There is no universal reality; people see and react to the present through the lens of personal memory. Individual consciousness of the present is based on: a) genetic memory, b) autobiographical memory, and c) significant stories of family and tribal events. We are born with an anticipation of an optimal unfolding and satisfaction of maturational needs. When that history is satisfied properly though anticipated kinship interactions, the body/brain releases rewards of pleasure in the present and hope for the future. When it is unsatisfied and frustrated, those needs do not disappear and we are under the influence of our autobiographical memory of the frustration of those genetic maturational expectations which produces pain, frustration, despair, and a lessening of hope for the future.
The goal of this set of PBSP therapeutic techniques is to provide clients with new symbolic memories postulated in a ritualistic fashion as if they had happened in the past so that they will influence and improve how they experience the present and anticipate the future. In this module participants will learn the theory underlying these PBSP techniques and have the opportunity to both experience and practice the techniques themselves.
Making New Memories & Reversals Technique. Therapists used to think that negative emotions had to be felt and expressed to be overcome or cured, and believed that insight about damaging emotional history was necessary to facilitate an improvement of the present experience of life. Such cathartic therapies posited the need for the discharge of negative feelings as a means of healing. In PBSP, we have come to conclusion that such approaches may actually increase the power of negative history through the repetition which reinforces neuronal firing of the negative experience and feelings. With PBSP Making New Memories Technique participants will learn to help clients avoid the reinforcement of old negative histories and memories through the repetition of the stories of outrage or loss, and instead move directly into making new alternative memories. These new memories will be constructed as reversals of the events in the situations that had been harmful and did not match the genetic expectations for history of maturational satisfaction. This technique results in a reinforcement of the reward system of pleasure and anticipation of more pleasure in the future for clients.
Ideal Parents Technique. Participants will first learn how to note when clients have awakened memories of injustice or frustration, and then determine whether there could be an ideal antidote to those experiences. Then, they will learn specific techniques to utilize the exact words that the clients used to establish the vision of ideal parents that will resonate and ring true for clients. Therapists often paraphrase what a client is talking about instead of using their words. The danger in doing so is that one might create an alternative image that does not adequately fit the client’s experience and view of the reported situation. Participants will learn very specific ways to use clients’ words and scripts to narrate the scene so that the client views the new healing memory as having been provided by the postulated Ideal Parent, not by the therapist. Participants will also learn about role differentiation among caretaker figures so as to assign the appropriate caretaking roles to the appropriate kinship figures. As a subset of this technique, participants will learn how to help people who cannot believe that ideal parents or any human being could act towards them in such a positive way. This type of client will tend to think of alternative non-human figures, such as animals or nature as providing support and satisfaction. Participants will learn how to invent an ideal figure of this kind when clients cannot believe that an ideal human parent could satisfy what was needed. Lastly, they will learn to be exact in delineating the appropriate age of the client and the right context that should be created and described within each new memory.