Beatrice, a participant in one of my EBT telegroups, said she was anxious. Her daughter was leaving for college, her husband had quit his job, and her father had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease the week before.
As I am a psychologist, she might assume that I would ask a few more questions and conclude that she had generalized anxiety disorder. That would lead to a prescription, therapy, or both.
Anxiety has become a significant epidemic in the US, and this conversation happens hundreds of thousands of times daily nationwide. Yet that response would leave Beatrice lacking what she needed most – a scientific, physiological explanation for why she felt the way she did and a treatment that would address the cause and give her a drug-free way to resolve it.
A biological explanation for Anxiety
My explanation was based on EBT, a new paradigm in healthcare based on brain circuitry and using "emotions as medicine." EBT uses emotional processing techniques to shut off health-harming circuits and activate circuits that promote health and well-being.
I told Beatrice that a wire in her emotional brain had been activated and needed emotional processing. If she let me guide her in using EBT, she could switch it off, and a new wire that quieted her anxiety and delivered a surge of dopamine and endorphins would take its place.
"Beatrice, you have paradise inside, but a wire is blocking it. I can guide you through processing your emotions, and you will feel better on the spot."
She hesitated momentarily, then said, "Well, I have no choice. I'm desperate. I don't know what to do."
I led Beatrice through the 23 steps of the Spiral Up, feeling secure that she would find that paradise within. Our genes make that so, as the "survival of the species" depends on our capacity to pivot to new neural pathways when psychological, metabolic, or physical stressors come our way.
EBT allows us to access these resilience pathways as the basis for our self-care.
The transformation happened rapidly.
A couple of minutes later, Beatrice took her 23rd step, which was celebratory. That last step is celebratory, to feel a lightness, warmth, or tingle in the body, then proclaim a victory over that wire.
Still surprised, she said, "I just spiraled up."
I asked her, "What did you discover?"
She said, "I do have paradise inside. There is nothing wrong with me; it's just a wire. I only needed to take those 23 small steps.
You have that paradise inside, too. We all do, and right now, you are just 23 steps away from discovering it and feeling that lightness, warmth, or tingle.
That's the power of EBT.