When you have been through any sort of traumatic event, the brain is working through that material to heal and move forward. But during this process, distress can happen in the form of nightmares or flashbacks. Understandably, the person experiencing this trauma will want to push those memories and intrusive symptoms away.
A container exercise helps compensate for what the brain challenges you with as it works through the trauma. It basically is an exercise that utilizes your brain's ability to contain material. As traumatic or disturbing material comes up, a container imagery is used to hold onto and put away those thoughts until the time you can better handle them.
You see, the brain is doing its job yet, we blame ourselves so harshly when we seemly stay focused on the past event. As a result, we remain in our very familiar comfort zone.
The brain's number one job is to keep you safe and comfortable. It collects data from day to day experiences and assess what you need and what you do not. It is like a computer and operates accordingly as a result of that collected data.
It is efficient that way. Our survival is first and foremost. So, when you suggest a particular way of thinking or a new way of doing things, it will (for your survival) assess the situation to assure that what you are doing will keep you safe and comfortable.
Now consider every experience in your life and what data has been collected over the years and what conclusions may have been formed as a result.
You see those experiences as well as the feelings and thoughts associated to them are recorded and because we have good and bad experiences in our lives, different cues pull up those files of recorded information.
But, you should know that when this information re-surfaces in the present moment that it may feel real but that it is just a recording of something that is no longer happening. It is just the brain analyzing and re-processing.
So, as you begin to explore your thoughts, if disturbing material comes up, you can simply “Contain it”, which means put it away and out of your mind.
As an EMDR Specialist and Brain Training Expert, I use this exercise often. You’ve literally become programmed to respond and react to circumstances in your life a particular way which is why it’s been so hard for you to do things differently. But it can change.
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I have included a container exercise in the program so that you can begin to examine your thoughts without the concern that it will bring up material that you do not want to think about.
If it comes up, you simply contain it by following my voice as I guide you through a simple exercise in which you will visualize this containment happening. I use this successfully with my own clients who sit across from me in session. It is the basis for most therapy, for neurofeedback, and in EMDR. Just listen as I guide you through it and allow your mind to do the rest.
I have helped 1000's of people overcome fear and self-doubt so that they can move forward and live the life of their dreams. Join me and see what possibilities await you!