Self-Regulation Therapy (SRT) is a non-invasive mind/body approach; it doesn’t use hypnosis or other immersion methods, keeping the client fully present and awake during the process. SRT is rooted in neurobiology and is aimed at diminishing excess activation in the nervous system. SRT accomplished this by using techniques from trauma therapy to work with our innate capacity to flexibly respond to new situations and threats. Significant overwhelming events at any time in one’s life can result in changes to the nervous system which has negative impacts on the way a person feels and relates to others. These changes can cause anxiety attacks and profoundly diminish one’s ability to respond to everyday situations effectively and with confidence. The mechanism of these changes has its origin in the “fight or flight” built-in biological response that our ancestors developed in prehistoric times, when their lives depended on the successful recognition of, and reaction to, any potential threats. Parts of our ancestral brains are still governed by these responses even though, in most cases, we’re not facing life-threatening situations. Our higher nervous system can regulate and modify responses to threats so that instead of immobilizing us, they help us cope with the stressors of everyday life with ease and confidence.
Read More…Self-regulation therapy is used to alleviate anxiety, trauma, pain, and other related disorders that involve activation of the nervous system. For patients experiencing biological disequilibrium due to excess activation in their nervous system, SRT can alleviate this imbalance and reduce the physiological symptoms that accompany it.
How does SRT work?
Self-regulation therapy enables one to work through stressful and traumatic events by integrating the rational brain and the parasympathetic brain to restore balance to the nervous system. In a safe, contained environment, the client is encouraged to revisit their learned patterns of response to stressful situations. Using methods based in neuroscience, the therapist guides the client towards correcting the neural pathways that are causing the negative responses and guides them towards developing neutral response pathways. This process involves goal setting and allowing the client to reflect and project their goals for future desired states. By setting goals around one’s desired future state, cognition and action become connected. The goal is to open up a window of opportunity for clients to exercise greater cognitive control over triggering events, so that they can flexibly manage everyday challenges without being overwhelmed by anxiety. As the nervous system becomes restored, clients can experience a multitude of benefits including greater joy, closeness in relationships, physical vitality, and resilience. Self-regulation therapy helps one to live with confidence and ease, uninhibited by automatized fearful responses triggered by the nervous system. As a result, your innate potential and unique greatness is awakened.
What can you expect from SRT?
Considering that SRT is a non-invasive approach, you can expect to feel a sense of control and well-being at the end of a session. You may experience a discharge of excess energy in the nervous system through heat, tingling, or trembling. Occasionally, there might be a temporary increase in pain because of the energy discharge, but typically it dissipates quickly. SRT helps balance the nervous system; therefore, you can expect to feel more alive and able to manage the stress of everyday life. The outcome of a more relaxed central nervous system is a greater ability to tap into your innate reservoir of energy that becomes available when the nervous system is balanced. This translates to feeling confident and empowered. One may say that SRT reduces the fear of being alive. Although the overall effect of SRT is a decrease in nervous system activation (e.g., less anxiety, tension, and/or pain), clients will sometimes experience a temporary increase of cerebral activation (i.e., increase in the sensory experiences, both positive and negative) as their nervous system learns to balance the newly released energy.
What issues can be addressed with SRT?
In general, most anxiety-related symptoms are caused by dysregulation of the nervous system. Especially during early developmental stages, the nervous system may struggle to modulate emotional and behavioural responses following traumatic events. When unprocessed, these traumatic experiences may later manifest as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, phobias, and mood or personality disorders. Physical symptoms that can be alleviated and resolved through the application of Self-regulation approaches include insomnia, migraines, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, asthma, allergies, and addiction problems.
How many sessions will it take?
SRT may bring about profound results in a significantly shorter time than conventional therapies. You may actually feel much better after a few sessions. It is important to set clear goals, so that you can track and evaluate your progress towards your desired result.
Reference Maes, S., Karoly, P. (2005). Self-regulation assessment and intervention in physical health and illness: a review. International Association for Applied Psychology, 54(2), 267-299.