SCT (Sabotage Correction Technique) as a Form of Integrative Psychotherapy
In my book The First Key, How to Remove Subconscious Sabotage, I present four sabotage correction techniques, going from a very simple and short one to the most complicated the Personalized Forgiveness Affirmation (PFA).
In the Personalized Forgiveness Affirmation (PFA), I incorporated a whole lot of psychotherapeutic approaches and techniques that I studied and used over the 36 years of my psychiatric practice. These include, among others, Freudian Psychoanalytic Principles, Jungian Principles, Applied Kinesiology, Energy Psychology, Cognitive Psychotherapy, Humanistic and Transcendental, Body Psychology, Rational Emotive, Rogerian: Person-Centered Psychotherapy, Narrative Psychology, Positive Psychology, and I maybe even forgot a few.
In psychoanalysis, the basic premise is to reveal unconscious content to alleviate psychiatric tension. The basic assumption is that we suppress negative emotions, unacceptable desires that are dangerous to our survival or emotional well-being. The suppressed material becomes subconscious. The subconscious has no sense of time, so whatever was dangerous at age three (i.e., Oedipus complex), is still presumed dangerous. It takes psychic energy to continue suppressing it, even though it is no longer relevant or dangerous. Psychoanalysis’ aim is to discover the suppressed emotion or conflicts (complexes) and to bring it to the light of awareness and overcome resistance, realizing that it is no longer dangerous now. By doing so, the symptoms would disappear.
I totally agree with the psychoanalytic premise but found a huge short cut. Instead of getting into the subconscious by using conscious material through free association, I use energy muscle testing. Everything that is true and good and has no cognitive dissonance or conflict attached to it would make all the muscles strong. This happens by the virtue of energy flowing freely in the body and the electromagnetic field; whereas, everything that is untrue, that has any cognitive dissonance, with some conflict attached to it, would make all muscles weak. Everything negative, harmful for you, anything that is not life-supporting will weaken the muscles by virtue of the energy flow in the body being blocked.
I found Energy Muscle Testing (EMT) as the true highway to the subconscious. When a muscle is weak, notwithstanding all your efforts, you cannot deny that you have at least a conflict about the issue. You have to at least admit that you have to further explore it. This is a simple and short way to overcoming resistance.
When I demonstrate the fact that negative thoughts weaken all muscles, I “take a hike” to explain the validity of cognitive psychotherapy. I show my patients why it is so important to monitor their thoughts and replace the negative ones with objective corrections. I also introduce the importance and power of Positive Psychology by showing how all muscles are weakened with a frown or when feeling hopeless or angry. My patients can feel for themselves how a smile or helping themselves into their higher feelings of love and gratitude make all their muscles strong.
Once we explore and find, in a playful way, the subconscious issue, I combine a few psychotherapeutic modalities with “body psychology” in the Sabotage Correction Technique (SCT). It is my observation that all effective energy psychology techniques combine some kind of affirmation with sensory stimulation. So, I ask people to gently massage neurolymphatic points on the upper chest for that sensory stimulation. I found that there is no need to actually use tapping or acupuncture meridian points like in EFT, TFT, etc.
When I do use tapping for trauma removal, I found out that there is no real need to tap on acupuncture points on the skin. Any point will do. Tapping on a stuffed animal would also work. Imagining the tapping is also effective.
The common denominator for all of my Forgiveness Affirmations (FA) is my statement of total unconditional love, forgiveness, and acceptance of oneself.
Most of my patients are not able to love unconditionally and to forgive. Therefore, I let them say that there is a divine part in them that, indeed, knows how to love unconditionally, accept, and forgive. Here, in this part of the FA, we see in action the spiritual, transpersonal psychotherapy.
Another common denominator to all of my Forgiveness Affirmations is accepting a lot of things that are shameful to people (as they were unacceptable by the parents or society) as totally common, normal, and acceptable. So, for example, I may say to a patient to repeat, “I understand that I was very angry when my sister was born. It is totally normal; most children feel that. I was the only child for three years, the center of attention, and all of a sudden, here comes this crying baby who gets all the attention. Of course, I wanted her to disappear, or at least to suffer.” And here we see in action Carl Rogers’ empathy with his principle of unconditional positive regard.
Another common example: I may ask a patient to repeat: “It is well-known that almost all boys want to kill their fathers and marry their mothers. I am familiar with Oedipus complex. So, when a child feels he wants to kill the father, he is afraid the father can read his thoughts and would kill him first. The child has to suppress even that thought, as children believe their thoughts have power and that adults can read their thoughts. It is a life and death issue for the child, so this has to become subconscious. Now that I am an adult, I no longer want to marry my mother. I don’t want to kill my father. It is no longer relevant. Why should I spend all this energy to keep it suppressed? I choose to release it. And I choose to forgive myself for carrying these feelings for so long and letting it almost destroy my life so far.”
So, you can see how the “insight” is being fed by the therapist as an “outsight” in a way that is acceptable, clear, and not threatening. This is, in effect, a modification of psychodynamic oriented therapy, and in my experience, not less effective when it comes as an “outsight” instead of as an insight.
We can also have in the PFA principles of narrative psychotherapy in action. We can show in the Forgiveness Affirmation how the person’s narrative was built and have them choose a different, more healthy narrative.
When we do the inquiry prior to the Forgiveness Affirmation for oneself, the principle of confession is also at work. The person is allowed to admit things he never was able to admit before in the context of non-judgmental dialogue with the therapist using humor as a tension-breaker, applying the humanistic modality as well as all psychotherapists’ knowledge of ego defense mechanisms, family systems, Gestalt, and even archetypes.
Being a Jungian by training, I tend to bring myths and childhood fairy tales into the session to show how universal and normal the “negative” emotions are for a child. It puts things in proportion for the patient, showing him he is not alone. There are, of course, the archetypes of the Big Swallowing Mother, the Shadow, the Anima and Animus. There is the bad mother in Snow White and Cinderella that wants to kill the daughter. It really does not matter whether or not it is a projection of the murderous thoughts the daughter had towards her mother.
We try to find reasons to forgive the selfish and cruel witch. We at least try to understand her: maybe her own mother abused her; maybe she never received love; she did not have a role model to be a good mom. Then, even though the mother does not deserve to be forgiven, I have the patient repeat after me something like this: “I choose to forgive my mother. Carrying all this anger did not hurt my mother. It hurt me. I was the victim. Why should I continue to victimize myself by continuing to carry on all these negative emotions? I choose to release them.”
The child also needs to forgive herself for carrying these negative emotions for so many years, making herself miserable as a result. Of course, she should forgive herself, as she was totally unaware of carrying these negative emotions for so many years. They were subconscious.
So, we can see how using a combination of unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness by the therapist, the patient can have a cathartic experience of feeling understood, supported, being part of the collective unconscious of humanity, seeing the context of suppressed negative emotions that stemmed from childhood traumas or just from a normal process of socialization.
In my years of psychiatric practice and using many varieties of psychotherapeutic interventions, I came to the conclusion that the most important therapeutic tool is the therapist’s non-judgmental and empathetic attitude. It helps to reframe the negative things into positive. It helps to give tools to release suppressed negative emotions.
In building my PFA, I made use of all of the above, and found it to be a huge shortcut in psychotherapy. A lot of time, I find that after using SCT to remove subconscious sabotage, there is no need to use other Energy Psychology Techniques. Yet there are times, especially with a substantial history of trauma, that there is a need to release the trauma, but not before removing subconscious sabotage to removing the trauma.