than for just the individual person. Collectively, our society carries enormous quantities of anger. When attacked or threatened, we may respond with rage that is disproportionate to the attack.
Each drop of anger that we remove from our individual buckets is a drop less in the collective bucket – a bucket that can otherwise lead to wars and other unhelpful reactions to national and international stresses. If you have ever seen how quickly the drops from a dripping faucet or leaking pipe can create a flood, you will appreciate how removing drops of anger from the collective buckets can reduce the negative vibrations that flood our planet.
Individual examples (Composite cases)
Sal had serious temper problems after being released from a correctional facility, where he had spent six months after his arrest for drug-related offenses. The experience had been very stressful. He witnessed numerous fights and several stabbings. He had no support or counseling during his incarceration. While he was fortunate in having family support and in finding a job upon his release, he was so nervous that his hands shook if he was questioned by his boss over routine issues. He had difficulty sleeping at night, and was starting to struggle with cravings for the drugs that had gotten him in trouble in the first place.
WHEE not only helped relieve his anxieties at work, it helped him release his recurrent mental replays of the traumatic memories that plagued him. WHEE also gave him a potent way to deal with his cravings.
Gill, a 9 year-old girl who shuttled between her parents’ homes each week, was crabby, oppositional, tearful and easily angered upon returning to her mother’s home. Her mother was concerned because this was continuing two years after her parents had separated. Within two weeks of starting to use WHEE, Gill was no longer upset by the re-entry challenges she faced weekly. Her mother also found WHEE helpful in dealing with her own stresses of being a single mother to three children, on top of having to work and maintain their home.
If you are not familiar with WHEE or other, similar approaches, you may find it helpful to read the above article before continuing below.
Re-entry issues for which WHEE may be helpful
- Specific sensory memories of traumas (any and all of the senses may be involved)
- Feelings associated with the image memories, such as fear, anger, helplessness, physical pain, emotional pain, despair
- Feelings of betrayal by other people, authorities, God
- Your own helplessness and inability to “fix” the problem – at the time of the trauma or afterwards
- Sadness, grief, bereavement over losses (other people who were killed or injured, your own former self, losses of functions or possessions due to the trauma)
- Feelings of guilt for not having avoided, dealt better with, or believing you contributed to the problem
- Frustrations with yourself and others that the problem is not being resolved more quickly, satisfactorily or completely
- Worries about the future
- Issues in the past that resonate with the recent traumas
WHEE is not about doing away with issues so that we can forget, ignore or run away from them. WHEE is a way to reduce the intensity of negative feelings and to reprogram negativity in general.
Once we have reduced the negative feelings – which can be so intense or persistent that they obstruct our normal functioning – we are then more able to function in the world. This may be sufficient for our needs and circumstances.
We may also seek further understanding, process our reactions, and come to acceptance and forgiveness. We may seek to work on difficulties in our relationships – past and present. Having cleared negativity, we will often find that we have much more energies and clarity in dealing with such issues.
These are topics for greater discussion than is possible here.
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My bio summarizes my ongoing search for ever more ways to peel the onion of life's resistances, to reach the knowing (with the inner knowing of truth which has the feel of rightness) that we are all cells in the body of the Infinite Source.
While my unique area of expertise is spiritual awareness and healing, my principal work is through wholistic healing – addressing spirit, relationships (with other people and the environment), mind, emotions and body. I am using WHEE, a potent self-healing method, with children and adults who are dealing with PTSD and other forms of stress, psychological and physical pain, low self-esteem, cravings and other issues.
Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM, is a wholistic psychiatric psychotherapist who blends in his therapy elements from intuitive and spiritual awareness, spiritual healing (as in Reiki and Therapeutic Touch), WHEE - Wholistic Hybrid derived from EMDR and EFT (www.paintap.com); transactional analysis, gestalt therapy, hypnotherapy, meditation, imagery and relaxation, dream analysis, and other approaches. Dr. Benor has taught this spectrum of methods internationally for 35 years to people involved in wholistic, intuitive, and spiritual approaches to caring, health and personal development.
Dr. Benor founded The Doctor-Healer Network in England and North America. He is the author of 7 Minutes to Natural Pain Release, Healing Research, Volumes I-III and many articles on wholistic, spiritual healing. He is the editor of the peer reviewed International Journal of Healing and Caring - On Line (www.ijhc.org) and moderator of www.WholisticHealingResearch.com, a major informational website on spiritual awareness, healing and CAM research.
He appears internationally on radio and TV. He is a Founding Diplomat of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, Founder and Past Coordinator for the Council for Healing, a non-profit organization that promotes awareness of spiritual healing (www.councilforhealing.org), and for many years on the advisory boards of the journals, Alternative Therapies, Subtle Energies (ISSSEEM), Frontier Sciences, Explore, the Advisory Council of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychotherapy (ACEP), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and the Advisory Board of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine (UK), Core reviewer for BioMed Central, Complementary and Alternative Medicine – On line.
Posted July 04, 2010 12:26 AM
wow, I am so inspired!
I thrive on new information and learning how to connect further into the subconscious.
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