Traditional psychotherapy is comforting to both the client and the therapist, but by itself it very rarely, in our experience, empowers people to effectively alter their lives. Understanding your problems is useful, but in itself it doesn’t create change. Most people develop habitual ways of thinking and behaving that control us just like we are driving through ruts on an icy road. We can know the ruts are there and even understand how they were created, but that understanding doesn’t help us drive a straight line. As smart as we are, we still watch ourselves drive into the same ruts time after time, and, when we get stuck again, we feel trapped and unable to steer out of those deeply hewn grooves.
In the Western world we tend to think of the mind and body as separate entities that operate under different and unrelated rules. Our view is that the mind and body represent different dimensions of the same thing, different realms in the same space. This is part of a concept we call the four worlds of healing. We have seen that things that change the mind and emotions change the body, and vice versa.
Emotional responses to significant life events cause a change in our physical state. Usually, this is temporary. Sometimes, however, due to the degree of stress associated with certain events or situations, our physiological responses to emotions become “locked in” and we never fully get back to our normal state. These “locked in” responses can persist even years after the precipitating event.