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A description of the Intensive Emotional Awareness Training (I-EAT) wihch is a program that helps emotional eaters stop emotional eating permanently.

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  1. 1. I-eat: nuts and bolts<br />Things people should know about the Intensive Emotional Awareness Training (I-EAT) before participating<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  2. 2. The Premise<br />In order to do this work, we have to “agree” on the most important premise: <br />To support the deeper healing processes involved in the I-EAT the individual needs to make contact with experience…more specifically, with negative, painful, or “unwanted” experience. <br />If we can’t agree on that then we would be working at cross purposes.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  3. 3. This premise—the need to make contact with avoided experience—is the conceptual foundation of several state of the art approaches for helping people with emotional problems in general. <br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  4. 4. And the premise is especially relevant to those problems that have proven to be most resistant to treatment: <br /> Problems such as anxiety, depression, chronic overeating (emotional eating), eating disorders, smoking, alcohol and drug dependence, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a history of childhood abuse or neglect. There is a growing body of evidence that all of these types of problems respond best to approaches that directly address the underlying emotional issues.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  5. 5. Getting to the Truth of Experience<br />Having agreed on the premise, then the next step when the group convenes is to find a way to get you there—in contact with the emotional experience you typically try to avoid. We will do what it takes to get the person who volunteers to do the work, to move past his or her own resistance, avoidance, defensiveness, or refusal. We do this gently, supportively, and quite effectively.<br />It’s not something peopleare any good at doing on their own, without help or guidance. This is one major reason we have not written a “self-help” book about it. <br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  6. 6. Some Requirements<br />To get people to safely and effectively do this there is a high level of “skill” and expertise involved, <br />and <br />Great commitment is required (willing to go for it, go beyond one’s comfort zone) and this is true for both group leader and participants,<br />and <br />This is a creative collaboration—it challenges the individual, the rest of the group and the group leader(s) to foster both a safe-enough environment and to find ways to “tailor” opportunities to do the work that is most important and most relevant.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  7. 7. Key Ingredients<br />What are the Key ingredients? <br /><ul><li> Knowing where to look,
  8. 8. Knowing how to conduct the looking process,
  9. 9. Knowing what to do when you get there…</li></ul>The group leaders need to be able to make this happen for anyone who volunteers to work. Participants help simply by being willing and being open.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  10. 10. Talk: It’s not Only Cheap, it’s Often Avoidant<br />In this model we work from the assumption that distancing from crucial experience in any form is a manifestation of “refusal” or defense. There are hundreds of ways that people keep their unwanted experiences “away” from their awareness.Too much of talk therapy is too much talk. While it is true that not all distancing is harmful or problematic, chronic, compulsive distancing is. Talking, analyzing, evaluating and explaining can all appear as if they are moving a person in the direction of their therapeutic work; but often these are just thinly disguised forms of distancing.<br />Therapists often unwittingly collude with their clients’ distancing agenda; frequently this is due to the therapist’s own refusal commitments; at other times it is a function of the model they are operating from that causes them to confuse intellectualizing with real therapeutic work.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  11. 11. What Happens in the Workshops?<br />How do we do the work? What actually happens in the room?What do people do in there?<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  12. 12. Identifying Incompletions and Beginning to Make Contact<br />We identify emotional incompletions (the major wounds, issues, themes, adverse events, etc., of a person’s life) to start with just by having participants talk about their lives. <br />Then we look experientially into what all that “means” to each person. The volunteers take turns sharing more detail about the most significant life events and issues.<br />We foster contact with experience all along the line. Then we identify individually where the distancing/refusal is habitual or “concretized” or seems insurmountable…etc. <br />This process tends to point fairly clearly to the core issue(s).<br />This is where the need for a “breakthrough” is uncovered and the specific challenges involved in getting to that are pinpointed.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  13. 13. You may already notice how the thought of doing what we are saying is making you uneasy. This illustrates (and proves) my point: the work that we are describing involves our pointing to stuff and stirring up stuff that we wish wasn’t there in the first place; this tends to be everyone’s reaction to the thought of contacting experience we’d rather not touch with a 10 ft. pole.<br />But imagine we told our children that they never had to take any medicine or perform any tasks that they found distasteful or scary. We couldn’t keep them well that way, could we? They would not grow very much either.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  14. 14. Jane recently participated in the I-EAT. She had significant grief issues, and she was stuck. Though her loved one died several years ago it became obvious that she was still struggling with depressed moods, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, and lack of motivation and had no sense of purpose. She was “incomplete” and she knew it, but was unclear what to do about it.<br /> After a brief discussion of our ideas about grief and incompletions Jane was invited to move into her sadness. She agreed to try, and to help her “get there” she was asked to describe some happy memories with her loved one.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />A Case Illustration<br />
  15. 15. Living in Symbols<br />How do we foster contact with experience and facilitate digging deep?<br />The human being lives in symbols…<br />e.g., the American flag and our “feelings” about it are a function of imbuing the symbol with meaning, with emotional significance. <br />In this work we use symbols and we use interaction with them (words included) to help shrink the distance, to move the person past the refusal. <br />Jane was handed a pillow and told to hug it as if it were her loved one. This moved her more deeply into the sadness. Presumably the hugging does more of the “trick” than the pillow per se.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  16. 16. Contact is Crucial<br />Once there is sufficient contact, healing can begin. Wounds that are not contacted can be “talked about” but you won’t be doing much healing from the intellectual or conversational sidelines.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  17. 17. Secret Ingredients<br />The specific underlying emotional processes involved serve to guide the repair and reorganization efforts. The “secret recipe” (see slide 12) is pulled out of a hat and it works its magical way into the process, making breakthroughs happen. <br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  18. 18. Secret Ingredients 2: Action Options<br />The secret ingredients involve knowing what action(s) are linked to each specific emotion and the individual’s unique challenges associated with the dynamics of this action/emotion connection.<br />For example, persistent fear shows up and stays when safety is hard to come by—when there are no “action options” that might make safety easily accessible.<br /> The “secret” to completing this fear challenge in general terms involves acting either to effectively create safety, or to let go of wanting and needing to be safe. Both actions can lead to a completion of the fear/avoidance of fear dynamic. <br />When the actions are described in generic terms like this, you cannot get a clear idea of what this means or what it would actually look like. It is in this sense that the ingredients are “secret” because you have to experience this directly in order to truly understand it.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  19. 19. In Jane’s case, she was still “holding on” despite the intellectual and factual recognition that her loved one had died and was gone. In the grief process as we understand and define it the survivor is the one facing the challenge of having to “let go” and often we struggle with this and “refuse” to let go even when we know we probably should. Other people in our life encourage us to “move on” and “pick up the pieces” but we often just can’t get ourselves to do that. Jane needed help resolving this and facilitating her taking this action of letting go is what was called for.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  20. 20. Support plays a crucial, definitive role, and there needs to be an appreciation of what high quality support consists of (somewhat uniquely for each person). Support is offered at critical junctures, and it is specifically designed to “fit” each person’s needs, preferences and style.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />Secret Ingredients 3: Support<br />
  21. 21. Jane was allowed to hold on to the pillow for quite some time, lost in a reverie of memories and longing. Eventually we told her that her loved one’s time had come, and we were going to take the pillow away. Before letting go she was invited to tell her loved one all the things she needed to say, and when she was finished with the communicating she was to say “Goodbye” and let the pillow fall. <br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  22. 22. Jane spoke through sobs and tears, speaking directly to her loved one as if the person were right there in the room. As she spoke the final “I miss you” and “I love you” she let the pillow go…hesitated, and said “Goodbye.” About 15 seconds later one of the group leaders who was sitting next to her put her arm around Jane, and she sobbed very deeply for several minutes. This was the breakthrough she was needing (helped by the well timed support) and the letting go, though done in symbolic form years after the death, was finally accomplished. She soon stopped crying and found herself in an unexpected state of profound peace. Her grief process was now complete.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  23. 23. In Jane’s case the “boredom” and “loneliness” and “stress” and “anxiety” eating were all related, and were all to some large degree triggered by the big incompletion of her grief. These triggers were fully eliminated with this healing process, with her completion. She not only stopped the emotional eating, she essentially “Got her life back.”<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  24. 24. THE RESULTS: Clarity and the power to act<br /> The I-EAT leads to self-awareness that enables one to know so much more about the real motives that are both influencing perceptions and driving behaviors.This clarity translates into the power to act, and to act in accordance with a clearer and more “true” view of one’s self. Completion becomes a possibility if and when the action taken brings us to the point of closure or resolution.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  25. 25. How, What, When<br />2-day event, starting at 9:30, breaking for lunch, ending at 5:30 or 6.<br />Small to mid-sized groups (under 10 but more than 2 people in a group)<br />2 group leaders<br />Lots of “action” that is profoundly moving, lots of intimacy that gets created. <br />Follow up support after the workshop is offered in a variety of forms in order to help maintain this higher level of clarity and self-awareness.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  26. 26. We also offer an even more intense 3-day workshop. This workshop involves a smaller number of participants and offers a significantly greater number of “work” opportunities. But this is only available for people who are either already in therapy or counseling of some kind, or who have participated in the 2-day workshop already.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  27. 27. Results tend to be quite dramatic and even “hard to believe” in many respects. Accomplishing what we call emotional completion and emotional reorganization has had a profound impact on hundreds of people to date.<br />Visit the website(s) to view some testimonials, feedback, and a more detailed discussion of what you can hope for or expect as outcomes from your participation.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  28. 28. A sampling of measurable results<br />People have reported among other things:<br />Overcoming anxiety and depression;<br />Stopping smoking, overeating, excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs (recreational and prescription);<br />Feeling more fully committed to health and fitness,<br />Relationships and intimacy are enhanced;<br />Vastly improved self-esteem;<br />Greater sense of direction, and enthusiasm about their life goals;<br />Speaking up and standing up for themselves…<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  29. 29. Feeling alone and isolated<br />are replaced by feeling a part of, feeling like you belong, giving you a profound sense of meaning and purpose.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  30. 30. The vast wasteland of our self-inflicted misery and dysfunction, especially our self-defeating behaviors and patterns, are transformed when we can inhabit our own life experiences fully, and live there in company, compassion and self-appreciation. <br />In the I-EAT we don’t take away or directly change circumstances—<br />we remove the objection that puts you at odds with the reality of your life. <br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  31. 31. Strength and power are a function of knowing who you are and knowing where you stand. Clarity is, in that sense, the foundation of personal power.<br />©2009 Advanced Recovery Services<br />
  32. 32. The “physics” of emotion works to support the flow and the movement that is required for deep healing once the blocks are removed and the flow is given a “jump start.” Our job is to help you remove those blocks and provide that jump start.<br />
  33. 33. THE I-EAT<br />Michael D. Lukens, Ph.D.<br />CEO Advanced Recovery Services,<br /> Breakthrough Behavioral Technologies, LLC<br />169 Tequesta Drive<br />Suite 23 E<br />Tequesta, FL 33469<br />(561) 744 - 1169<br />