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Alan Gordon video on conditioned responses

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pemberley, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Pemberley

    Pemberley Peer Supporter

    I recently came across this video of Alan Gordon talking a patient through conditioned responses. I found it via Feelings & Stuff and hadn’t seen it here, so I thought I’d share it. This is kind of an extended example of what he included on days 9 and 10 in the recovery program.

    Is he saying that when you have TMS pain (and, I believe this is after you’ve accepted and done the emotional work) that there is ALWAYS some sort of subtle sensation other than the pain that you should shift your attention to instead? For me, I’m finding this mainly in my chest and gut (which I consider to be nerves about the fear/frustration/worry/despair about the pain), but I don’t always find something.

    I really love how he says things like “Great! We want the pain to be there! This is an opportunity.” :)

    Here's the link to the video:
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Pemberley,

    Thanks for posting this! I have been looking for this, and have not been able to find it.

    My understanding is Alan is helping the patient pendulate between the sensations, both the symptom sensations and the emotional or feeling sensations. Meantime, as he told us in a training, he's speaking to deeper layers of the person, allowing his reassurance to help them be present with whatever is there, and giving the patient cognitive information/education about the harmlessness of the symptom sensations. He's also giving the patient somatic techniques for inducing a sense of safety. There is also obviously "mindfulness" training here, as well as the reassurance of Alan's presence, a human support.

    He told us that this was after many sessions working with Greg's back pain with similar techniques.

    Yes, that is the basic technique, to bring your awareness to the "feeling sense" or emotional sense. I would suggest that if you don't notice anything there, then that's OK too. You can simply attend to the "nothing." Usually even the "nothing" has some quality or texture, or density. Part of what Alan is doing is helping Greg tolerate the difficult emotional responses, like anxiety, fear. If you don't feel anything this might be a good thing. Meantime you're using that "pendulation" (not Alan's term, but I borrow it from Somatic Experiencing) to bring mindfulness to experience, practicing "not running."

    Andy B
  3. Pemberley

    Pemberley Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Andy B! I'm glad that it's useful to you too.

    I really appreciate what you wrote -- attend to the "nothing." That feels very reassuring and lessens my tension/hold on trying too hard to find something.

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