It was a normal weekly Spiral Up with Dr. Laurel Zoom session tonight, a time when members come together to hear some news from the EBT Founder.

The topic was an important one: how to use Precision EBT to rewire and raise the brain's set point faster. The focus was on outsmarting the reptilian brain's penchant for holding onto these wires by using the EBT tools in very precise ways.

What I am most stressed about . . . sets the stage

In the session, I carefully explained that how you start the Cycle Tool really matters. There are three common topics for any stressor. The topic is identified by using the second lead-in of the Cycle Tool. Once a person talks about the situation, the lead in "What I'm most stressed about is . . . " determines which circuits the Cycle will activate and rewire. The statement is brief and childlike, about five words, as we are seeking to enter the most primitive areas of the brain where the most self-damaging circuits reside.

The participant realized that EBT targets the problem directly, not why we do it or its consequences.

One of the topics we could use is what we do that we want to stop doing. The other ones are why we do it and its consequences. Using EBT casually for self-regulation usually results in the brain generating the last two.

Although with the casual use of EBT for self-regulation (Spiral Up #1 and Spiral Up #2 on the app), we can use any of the three options, to raise your set point faster takes the extra energy to rewire circuits, using EBT for reconsolidation (Spiral Up #3). Most important when using that brain pathway is to focus on what you do that you want to stop doing. This takes effort because the brain prefers to protect these wires from reconsolidation as they are tagged as "survival wisdom" rather than "emotional clutter."

The wisdom of one participant who spoke up

An important skill is to differentiate the three options so that it's easier to catch ourselves and be sure that we have settled on the basic problem as the topic for the Cycle, the behavior or response, not why we are doing it or the downstream impact of doing it.

To demonstrate all three options, I asked for a volunteer, and one wonderful woman spoke up about her problem with excessive thinking and overplanning everything until it made her stop enjoying her life. She identified the topics she could use for all three options: the behavior ("I overthink and overplan everything"), why she does it ("I'll never get it right"), and the consequence of doing it ("not living my life").

Then I asked her what she had learned and she said that using a topic that reflects why I did it is "a false high and that's why people are in psychotherapy for 17 years. You crush the circuit by waiting for the right answer."

She was right. The right topic is a statement of what you do that you want to stop doing. We get the best results in changing our brain by focusing on rewiring the root cause of the problem – our unwanted response – rather than on processing and rewiring why we do what we do or the consequences inflicted on us by that response.

EBT is efficient, directly targeting the real problem

What is the take-home message? Work hard at EBT as the emotional brain only changes when it knows it has no choice, which means passion, intensity, and frequency of using the tools, but use Spiral Up #3 more often, and choose a topic that expresses what you do that you want to stop doing!

Her response offered some insight into why we believe that EBT will grow in its prominence and perhaps one day be the most commonly used therapy for one reason: not only is it scientific, accessible, and affordable, but it is direct. Why waste energy on "why" when the problem is the circuit or how this wire has harmed us? The Cycle Tool integrates both insights and is most effective when the topic is the precise behavior you want to change.

Make this one change in your use of the Cycle Tool and raise your set point faster! Our goal is for all people to experience a life of joy and purpose with less work, less time, and less expense. Our mission is to bring emotional health to all!