When we have a cut, and there is dirt in the cut, our body, is, most efficiently and effectively, drawn to deal w/ the cut and the dirt that may be interrupting or standing in the way of the healing process. In my experience, the same is true of every dimension of our being and of life. It is, therefore, also true with our brains.
When we are gripped by emotions that disrupt the ability of our brain-mind to function smoothly, when, underwritten by pain or fear, we find our lives governed by behaviors, patterns of reactivity that are not ecological, our brain’s mind wants to tend these patterns and restore wholesome functioning. Because our brains are relational organs (more on that elsewhere -link-), we often need help, our brain needs help jumpstarting, catalyzing, the process of digesting and transforming unhealed wounds. It’s not so different when we have a bad bad cut or a bad infected cut. The pain is overwhelming, we may not be able to reach around to look at and clean the wound. So, we need help. We need another set of hands and eyes. The same is true with psychological pain and wounds. The very organ and instrument that we need to tend our wound, is compromised. So, we need another heart and mind’s eye to help us develop a more free and clear relationship with our own pain. The heart and mind’s eye of the other, the helper, offers a kind of wholesome mirror that allows us to look and see what is going on and then begin tend our own wound.
In addition, when we sustain psychological wounds, it is the deeper structures of our brain, the structures whose primary job is to preserve psychophysiological homeostasis, and deal with danger through the actions of fight, flight, or freeze, that are involved. For many reasons, it is hard to talk to these deeper structures. There is a kind of firewall between our higher cortical brain and these deeper structures. They are gripped with the business of survival and are not easily accessed. When triggered, we watch helplessly as these less than happy patterns have their way with us. The challenge is to activate the reactivities of these deep structures and keep the front of our brain in the room at the same time. “Dual attention” is essential to transforming these wounds.
Brain integration techniques help us to find the “dirt in the cut,” the felt center of the wound animating the dysfunctional pattern and then, depending upon the particular brand of brain integration technique, catalyze the brain’s organic capacity to process and transform the “dirt,” the no-longer-functional core beliefs, or undigested pockets of pain or terror.
I call this cluster of tools, “brain integration” tools. I’m not certain that this is a totally accurate naming. They can be strangely, almost magically powerful and it is worth having an experience with one or all of these so that you can see if your challenges and your brain, your particular system, is responsive to these healing technologies.