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The following two case histories exemplify the efficacy of Super Resourcing.
Case One: Susan
Susan is a 43 year-old woman who came into therapy expressing a current distress about her relationship with her mother-in-law. In her own words, “My mother-in-law is driving me nuts! She can’t go two minutes without criticizing me or implying that I am not good enough for her son.” She was clearly agitated and felt very misunderstood.
Susan had a good enough childhood; she did not have precipitating traumas or undue attachment issues. We set up four sessions; I anticipated that given the absence of a trauma history, and the unlikely occurrence of young wounded parts making an appearance, I would likely be able to teach her some coping skills within four sessions. Our first session consisted of taking history, establishing her treatment goals, and building alliance. We began to apply Super Resourcing during session number two, and at the end of the session as she got up to leave the office, she turned to me and said, “You know what, I’m feeling really solid in myself, I’m feeling strong and clear about who I am, and it just doesn’t seem important anymore what my mother-in-law does or says. She can criticize all she wants – I don’t have to listen. I know who I am.” She paused, then continued, “I think I’m going to cancel my other sessions.”
I checked in with Susan a few months later, and her increased experience of personal agency had held. She no longer felt reactive, and this enabled her to be more compassionate with her mother-in-law, which resulted in defusing the tension between them. Additionally, she had experienced gains in other areas of her life in terms of her ability to be more embodied and more aware of what her needs were and better able to advocate for herself. She felt she had a more compelling and reliable voice in the world.
Case Two: Steve
Steve is a 56 year-old male, and his current presenting issue was a recent car accident which resulted in a persistent dread of driving. He would sometimes need to pull his car over to the shoulder of the road in order to calm his agitation. Using the EMDR Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale (SUDS) in which 10 indicates high stress and 1 indicates low stress, we identified the level of his disturbance at 9.
In our first several sessions, it became apparent that the powerlessness he felt in the moment of his car accident activated an earlier trauma memory from when he was 7 years old, in which he also experienced profound powerlessness. The incident involved an uncle whom he felt trapped him in a room and then verbally abused him. Rather than address either the past or present trauma directly, as in a traditional EMDR session, I shifted the focus of attention to the young boy who experienced the abuse.
We spent the session neurologically Super Resourcing a younger version of himself. Once this younger self felt safe, protected, and guided, and Steve was no longer living back there and then in the midst of the abuse, we checked back in with his past and the valance on the memory had disappeared. The recent trauma – the car accident – went down to a 5 on the SUDS scale. Now that the car accident was no longer laden with precipitating issues, and once his younger self felt resolved, it no longer leaked into his recent accident.
We then Super Resourced his adult self who had experienced the car accident. Again, we didn’t focus on what happened and avoided inquiries like, what was happening in your body, what were you feeling in the moment, i.e., as these shift the attention to his internal experience. This is similar to the set-up stage with EMDR in that we generate negative sensations, emotions, and cognitions. What is different about Super Resourcing, however, is that we didn’t stay with the negative matrix — we switched to the positive matrix, the positive sensations, emotions and cognitions and developed resources for him. We then linked together his past and present Super Resourced resources, and the SUDS went down to a two. He expressed that a two felt as good as it was going to get without actually testing the result of the session by actually being in his car and driving. His theory proved correct: Over the next week, his dread continued to decrease until he felt the accident was truly behind him. Here again, we see that Super Resourcing the part of the person who experienced the trauma serves to diminish the symptoms of trauma without having to deal with it directly.
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