PART (Personal Activation Reduction Technique)
The PART technique is a modification of Dr. Phil Manfield’s “The Flash Technique”.
The Flash Technique
The Flash Technique in a nutshell involves thinking bi-lateral (left/right) stimulation while making sure you are in a resourced state, then fluttering your eyes as a way of acknowledging that a trigger exists (while staying in the resourced state). You do this by tapping your legs about a second and a half apart while lighting up a really cool memory or internal experience that makes you feel good or loved. While feeding this embodied preferred state, you then flutter your eyes as a way of acknowledging that the trigger exists. I use a metaphor of a USB drive having a trigger story on it and when I flutter my eyes it is a way of acknowledging the USB drive exists (without thinking about or visiting the content of the story). You could use other metaphors as well (such as a book). In the Flash Technique, you stay in your preferred experience while tapping and every 4-5 taps, you flutter your eyes. You do this about 5 times. Then you go into an assessment phase and see if the activation level has gone down (and it usually does). You repeat this a few times until there is little or no activation. Then you do it a few more times until the activation level is gone or minimal. Then you assess how activated your nervous system is now (compared to how activated it would have been prior to doing this technique).
The CART Technique
In developing the CART (Couples Anxiety Reduction Technique), I basically took The Flash Technique and added emotional attunement, eye contact, loving words, and having the partner do the bilateral stimulation by squeezing hands instead of tapping by yourself. The Flash Technique is effective. My experience is that the CART technique is effective quicker and quite empowering for the couples involved. I think it is more effective because the Flash Technique is combining a resource image and almost thinking about a threat, whereas the CART technique is combining a resource image and tons of attachment resources. Basically, more good things are happening in the brain when we are almost thinking about the threat.
I believe that the mechanism of healing is explained through Memory Re-consolidation Theory. In a nutshell, if you combine into working memory a preferred experience (from the pre-frontal cortex) with a non-preferred experience (from the fight or flight parts of the brain) then the brain needs to figure out where to put this new memory. If the resourced memory is strong, then it will put it there. Hence the pre-frontal cortex processes the trigger rather than the fight/flight/freeze part of the brain. So, we become aware of the trigger rather than are caught in a visceral reaction to the trigger.
So, my experience with CART being more effective than the Flash Technique (which is super effective) caused me to wonder what The Flash Technique might be like if there were additional resources going on. If the CART technique is basically the Flash Technique on steroids, then how can we add steroids to The Flash Technique. That’s the goal, anyway.
The PART (Personal Activation Reduction Technique)
The PART technique is my attempt to add steroids (other parallel internal resources ) to the Flash Technique. I’ve added three “steroids”. First, I include a mantra that counteracts whatever your emotional raw spot is and secondly “V” breaths.
What are the modifications to The Flash Technique that are being added:?
- Develop and practice a soothing mantra that counteracts whatever your internal raw spot is.
- As an example, my emotional raw spot is organized around, “Am I really worthy of connection?” This shows up with having to unlearn patterns of performing for love. So, in helping me embody a felt sense of worthiness, for a while I used a mantra sang in a slow song that simply says, “I am worthy, worthy. Who I am is worthy.” I found that finding a slow repetitive cadence of singing that song helped me embody a felt sense of worthiness.
- “V” Breaths simply are breathing in deeply and very slowly exhaling while making a “V” sound. You are attempting to make your diaphram vibrate. When that happens it sends a signal to your brain that you must not be under threat. Then your brain starts believe that being in a state of anxiety is not necessary and less anxiety / stress hormones get produced. This is a technique I learned from listening to a Peter Levine training.
- I have people tap their chest soothingly or do butterfly hugs instead of simply tapping. I believe that the body somatically feels this as an additional internal resource that is even better than tapping.
I’ve found it to be effective sometimes quicker than The Flash Technique (which is super effective). And I attribute the effectiveness again to Memory Reconsolidation Theory. The difference is just that more resourced states (more positive wiring in the brain) is firing while we almost think about the threat.
So, my job is to come up with a preferred experience to think about. The more I can embody it, the better (basically more of the pre-frontal cortex lights up). And then I metaphorically decide what the newspaper title of my threat is. I come up with a newspaper title without going into all of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are caught up in the story. I acknowledge that in the newspaper, there are thoughts, emotions, and feelings. But, I just name that fact rather than light them up experientially. Then I tap my chest left / right calmly (with butterfly hugs) about a second and a half apart. While I am tapping, I am lighting up my preferred experience. And while I am in my preferred experience, I am singing a soft mantra of “I’m worthy” with a soothing cadence, as you might lullaby a child to sleep. Then when I get a good rhythm doing that, I morph the mantra from the language of “worthy” to the “V” breaths. However, in my mind’s eye, I assign the meaning of “V” breath to my mantra “I’m worthy”. So, my body is getting a preferred sound for stimulating my diaphram with the “V” breath, my brain is getting the preferred message of I’m worthy, and I’m in an internal resource. So, all that is happening and every 4-5 taps, I flutter my eyes as prescribed in The Flash Technique.
Right now, my most in depth writing about this is in a document located at www.toddharveymft.com/cart It is The CART technique explained in detail in over 20 pages. The PART technique is very similar but the individual is doing it themselves rather than having their partner help them.