What are The Havening Techniques®

by Paula Emmerton

The Havening Techniques® is science based and is designed to aim to treat depression & anxiety symptoms that are a consequence due to a traumatic encoding of negative events, which have been encoded into the brain.

How it works

There are different techniques used, depending on if the person they are being carried out on remembers the event, or is unsure. Sometimes a memory is ‘triggered’ by something that reminds us of the event in our conscious or unconscious mind. The brain then sends signals that we could be in danger, therefore puts us into the ‘fight or flight’ mode, which can cause anxiety related symptoms. Then sensory input is applied (a simple touch of the face, shoulder, and palms ), helping generate brain waves called ‘delta waves’ which helps put you into a calming state. The touch can be applied by the practitioner or client. Distraction techniques, including visualisation, are then used, to take the mind away from the trauma which was activated.

The idea that by applying these techniques, then revisiting the memory of the trauma which was activated (in the part of the brain called the amygdala ) the emotion will be less and the memory not as clear. Scaling of numbers will be done throughout, (the number that associates with the emotion that is felt), so to gage how much emotion is left.

Other types of Havening can be combined also or used on their own. If a client feels depressed or has low moods and they’re not sure why, there are lots of Havening Techniques® that can be used, and also combined. The client can also use the technique of ‘Self Havening’ which they can apply on themselves, this is useful to use daily to enhance your state of being. It involves applying the Havening touch to yourself, whilst saying affirmations (things you are thankful for in your life, grateful for). It is also good for resilience building.

Success stories

I have had some great results using these techniques. Someone came to me who worked in a nursery school, and often had to take the children into the garden, she was petrified of spiders, which made her suffer anxiety every time she was was asked to take them outside. We worked on this, after finding a childhood memory of a situation she was in, where there was a spider. The spider was a ‘trigger’ which made her remember a time she was on holiday, she was in the shower and there was a spider. It was also on that trip that her parents had told her they were parting, so the spider wasn’t the issue, but in her memory it was part of the encoded event. Once we worked on the trauma of her parents separating, her spider phobia disappeared!

I have worked with a client on her fear of flying, after the sessions she said she hadn’t been able to see some of her family overseas for years, and is now looking forward to visiting them.

What The Havening Techniques® aim to help

These techniques aim to alter thought mood & behaviour, and to help build resilience for future challenges in your life.

Listed are some issues that can be worked on with Havening:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Fears/phobias
  • PTSD
  • Abuse

If you would like any more information on Havening and to see how it works, please visit:
my profile on Light Centre Belgravia
or www.havening.org
or Tam Johnston ‘What is Havening and how does it work’ on YouTube