an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding
Change: 1. to transform, be different, think differently than before
The Insightful Change Method provides an innovative means of addressing stress, trauma, or unhealthy behaviors. During stressful events, extreme trauma, or learned negative and unhealthy behavior, perceptions are formed that often remain with us for life. Over time they become increasingly ingrained in our thoughts, creating unhealthy behaviors that, if left unaddressed, become a habit. They color our lives. They are why we make the choices we do.
We can't change the past, but we can change our perceptions, thereby changing our lives. The Insightful Change techniques allow us to retrain our brains automatic thought process from negative / destructive perceptions and behaviors to new, healthy ones, allowing for balanced well-being. By changing these ingrained destructive thought patterns we can literally change our minds and allow new perceptions to permeate and redirect our life. The Insightful Change techniques include positive affirmations. These are structured positive statements which are repeated verbally or intentionally to stimulate the growth of new neuro-pathways to create healthy and often permanent change. Through the stimulation of repeating the affirmations according to the methods of Insightful Change, new inroads are made in the brain, new synapses are born and new healthier patterns develop.
"When we focus our attention in specific ways, we create neural firing patterns that permit previously separated areas to become linked and integrated." -Daniel Siegel, MD - Mindsight - The New Science of Personal Transformation
Techniques used in the Insightful Change Method
These are a combination of easily learned self-help techniques. We begin with an honest and open conversation on an issue that is in the forefront of the person's mind. We explore the impact that a trauma, or a series of negative experiences, has had in the person's life that keeps them stuck in a negative thought process and/or repeating negative behaviors that bring repeated stress.
We often know, or are aware, that the imbalance in thought, feelings and behavior is there, but we are stuck and cannot shift our focus, our behavior or redirect our lives. Sometimes, these negative perceptions are not obvious. When behaviors are learned behaviors as a child they can be elusive and difficult to identify and change.
If you Google "positive affirmations" you will get "they don't work", and that is often true. However, there are times when they do. What accounts for the difference? They don't work when...
1. The affirmations are generic - meant for anyone 2. They go against an ingrained belief system that is the opposite of the affirmation, thereby creating stress 3. They are too general or vague 4. We say a positive affirmation by itself without getting to the root of the negative side
This is where a coach skilled in helping you to retrain your negative perceptions comes in. It is my job to teach you how to find and shift the negative perceptions that hold you back and help you to replace them with healthy, balanced, positive perceptions unique to you and your personal experiences.
Negative, self-sabotaging belief systems are generally with us from childhood. Example: An abusive parent screams at us, slaps us in the face and tells us how stupid we are...well, guess what? Our self worth is shattered. Our confidence in ourselves to succeed diminishes with every abusive encounter. We begin to own it. The belief that..."I'm stupid and can't do anything right"... becomes a part of our identity; and every time we fail that negative belief system is reinforced.
So two things can happen: We will not live up to our potential because we honestly believe that we are stupid, can't do anything right, we are not going to succeed, so why put forth any effort? Or, we can swing to the other extreme...Become an over-achiever, a demanding perfectionist, trying to prove that we ARE smart....all the while still feeling inside that we are not good enough which sabotages our ability truly enjoy the successes we do have. Either extreme is unhealthy.
Motivational seminars and self-help books "draw people back to their early childhood years and invite them to reflect on how early experiences affected their individual development. Specifically, how a significant model had a positive nor negative influence on the direction of one's future....The early childhood years are viewed to be crucial in the healthy development of our own belief systems which are strongly influenced by our early interactions with adults....such belief systems have a key impact on our feelings of self-worth or self-esteem as well as our self-efficacy." *
The authors of this study emphasize that what matters are "people's own perceptions." *
If we really want to change a negative belief system we must look back to that time in our life that had a stressful impact on our minds. We must then, 1) de-stress the event; 2) identify the negative perception that came from the event 3) make a conscious choice to no longer feel that way about ourselves, and 3) replace the negative perception with a positive one that is unique to ourselves and will bring about a healthier balance.
This change in perception isn't going to happen over-night. We didn't learn our ABC's over night. We learned them through practice and repetition. Therefore, to reverse the negative programming we experienced, we must repeat and practice the healthy, positive perception through repetition for a period of time unique to the individual. We will then begin to subconsciously think, feel and behave in accord with our new healthy self image, often even without conscious thought.
These steps, while simple, can create profound and lasting change
An Insightful Change Coach will begin with non-judgmental and open dialogue on the behavior or feelings that you wish to change. Together you and your coach will explore the origin of the negative feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Our muscles have memory, and respond to our feelings of love/hate; joy/sorrow; etc. They can give us simple feedback as to whether we are on the right track or not.
Once the negative experience or trauma is isolated we "take the edge" off it's impact through open, honest dialogue combined with a technique to help the brain focus in an unstressed way. This technique involves a light holding of the frontal eminence – the slight bony protuberance on the forehead directly above the eyes and below the hairline. Stress is reduced when blood flow is increased in the frontal cortex, thereby releasing the back brain’s fight/flight reaction and facilitating clarity and conscious choice. Many modalities of body/mind work recognize this procedure as calming and effective for relieving stress.
This is where the listening skill of the trained Insightful Change Coach plays a crucial role in release of the stored trauma. Negative perceptions are identified and statements are then uniquely created to undo previously held beliefs. Since the word “feel” denotes experience, these statements or affirmations are made with the words “I no longer feel” or “I feel” preceding the perceptions that have been derived. The feelings associated with the experience resonate within the Limbic brain as though it were a reality. This is where the major shifts occur. Since we usually trust the sound of our own voice, saying the words out loud helps to access the unconscious mind faster than merely thinking them silently to ourselves.
A technique derived from Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is used to help the client access all of the brain. The rotating of the eyes accesses the pathways to stored memories and memory patterns. The rotating of the eyes accesses the pathways to stored memories and memory patterns that can be released and replaced. You may have noticed that when someone is trying to recall a name or event that their eyes unconsciously will point up or down but not straight ahead. Thus the rotating of the eyes accesses the pathways to stored memories and memory patterns that can be released and replaced.Saying the positive statements is combined with rotating the eyes in a complete circle, first one direction and then the opposite direction. The eyes may circle more than once in each direction, the key being to notice where there may be any difficulty in movement. Lingering in the area of difficulty until it eases creates a smooth flow. Thee eye rotations thus serve as both an indicator of stress and as a means of removing the current stress. Visualization, focusing and/or meditating on a new outcome based upon the positive affirmations also allows the mind to supplant the old memories and to experience the benefits of new possibilities.
It has been said that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. I find this to be variable. Some people, based on their unique brains processing often shift as early as 7 days. This is not typical, therefore, it is generally suggested to repeat the positive affirmations for 21 days. Based on the premise that it takes 21 days to create a new habit, sessions are rarely scheduled less than 3 weeks apart. It is during this interim between sessions that major changes will begin to take place and the issues that seemed valid at the onset become less and less important or relevant. This results from and is based upon the of application of one’s personally designed program.
Generally, after 3 weeks, the healthy perceptions are memorized and they become a part of our new and healthy identity. Please note, that if the statements are not specific to the individual’s core belief’s they will not have an effect on changing negative thoughts and behaviors into positive ones. That is why generalized affirmations often do not work to create a positive shift in thought and behavior.
Dr. Siegal states in his book Mindsight, that “uncovering memory and meaning are never over until life is over”. While there are many ways to change one’s mind on a matter, learning the skills and tools of Insightful Change can serve us throughout life. The goal of an Insightful Change Coach is one of educating and empowering clients in self-mastery by using the tools of Insightful Change effectively for themselves.
Any situation that creates a state of imbalance may become a subject for re-framing and repatterning the thought process. It is noteworthy to realize that trauma is in the eye of the beholder. Depending upon an individual’s resiliency, fortitude, genetic makeup and life experience, what may be traumatic to one may not be to another. What is altered with the Insightful Change Method is the unique belief or perception that was generated at the time of the stressful event. If such a belief is detrimental, change to a positive one can prove beneficial no matter how small or large the ‘trauma’ of origin.
“The brain is open to change across the lifespan. It responds to the focus of attention and to the experiences we create intentionally.” Daniel J. Siegel, MD – Author Mindsight – The New Science of Personal Transformation
To schedule an Insightful Change coaching session, call 760-752-1903 Most sessions are approximately 90 minutes because sometimes deep introspection with results can not be rushed.