If you want to remember how to trigger the brain’s mechanism for trauma removal, you’ll get some unlikely help from The Muppets (or Charles Dickens to be exact!)
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Article: What The Muppets Can Teach You About Trauma Removal
Hello, everyone! I’m Alun Parry, the author of “How to Remove Trauma Response,” and today I’ve got something really special to share with you. This gem comes straight from our vibrant coaching community, where brilliant therapists and coaches share their insights. So, let’s dive in!
The Power of Memory Reconsolidation
Firstly, let’s talk about memory reconsolidation. It’s the brain’s only mechanism for actually overwriting a trauma response. Neuroscience has come a long way, and we now know that it’s possible to rewrite these old pathways. As therapists and coaches, our job is to guide our clients through this transformative process.
When we talk about trauma, we’re not just referring to the big, life-altering events. We’re talking about any emotional or psychological injury that still impacts your life today.
The Formula: Activate + Mismatch + Repeat
The formula for memory reconsolidation is simple but powerful: Activate + Mismatch + Repeat. Here’s how it works:
- Activate: We first activate the old beliefs, the old trauma responses, essentially what’s keeping the problem alive.
- Mismatch: Next, we introduce a mismatch experience that contradicts the old belief or trauma response.
- Repeat: Finally, we repeat the process to complete the change process.
This is the roadmap to permanent, effortless change. Once you’ve identified what needs to be activated, you can focus on creating those mismatch experiences.
The Muppets Christmas Carol: A Perfect Analogy
Now, here’s where the Muppets come in. One of our community members, Lisa, brilliantly pointed out that Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is a perfect way to remember this process. (Yes, to be fair, this was Charles Dickens more than the Muppets but still – Muppets! 😀)
Remember Ebenezer Scrooge? He starts off as this cynical, isolated man who’s indifferent to suffering. That’s his old schema, his old belief system.
In the story, Scrooge experiences a series of mismatch events through the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
He begins connected to his old beliefs. Then Christmas Past shows up. He reconnects to the old beliefs once more only to be visited by Christmas Present. And then, as he revisits the old schema one final time, along comes Christmas Future.
Each ghostly visit serves to challenge his old schema, creating a mismatch experience. Notice too how the story even incorporates the ‘Repeat’ part of our formula!
By the end of the story, Scrooge is a changed man. He’s empathetic, values community, and has a newfound optimism about human nature. His old trauma responses and beliefs have been overwritten, thanks to the Activate + Mismatch + Repeat formula.
So, the next time you’re struggling to remember the steps for memory reconsolidation, just think of Scrooge and the Muppets. It’s a fun and easy way to keep the process in mind, both for yourself and your clients.
I hope you found this useful! Until next time, keep making those incredible transformations happen. Cheers!
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