Dealing with Abreactions

The Three-Stage Abreaction

Physiology of Shell Shock:

The British Pathe archive is here:

And, then there's this...

6 Comments on “Dealing with Abreactions

Sonia Richards
March 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Hi Andy many thanks once again. I often show a video of clips of David Bowie doing some subtle and not so subtle abreactions called: “David Bowie Get’s Annoyed”. I like to teach people to be really vigilant about signals especially body language, so that a signal can be dealt with prior to it becoming ramped up to a stage 2 or 3. Mike uses this loads in the business world and it really works to stop people throwing their toys out of the pram. Definitely a great way to get a client into some eye movement at that juncture. I tend to say something like, “Wow that’s really interesting”, or “I’m really curious – and this feeling of being annoyed right now on a scale of 1-10…. etc etc. there is a bit of stuff on the presentation sent to you today with this link:

Change Therapies
March 4, 2020 at 9:05 pm

Thanks Andy, interesting to watch. I had someone who abreacted, she was actually a case study so one of the first people I did IEMT with. She came because she had anxiety and the main emotion was guilt. I started the session and the first eye movements and she started to tear up, I carried on and she said ‘stop Im going to be sick’ I wanted to carry on as I realised this could be an abreaction but she just got up and asked where the toilet was. She went to the toilet, made sounds like she was vomiting but I knew she wasnt. She came back in and I carried on and asked about the feeling she had. We worked on that. She left the session and refused to come back for the second because she said whatever I had done had worked and she’d not felt this relieved in years. She still thanks me months later. No idea what I did but it seemed to work.

Mickey Berkal
March 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm

Another Great Viedo. Many thanks.

An interesting thing I’ve noticed, is that we are tought as babies to get what we need by using tantrums.

The baby gooe’s (subtext: I’m hungry)
Parents: “awwww how cute he is, he is gooeing”
Baby: “goooooooo” (raizing amplitude)
Parents: “aww you are so cute when you goo..”
Baby: SCREEEEEEEAMMMMM – abreaction
Parents rush to find why..

Alma Griffith
March 7, 2020 at 6:36 pm

Great video Andrew thanks, I studied with you 10 years ago and I use IEMT quite a lot within my practice but maybe it’s time for a refresher course in case I’m missing out on some new techniques!

Martin Johnson
March 8, 2020 at 5:39 pm

Thanks Andy. Good to have a recap.

Mandie Bridge
March 9, 2020 at 9:49 am

I can think of three ab reactions I’ve had. The first was with a case study who had a complete meltdown and went to be sick part way through. I just asked if she was okay to carry on and she was. I didn’t flap or get emotional with her, just stood back and let her do what she needed to do. She’s still a client who’s coming to me monthly for ongoing support and is still thanking me and sending me referrals.

The second was a young man around 23 who spent a lot of time telling me he was “broken” and that when his last therapist pushed him to explore his past he turned a table over on her. I asked how angry etc etc but he simply wasn’t having it and again threatened me with violence should I continue to push. I spent a lot of time telling him how he’d perfected his defence mechanisms and that must have helped him to side step his issues for a long time. He admitted this was true. I waited till his mother arrived to collect him (she was beside herself) and told her I couldn’t work with him until he was brave enough to face his emotions. I’ve since found out he’s been a DAILY cannabis user for 9 years and refused to work with him until he’s been clear for at least six months. I’ve also put a disclaimer in my t&c to exclude drug addicts.

The third was laughter. When someone (usually young people/teenagers) laugh at you when you’re working with them. It’s the sceptic in them as they’ve usually been brought to me by parents. I ask them if they want this to work, do they want to address their issues? If they say yes, I explain that they have to take this seriously and they usually end up in tears so I work with them. If they tell me they’re “different” or they are doomed I ask “how’s that working for you?” Then take it from there…. It’s been very effective. I have no problem challenging sceptics now…


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