Is your problem the least bad option?


A key stance of memory reconsolidation work is that the problem makes sense.

In other words, without the problem, the nervous system expects something even worse.

When doing discovery work, our job is to become interested not so much in the problem itself (although we do that too). Instead, we focus on why it is essential to keep hold of a problem we don’t want.

Think of any gangster movie that shows a protection racket. The store owner has a problem. They lose a big chunk of their weekly earnings to the mobsters extorting them.

But refusing to do so brings an even worse problem than that.

So they do it anyhow.

In the same way, our problems (even when they have a terrible effect on our lives) can be thought of as the least bad option. There is an emotional learning that believes that dropping the problem would make things even worse.

Our role is to discover this emotional learning and, if outdated, rewrite it so the nervous system is rewired.

It makes sense that the nervous system activates to defend us from an even worse fate. Once that old prediction is discovered and rewritten, the problem is no longer needed and so effortlessly falls away.

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