Havening Technique – What is it?
Havening technique is a form of psycho-sensory therapy. It uses eye movements, touch, and distractions to positively alter your mood, thoughts, and behavior. The havening technique aims at helping you cope with anxiety, trauma, depression, and physical pain by altering brain encoding. The founders of this technique, Dr. Steven Ruden and Dr. Ronald Ruden believe that havening therapy can alter the brain pathways. It can help treat symptoms of emotional distress.
This therapy is based on the innate healing ability of touch. Human touch increases serotonin production, which produces relaxation and alleviates the stress and anxiety. This overall experience, in turn, can aid you in detaching from negative emotions and distressing memories.
What are the benefits of Havening Technique?
There are several physical and psychological conditions the havening technique can help you with, including:
○ Chronic physical pain
○ Relationship problems
○ Surviving a natural disaster
○ Anger issues
○ Panic attacks
○ Eating disorders
○ Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
○ Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
○ Situational depression
According to Dr. Ruden, the havening technique has many advantages, such as:
It is a drug-free therapy and is safe
You can see rapid results
Mostly produces permanent changes
It is inexpensive and does not require special equipment
Easy to learn and use
Can be performed anywhere
Makes you self-empowered by enabling you to perform this therapy independently
Helps strengthen the immune system by regulating cortisol levels
Improves overall sense of well-being
Makes you resilient
What should I expect from a Havening Technique session?
Havening therapy is mostly considered a self-help technique. But you can also take sessions from a trained professional to learn this technique. Here is what a typical Havening Therapy session looks like:
After briefly discussing your history and the purpose of going for havening technique, your therapist will ask you to rate your emotional distress. You can describe this using a number out of 10 or describe your emotions in words like "scared" or “anxious.”
Next, the therapist will ask you to picture something calming. They’ll instruct you to clear your head of negative thoughts. You’ll then be asked to start tapping your collarbone while blinking twice. Your therapist will then ask you to count down from 20 while imagining doing a simple visually oriented task, such as walking down the stairs or emptying your drawer. Visualize taking a step or removing an item from the drawer with each number you count. Additionally, the therapist will ask you to cross your arms while keeping your eyes open - and you’ll be instructed to perform certain eye movements like looking up, down, or sideways.
The therapist will ask you to close your eyes again and hum a song while they gently stroke your arms or forehead. If you are uncomfortable with touch, you can perform this action yourself.
They’ll inquire about your level of emotional distress again, and the whole process is repeated with different visualization and song. You’ll be asked to relax your arms, and your therapist will again stroke your arms and forehead.
The session ends by using phrases like "let go" or "release." The practitioner will once again ask about the level of your emotional distress. This process is repeated until you report your emotional distress to be a 0 or 1, or this level stays the same after three continuous havening repetitions.
Although the Havening Technique has been used to treat symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, research is needed to establish its efficacy. Havening Technique has been used as a complementary therapy. It is not a replacement for other psychotherapies like talk therapy.
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