About: Integral Eye Movement Techniques (IEMT)
IEMT started out as a series of ideas and short investigatory workshops on emotional imprinting. It is now a comprehensive therapeutic and self development modality.
From its exploratory beginnings, it has now become one of the ‘Go To' set of techniques and models for rapid change work for many Therapists, Coaches and Practitioners.
Emotional Imprinting
The question being raised to initially investigate this was:
"How did this person learn to feel this way about this thing?"
Our brains gather information from our senses constantly, much of which, we are totally unaware of. Our unique, neural networks will then try and make sense of this experientially, creating various responses and valencies, using the information to predict our subsequent responses such as emotions and will file this away in fragments all over the brain
The imprint that is formed can be the result of an episode i.e. an event that is date and time stamped, that can be of little emotional significance or be highly emotionally significant. These memories often remain easily accessible in the case of a wonderful birthday or wedding day for example this is will not cause reciprocal emotional issues. However if the event was not pleasant or even traumatic this can be problematic and can feed forward into subsequent events, to trigger unwanted emotions, even if the circumstances are not similar to the original imprinting experience.
Example: A person is bitten by a large black dog at the age of six, which was scary, painful and upsetting and also lead to the need for a tetanus injection, that the child also found painful and upsetting. This has now primed the brain to be on the alert for other similar situations and sensory events. Now not only black dogs are a problem, all dogs can become a problem. Something big a flappy and black in the peripheral vision such as a floppy hat on the beach in the summer can also trigger a response. Likewise the person is now primed to respond with fear to the mere thought of having an injection in order go on holiday. Hence the knock on, feed forward effects to a single learning event can be multifaceted.
With IEMT we learn to lessen the impact of these imprinting experiences so that the effects happening now can be downgraded. The memories can become consolidated, and the associated emotions down regulated, hence the effects diminished in real time. Importantly clients are usually aware right then and there of somatic changes as we all as changes in the memory quality, making the component more difficult to recreate in a way that can cause emotional overwhelm.
All of this can literally take place in seconds in some cases. After all if the brain is capable of creating problematic memories and emotions in seconds it is also capable of resolving them just as quickly.
Identity Imprinting
In life, the ’Who’ we are being contributes vastly to the ‘How’ we are being and as a result therapeutically we need to be working on the level of identity as well as the unconscious long term patterns that can prevent or even sabotage change.
We ask the question:
"How did this person learn to feel this way about this thing?"
IEMT approaches this in a unique way in order to resolve it. We elicit problematic pro-noun based information and problematic ‘labels’ that people operate from at an identity level, such as: "I am a procrastinator”; "I am PTSD survivor”; "Anxiety is part of me”; "I am phobic of spiders” “I don’t trust myself” etc.
Example: A retail worker who shows great promise is promoted to the management team in an organisation. To the other retail workers this person is no longer "one of us”, they are now "one of them - "the management”. To the person concerned they are no longer accepted in the same way as part of the "Team” and the resulting emotional disturbances could interfere with their effectiveness in the new role. This sense of "Self” has shifted and can be unsettling. This can also create dramatic changes to status and acceptance by not only themselves but their former colleagues as well as new colleagues. So this person can start asking themselves "Who am I now?” "What does that mean to me”, "Where do I fit myself into this organisation”.
In IEMT we can help those struggling with such concepts to become better adjusted to new circumstances. We can do this by discovering where about in time and space that person is associated with that issue or issues (as this could be a historical event not just a recent event) that lead to their sense of self, feeling disrupted or even alien to them. We then use eye movements to update and integrate those aspects that are metaphorically fragmenting people at an unconscious level and diminishing their ability to live better more fulfilled lives.
Again, such deep changes at the identity level can occur in real time and many report somatic changes in the body, as parts of themselves appear to integrate and update, restoring their sense of balance, grounding and being present in the here and now.Again, such deep changes at the identity level can occur in real time and many report somatic changes in the body as parts of themselves appear to integrate and update, restoring their sense of balance, grounding and being present in the here and now.
Other Models We Use
Although Eye Movements are an important part of the tools for starting the process of encoding and consolidation of episodic memories that contribute to unwanted thoughts, feeling and emotions, they aren’t all we use. IEMT has many more models and tools to deal with more than just the ‘effects’. The skill of course is knowing when and how to apply those tools.
Such models include:
The Five Primary Patterns of Chronicity:
These patterns are an innovative format for the understanding of longterm anxiety based issues. We all run one or more of the patterns at times in our lives, but for some they become deeply ingrained patterns that disrupt ways if thinking and being.
Bringing conscious awareness to the patterns and providing resources to deal with them is one of the most important services provided by IEMT Practitioners.
The Three Pillars Anxiety Release Model
Once again this helps with those running anxiety issues as well as depression, however the contributory factors i.e. the ‘Cause’ of these issues is often overlooked in many therapies. Knowing the actual emotions acting as catalysts which keep anxiety and depression in place in a seeming never ending vicious cycle, is something we investigate so that rapid remedial change is possible for many people.
The Trauma Release Model
Trauma can occur physically and emotionally, and for some, both will occur as the result of an event or events. Trauma as is talked about in the world of psychology, is a many and varied phenomenon. The term Post Traumatic Stress is now very well known and researched, however there is often a very important part of emotional trauma that is overlooked by many professions and this can lead to inaccurate therapeutic management.
In IEMT we investigate the structure of a person’s individual emotional trauma, how this is being kept in place and what is needed in order to efficiently and effectively dismantle it.
Evolution of IEMT
IEMT is a marvellous modality for helping many people change bothersome issues and ways of being. However we know that for some it will not always be the right time to begin the change process for a variety of reasons. The modality itself is still growing and evolving.
It is not a replacement for medical treatment and if changes to medication or treatment are being considered you must consult your medical practitioner. However, it is a great tool for remedial change with emotional issues and generative change for Identity based issues.