The Indispensable Strength-In-Sobriety Approach

Perhaps you have already guessed, but the Strength-In-Sobriety Approach is not a magic pill, although it is somewhat magical. This approach can be used in conjunction with other recovery tools and paths that exist in the addictions field. I will be bold and state that anyone who uses the approach thoroughly will amplify his or her strength and stability in recovery ten-fold.

So, what is this approach? It is a combination of energy psychology approaches, namely, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Matrix Reimprinting, and the Field Clearing Technique. Say what? Right… Let’s first look at the definition of each:

-Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): EFT, created by Gary Craig in the mid-1990’s, is also known as “tapping” or, more technically, “acupressure desensitization”. EFT involves tapping on a series of acupressure points while simultaneously focusing on a particular negative emotion, sensation or event. Stimulation of the acu-points elicits a chemical response in the body: lowered cortisol levels, increased natural opioids, and increased serotonin. Pairing this calming, “feel good” effect with negative emotions, feelings, pain, and/or traumatic memories essentially “clears out” those negative energies and rebalances the mind and body.

-Matrix Reimprinting (MR): This technique, created in 2006, by Karl Dawson, utilizes EFT as a part of it. As the authors Karl Dawson & Sasha Allenby state on the cover of their book “Matrix Reimprinting Using EFT”, with MR you “Rewrite Your Past” & “Transform Your Future”. In short, what that looks like in a session is guiding the client through an experience of revisiting a younger aspect of the self, e.g., the self at 6 y.o. during a negative event. By guiding a client through a visualized experience involving the present day self and the “younger self” coupled with distinct “tapping” or EFT components, the younger self is freed up to experience resolution within that event. The younger self is also permitted to access anything imaginable that he or she needs to bring about healing and resolution for that former event. When resolution is attained the new positive image/feeling/sensation is “imprinted”. Thereafter, the person no longer sees the world in the former way, clouded by the event of the past, and a person can then exist and interact more freely and authentically. People almost always say they feel “lighter” after having undergone MR.

-Field Clearing Technique (FCT): This technique, created by Sasha Allenby, combines a “tapping” protocol with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with the effect of rewiring the neural pathways in the brain, essentially paving the way for new positive behaviors to take place in a person’s life.

Using the above modalities in treating addictions, the first step is to teach EFT to the client in order to help with immediate reduction of cravings and urges. I have witnessed combined cravings for heroin and nicotine with 9 and 10 SUDS levels (on a 0-10 SUDS Scale) drop to 0 in just 1-2 rounds of tapping, which takes only 1-2 minutes at the most. Secondly, MR is used to clear the major emotional events and traumas that preceded and potentially led a person to use drugs/alcohol/food to escape the negative feelings that arose from those events/traumas in the first place. Thirdly, MR is then used to reimprint the original habit so that all former images associated with the habit are rewired. This further serves to break associations between the triggers (people, places, and things) that could otherwise lead to relapse. Lastly, using the FCT daily for 5 minutes each day, for at least 3 months, the brain is rewired to be in alignment with new behaviors, new images, and new possibilities. Dawson & Allenby (2010) elucidate the above techniques in their aforementioned book.

I remain amazed at the combined effectiveness and simplicity of both EFT and Matrix Reimprinting. I foresee more and more addiction treatment protocols utilizing them as they become more well-known and as more people are trained in energy psychology modalities.

LifeCore uses the Strength-In-Sobriety Approach with clients in recovery.

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