When the focus stays on the client’s narrative, dysfunctional behavioral and relationship patterns become reinforced within the victim/perpetrator framework in which the client always presents as the victim. These patterns are reinforced because the imprinting which was encoded at the cellular level at a much earlier time in their development is reinforced by allowing the client to cycle through stories of having been deceived, betrayed, and victimized in the present.
Rather than accommodate countless sessions of having the client cycle through these stories, BTI Therapy makes the important distinction between what was imprinted at a much earlier stage of development and what is showing up in their current relationships and environments that is in resonance with these imprints. This distinction is a much more neutral approach to helping the client conceptualize their experience.
Once again, trauma imprinting occurs when the individual experiences something that is so overwhelming and threatening that the memory becomes ‘flash-frozen’ in the frequency of fear at the cellular/molecular level. This makes the individual vulnerable to cycle through endless patterns of similar experiences throughout the course of their lifetime. This pattern is always playing out at the unconscious, cellular level.
The distinction between what’s occurring in the present as a reflection of what has already occurred in the past allows the client to begin to understand that their current level of emotional reactivity to what’s occurring in the moment is coming from the unresolved memory they still hold onto in the body from those earlier traumatic experiences.
This distinction also allows the client the opportunity to begin creating space between what is occurring in the moment and their response to what is occurring. By doing so, they can now begin to shift cyclical patterns of behavior that have unconsciously informed the dysfunctional dynamics underlying all of their personal and professional relationships in an attempt to get their emotional and physical needs met throughout the course of their adult lives.
Patterns are the one consistent thread that weaves through everyone’s life experience. Learning how to identify and track patterns allows a well-trained clinician to predict the future with tremendous accuracy. Teaching the client how to do this is the greatest gift the clinician has to offer to someone choosing to move beyond their own patterns of victimology, overwhelm, and subsequent impotency.
Patterns consistently reflect the dysfunctional manner in which we show up in the world on a daily basis in attempt to get our emotional and physical needs met. So it is never helpful to allow the client to believe that what’s happening in the moment is being determined by someone else and is the reason why they are unable to actualize their desired experience. By focusing on the client’s narrative, the therapist is perpetuating the distorted perception that the client’s ability to have a different experience is dependent on their alcoholic spouse getting sober or their sociopathic boss developing empathic abilities.
By focusing primarily on the client’s behavioral and relationship patterns, the focus shifts from the client’s external landscape to their internal landscape, requiring them to take control and ownership of their experience in order to change it. As long as the client is allowed to focus on their narrative which is always about what the other person is doing wrong then they will continue to replicate their unwelcome experiences in the form of dysfunctional patterns. The names and the locations might change in their story but the patterns will always persist.
Since our patterns are specific to, and reflections of, our own wound imprinting at the cellular level; the primary focus within the therapeutic venue should always be directed towards the self rather than the stories we tell about the other.
The good news is that once you are able to take ownership for what you have created in your life with ‘eyes wide shut' then you will begin to realize that it is just as possible to create something completely different for yourself ‘eyes wide open’; something that is much more aligned with expressions of mental, emotional, and physical balance.