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Process Healing
 

 

A Theory and Treatment of Your Personality:
a manual for change

by Garry A. Flint, Ph.D.

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Table of Contents

Preface


Introduction

Chapter 1 (191KB PDF download)

Chapter 2 (316KB PDF download)

Chapter 3 (992KB PDF download)

Book through Chapter 3 (1.6KB PDF)

 

 


Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Preface
Part I – For the Self-help Reader
Chapter 1. The Discovery of the Process Healing Method
Chapter 2. An Introduction to the Process Healing Method
Chapter 3. Teaching the Process Healing Method
Chapter 4. General Information and Basic Treatment
Chapter 5. How the Memory and the Brain Work
Chapter 6. Problem-solving
Chapter 7. Interventions with Parts
Chapter 8. Memory and Structures
Part II – For the Therapist
Chapter 9. Treating Personality Issues
Chapter 10. Treating the Symptoms of Complex Issues
Summary
Appendices
I. Patient and Therapist Treatment Aids
II. The Personality and Parts Phenomena
III. Glossary – Alphabetical
IV. Glossary of New Concepts
V. Emotional Freedom Techniques – a useful resource
VI. Tapas Acupressure Technique for Obsessions
References
Index
About the Author

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Preface
by
Joaquin Andrade, M.D.

The reason of being and purpose of a clinician is to reduce human suffering and, in that ongoing battle, to look continually for innovative tools and new tactics. All dogmas, theories, schools, styles, lines of thought, beliefs, systems and their assumptions collapse in the face of an alternative intervention when the patient relaxes and says with a smile, “I feel much better! I can do things now that I couldn't´t do before!”
Because none of the available therapeutic tools is perfect, the clinician is a perpetual seeker. Attention must be divided between the practice of healing and the non-stop search for tools that may have the possibility of producing results which were not possible before. The clinician wants tools that work faster, simpler, and are longer lasting, less complicated, and free of side effects.
This was the sense of mission that led me, as a young doctor, some thirty plus years ago, to take my first trip to China. I studied acupuncture at its original and most genuine source. Since that time, Traditional Chinese Medicine has been one of the tools that has helped my colleagues and me to achieve some of the goals mentioned above.
Throughout my extended career, I was never satisfied with the results I was getting in the treatment of anxiety disorders. The usual combination of drugs that are often prescribed with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) was not as effective for my patients as it was claimed to be in the literature. Most notably, it didn't’t produce the results we sought when treating panic disorders, agoraphobia's, performance anxieties, and other phobias. Treatment with CBT required many sessions, and often psychoactive drugs had to be taken constantly to avoid relapses.
Then, in 1989, a dear colleague whose sister-in-law had been recently treated for her phobia with what was then called ”Callahan Techniques,” was very impressed by the results. He said few treatments were necessary and the results were quick and complete.
It was then that he taught me his version of a phobia tapping protocol. At the time, we mistakenly assumed that the phobia protocol was the complete system! I started using the protocol on patients with a range of disorders: phobic's, panic disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, test anxieties, and so forth. The results were overwhelming! We were so impressed with getting fast treatment responses that we decided to study, learn, and verify the treatment in depth with all our medical resources.
For fourteen years, with slightly fewer than 50,000 patients, we conducted clinical trials in several centers in two countries. We had a distinguished team of MD's, clinical psychologists, neuroscientists, RN's, and professional researchers. We wanted to measure, within the boundaries of our clinical practice, the efficacy of those brief techniques which required activating traumatic memories while at the same time causing simultaneous multisensory overload of subcortical structures.
Our work resulted in what has been called the first large-scale clinical trials that compared the new Brief MultiSensory Activation techniques (BMSA) to the conventional “CBT with drugs.” For reasons that we elaborate in our book on BMSA (Andrade, Aalberse, Sutherland & Ruden, 2006), we prefer to describe this work as BMSA rather than “tapping” or “energy psychology.”
My good friend, David Feinstein, Ph.D., former researcher on psychotherapeutic innovations at the Department of Psychiatry of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, author of the Energy Psychology Interactive CD (Feinstein, 2004), which was ­favorably reviewed recently by the American Psychological Association, ­has co-authored the resulting report of these trials, comparing BMSA and CBT with medication (Andrade & Feinstein, 2003). The findings show that BMSA works better in fewer sessions and lasts longer than other types of therapy.
But, as good as those techniques were, we still had our share of failures, even though our techniques dramatically improved the percentage of positive clinical outcomes. Dissociation, in particular, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), was one of the disorders that we found difficult to treat with tapping alone.
Then, one day while searching an internet list for persons who treated by tapping, we read a post from Dr Flint about dissociation. He mentioned The Process Healing Method (PH). I was curious and went to his web site, downloaded his instructions and immediately began to apply a basic version of Process Healing in our clinical work.
In just a few weeks, after having treated about three dozen patients, we found Process Healing extremely effective. We began applying it on patients for whom BMSA had failed. To our delight, a huge percentage of those resistant patients started to show results. So, following a previous pattern which had been used successfully for other disciplines, we decided that PH could be similarly tested on a larger patient population.
At the moment of this writing, I have applied Process Healing to 600 patients. I am amazed at this incredible tool. I wrote to Dr Flint, telling him that I thought he had discovered something very powerful and that its full potential was still to be developed.
Bear in mind that I learned Process Healing by reading Dr Flint’s instructions and that I practice what could be considered a beginner’s version of Process Healing. However, the results I am getting with PH on all kinds of PTSD, DID, anxiety disorders and every sort of somatization resistant to BMSA are very impressive! To our astonishment, even some kinds of purely physical disorders and complaints respond to Process Healing far better than can be expected from other therapies. If we are able to get such excellent results after studying only basic written instructions, just imagine what the reader of this complete text can expect!
I taught my simple version of Process Healing to about a dozen certified therapists in our group. We are all getting similar results. Namely, Process Healing yields positive clinical responses with 60% of the cases that failed to respond to every other therapy available to us!
Our present strategy is to continue using BMSA techniques with simple cases, and to apply Process Healing to BMSA-resistant patients. At the same time, we are beginning to explore Process Healing in other pathologies such as somatizations, headaches, sexual disorders, other primarily somatic disorders, and so forth.
From a theoretical point of view, the learning model that Dr Flint uses to explain the Process Healing mechanism makes much sense to me. The process by which parts are invited to join the ”Treatment Team” is full of analogies to the teaching process in which parts of the personality with self-limiting information are offered self-empowering information. No doubt all parts change during the process, and a new and healthier context results.
This text is the founder’s handbook of The Process Healing Method. The book is by no means exhaustive and my guess is that future books will complete and expand it. Dr Flint has so much to teach that it is impossible to reduce it to a single book
Based on my experience with Process Healing, I suggest the reader digest this book with curiosity and immediately begin to practice and apply PH with a passion. As my own experience and that of my colleagues has documented, PH produces extraordinary results which are impossible to achieve by any other means of psychotherapeutic treatment. I invite the reader to thoroughly investigate this most fascinating therapeutic technique in the pages ahead.


Joaquín Andrade, MD
Medical Director, JA&A
Argentina, South America

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Introduction

This book is intended as a guide for individuals who want to make changes in their personalities and for professionals who may want to use it in their practice. The purpose of this book is to provide you, the reader, with the understanding I have gained by developing, refining, and working with this treatment method over the past 12 years. Reports from Internet users, colleagues who are using it, and my own experience confirm the Process Healing Method as a respectful, effective, and safe way to treat self-destructive behaviors, beliefs, painful emotions and memories.
This book is both a step-by-step tutorial for how to use the Process Healing Method and a presentation of the theory behind the method. The first three chapters have been available on the Internet since 1998 and have been downloaded or read by several thousand people. These chapters describe the Process Healing Method in enough detail so that many readers have experienced the intervention just by reading the chapters. Many have gained a deeper understanding of themselves and realized positive changes in their lives by using this method.
Throughout this book, the aim is to provide you with enough information, in a “tutorial” style, to guide you in the process of speaking and responding to any barrier blocking treatment. This is an effort to make the book as easy to use as possible for both the nonprofessional and for the mental health professional willing to explore a new treatment approach. This approach is a useful adjunct not only in the mental health profession, but in the medical profession as well.
Some of the constructs in the theory are different from those in common use. It may be helpful to the mental health professional if I point out some of the underlying assumptions of this model of personality development and treatment.
1. The subconscious is a language process independent of conscious and unconscious activity and of all memories. It has capacities far beyond our expectations, such as being able to work independently of our personality to treat negative beliefs, memories and experiences. The subconscious will understand and learn as you read the book.
2. The conscious and unconscious constructs represent active memories and related neural activity. Memories are either dormant or active in the conscious or unconscious Active Experience. Dormant memories do not take part in creating behavior. Only memories in the conscious and unconscious Active Experience take part in creating behavior. Memories are not stored in the unconscious or subconscious.
3. Internal and external stimulation (including our behavior) triggers relevant dormant memories into Active Experience while other no longer relevant active memories become and remain dormant.
4. Dissociation is a natural process and is present in our everyday behavior in addition to helping us deal with traumatic or painful experiences. I further assume that amnesia caused by the dissociation process, namely dissociative parts and memories, is different from the amnesia caused by severe, novel trauma, which causes amnesic parts and memories. While any individual may have both amnesic and dissociative parts, two different processes cause them. Amnesic parts and memories naturally include dissociative parts and memories when adaptive.
5. Internal and external stimulation and active memories determine everyone’s behavior. There are two kinds of memories: Content Memories, which involve sensory experiences, and Emotion Memories. There are three state-dependent content-memory structures that contribute to running our behavior.
6. Memories have unique structures that associate with a collage of previously learned memories and emotions to create our behavior. The most helpful or fitting active content and Emotion Memories assemble in a collage that associates with a unique memory structure. This memory structure represents our reaction to the current experience, i.e. it causes our current behavior. Memories are recycled repeatedly in different combinations to create new memories for new behaviors.
7. All brain and body activity is run and managed by memories. This means that it is possible to change memories in order to treat learned mental and physical issues.
I use many constructs in this model of the personality. The constructs, of course, are not real. They are metaphors for what is “real” in our minds and bodies. However, once the constructs and theory are absorbed, they provide a language with which to communicate with the subconscious in such a way as to cause change in a problematic issue. You may find the theory complex until you learn and become familiar with the concepts and the entire model. However, it is not necessary to understand the theory in order to begin your treatment process. The theory comes in handy for treating more complex structures. However, by communicating with the subconscious, you can simply work with it to identify the next appropriate intervention and the solutions to barriers. The more you use the Process Healing Method, the more skillful you will become and the more you will trust the model to simplify and treat complex problems or issues.
The constructs or metaphors used are powerful tools for communication. They effectively guide the subconscious to make changes in memory, i.e. to remove negative emotions from memories, which, in turn, will cause changes in behavior. For many mental health professionals the constructs and terms used in this book are outside the box of common definitions. Therefore I have included both an alphabetical glossary (see Appendix III) and a glossary of concepts (see Appendix IV) to help you organize and understand the definitions and constructs as useful tools. I encourage the you to refer to the glossary whenever confusion arises with the concepts of Process Healing.
The memory structure is a key construct in this model. All memories have a unique memory structure and a collage of memories that associate with, or to, the memory structure. After using Process Healing for several years, I discovered that memory structures could form complex structures that could stop the treatment process. I had to treat these complex structures differently than the basic structures in order to successfully resolve an issue. The basic memory structure is a building block that explains most problematic memories that form under conditions ranging from mild to severe traumatic experiences such as systematic torture.
After using Process Healing for several years, I faced a barrier of even greater complexity. This was one that I could not treat with the subconscious and the usual treatment method. Now when I have identified this new barrier in a patient, it is usually easy to treat. I call these barriers “fields,” which I talk about briefly in chapter 6. Flint (n.a.) presents a more detailed presentation of the theory and treatment of fields.
When the you run into a barrier to treatment not addressed in this book, it is time to problem-solve. I give many examples of problem-solving throughout the book. But remember, the power of the treatment process is in the metaphor or construct used, so feel free to create as many metaphors or constructs as you need to be successful. I have often found that even if you suggest an inaccurate metaphor, the subconscious may use it correctly to resolve the barrier. The point is, don¹t be afraid to be creative with metaphors. The worst that can happen is that it will not work. When it doesn’t, just reassemble the constructs and create a new metaphor. Keep trying until you get the result you are looking for.
The definitions presented here of the conscious, unconscious, subconscious and dormant memories, may also be new to the mental health professional. Rather than lump dormant memories in the unconscious or subconscious, I separate them. I consider the unconscious an active process because it influences our behavior, and the conscious mind is obviously an active process. Only active memories in the conscious and unconscious experience, not the dormant memories, are used to create our behavior. I call the active memories and associated neural activity in the conscious and unconscious the Active Experience.
Dormant memories are not active, and therefore not available for creating behavior. However, dormant memories may become active when triggered into the Active Experience. What separates the active conscious experience from active unconscious experience?
Well, since dissociation is a process that is generally believed to be used to hide memories, I decided a dissociation process would be an excellent adaptive process that would serve to move active conscious experience into active unconscious experience. Hypnotic suggestions, deliberate repression, and skills such as composing speech, are examples of the use of dissociation to move a conscious active memory to an unconscious active memory.
In this model, the problematic memories and behavior take place as active memories in the conscious and unconscious experience. Consistent with other models, I use the subconscious as an inner-self helper and have discovered that it has an enormous capacity to make changes in memories and behavior. Almost all of my patients have easily accepted this model using conscious, unconscious, subconscious and dormant memories as the basic constructs in the model.
Process Healing is an effective treatment method that people without training can use to treat many issues. Many people have had success working on their own without professional help. I recommend that lay people using the Process Healing Method have a therapist with whom they can consult. Anyone with a history of mental illness or severe symptoms should be in therapy before using the Process Healing Method. Lay persons should not try to use it with anyone who has a history of mental illness, who are taking medication, or who have diagnosed mental issues. The more professional training and experience that a therapist or lay person has, the more the Process Healing Method will be useful to treat complex personality and mental health problems.
This book is written to free you to be creative when using the constructs to solve a barrier that stops treatment. I have tried to teach the Process Healing Method by showing the way I use it in my successes and in some of my failures. With practice, you may become skillful in using the Process Healing Method to quickly eliminate and gain freedom from problematic issues. Without further introduction, I leave you, the reader, to explore the Process Healing Method and to determine its usefulness in the treatment of your own painful memories, beliefs, or behaviors.

[Rev.02-27-07].Copyright 2006-2007 Garry A. Flint, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved