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What is Havening?

With both Tom and I being Certified Havening Practitioners, we regularly incorporate it within the therapeutic coaching we offer but whenever we mention Havening to people the most common reply is ...

"What on earth is that?"

Havening is, in therapeutic terms, a relatively new therapy, it's based on neuroscience, and it is something that has really blown me away. In very, very simple terms what Havening aims to do is to get the brain to calm down whenever it's feeling anxious, stressed or traumatized, and enables the brain to let go of some of those destructive patterns that it has created by being stressed and traumatized.

The term Havening comes from the word 'Haven' which means a safe place as this is what Havening is capable of doing to our brains, making it a safe place.

So let's say, for example, that when you were 10, you were bitten by a dog. Now, obviously, that's quite a traumatic, scary event. What would have happened at that time is your brain would have recorded every single bit of information that was occurring, so it didn't just record what dog bit you, it would have recorded the look of the dog's teeth, the smell that was in the air, the weather that was happening, whether there was music playing, who else was around you, maybe even what you were wearing, or if there was a sound of a car horn in the distance, or an aeroplane going overhead.

The brain records everything in very vivid detail when we go through something really scary and traumatic, to make sure that we're pre warned for anything similar happening in the future.

That can be really useful because it can help us to avoid having to go through the same physical pain over and over again. It can also be very disabling and hindering to our progress. Because in recording such vivid detail, we can start to make connections in our brain that aren't really accurate. So we can remember the pain and the fear in the shock of being bitten by the dog. But we may have associated that with a Cliff Richard song that was playing in the background. And so every time we hear Cliff Richard, we start to feel anxious and stressed and traumatized, no comments on his music of course! Or we may have associated that dog bite with really torrential rain coming down. And so every time when there's torrential rain, we start to feel that apprehension anxiety. What Havening does is it enables us to tap into that emotion, and then calm and relax the brain by applying what's called the Havening Touch.

And the Havening Touch is really simple. There are three key ways that we can do it.

So one is where we stroke down the arms just in a nice, methodical way (just like in the above clip). One is where we rub the palms. I always say, just imagine that you're rolling a piece of dough between your hands, and the other one is down the sides of the face and across the forehead.

What the research has found is that when we apply that haven in touch, our brainwaves start to change, and they start to go into a nice Delta State. And delta is a very relaxing state for our brain, it is actually a state we are in a lot as children, it's very good for being receptive to learning and creating new pathways. But as we become adults, we go into a Delta State a little bit less frequently, if we can get ourselves to recall that traumatic event and experience that Delta State, what the research shows is that those connections that we once made, suddenly are no longer connected. And so we won't forget that we are bitten by a dog, but we won't carry all of that baggage and all of that trauma forward with us, enabling us to move forward.

There are quite a few interesting studies out there. A really interesting one done in Cardiff University a few years ago, that are showing that this simplistic approach, has a huge benefit and impact on people.

Havening can help with a whole breadth of issues and challenges, some ways in which I have already used it are:

  • Overcoming a traumatic experience

  • Difficult childhood experiences

  • Fear of heights

  • Fear of public speaking

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder

  • Bereavement

  • Health anxiety

  • Preparation for an interview

  • Overcoming limiting beliefs

If you would like to find out if havening could work for you; maybe if you feel like I've tried everything else, then please reach out and book an appointment here.

If you have any questions or would like some more information, you can also drop me an email.

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