Ivor Browne is a well-known and respected psychiatrist in Ireland.
He has been viewed by some people as a maverick but his work always comes from a place of compassion and understanding.
Ivor talks about the ‘frozen present’.
How do we experience the ‘Frozen Present’?
When something traumatic happens in childhood, we may need to dissociate from it as it is too big for us to process.
This can happen with major life traumas, as well as smaller ‘traumas’.
Remember, something that happened to a 5 year old will probably have a bigger impact than if the same thing happened to an adult.
So, while it doesn’t come under the heading of trauma, with a capital ‘T’, it can still be felt very deeply.
And we all have these pockets of unresolved events and emotions within us. Our frozen present can manifest itself in negative beliefs, behaviours or completely overreacting to something that happens.
So, how do these event get frozen?
Up to the age of 5 or 6, we are in a theta state. What this means is that we are basically in a hypnotic state, constantly learning by what we see and hear. Think about it, when we are learning to walk, talk, eat with a knife and fork… it is all done by observation.
At this young age, we don’t yet have the cognitive process to filter, process and fully understand what has gone on.
So, if someone tells us that we are ‘very bad’, or scolds us, we may take on the belief that we are bad, not good enough, don’t deserve etc.
We won’t understand that this person may have been having a bad day, may be under pressure themselves etc, and it may not have had anything to do with us. Also, at the time, we may not have the vocabulary, maturity or opportunity to fully process what has gone on.
How to resolve the frozen present:
Thankfully, there is something that you can do about this.
EFT Tapping has always been very useful in terms of working on eliminating beliefs and behaviours. In fact, in most of my sessions with clients, we work at a very deep level to clear negative beliefs and behaviours.
I have now gone a step further and developed a technique, Transformation Healing, which is an integration of NLP techniques, EFT and energy healing.
The types of issues that I have worked on with people using this technique are overcoming chronic anxiety, people who wanted to feel confident about putting themselves forward in business or speaking in public, and also people who want to believe that they are good enough and do deserve the best.
In most of these cases, the roots of the problem go back to childhood experiences, and back to their frozen present.
The types of incidents that had triggered these beliefs usually related to negative experiences in school, or something that happened in their family or with friend, at a very young age.
Sometimes it can be something as simple as being told off in school, or being made fun of, being left out of childhood games and activities. Or it could be a parent giving out to us, telling us to stop crying or maybe not giving us enough attention.
Now, to an adult, some of these events don’t sound like a big deal, but to a small child, they may be a HUGE deal.
In the Transformation Healing process, using tapping EFT we go back to discover where the problem originated. Once we have done that, we go back and talk to the child in the situation, acknowledge the difficulties and let them talk about and express how they feel about what has gone on.
It is a bit like peeling off the layer of the onion. You start off with how the child is looking in the picture and gradually as you work with the child, they start to open up about how they feel.
Even the simple act of acknowledging and listening to their younger self has a huge healing effect on the child.
At the end of the Transformation Healing, when the younger self has fully processed what has gone on and they feel healed (calm, relaxed, confident), we then integrate these feelings that our younger self has back into who we are now as an adult.
Clients regularly comment that they cannot believe that before undergoing the process that their 5 year old self was running the show! After the process, it is their adult selves with all of the new understanding that is making the decisions now.
With my Transformation Healing process, people are amazed at how quickly it gets to the root of the problem and positive changes and beliefs start to change quite quickly.
What can I do myself if I think that I have some ‘frozen present’ within me?
Take yourself to somewhere quiet, and focus in on whatever you would like to heal. It may be a feeling, belief or part of some negative chatter that is constantly running through your head.
Take a couple of breaths, and ask yourself to guess when was the first or worst time that you felt this. Allow an age to pop up into your head. Trust that your unconscious mind will know the answer.
Then ask yourself, what was going on around that time and see what comes to mind.
Maybe something as vague as school might come up. And just start writing – try to focus on what you think it might have been like to be that age and what challenges you might have faced. Even try guessing where your frozen present may have come from – this is a great way of accessing your unconscious mind.
Start with one challenge at a time.
Write everything down about how your younger self might have felt, how hard it may have been, did they have anyone to talk to?
Then ask your younger self, what do they need in order to feel better about what happened. Sometimes, the mere act of being heard and acknowledged may be enough. Some people use non-dominant hand writing (i.e. if you are left handed, writing with your right hand etc), and find that this allows them to access childhood memories.
In my work, I use tapping EFT to heal the unresolved emotions, but you may prefer to do some reiki healing, massage or even do some kind of ceremony such as lighting a candle or building an altar to honour your younger self.
Different things will work for different people and what I always say is to go with what resonates with you.
Of course, if you would like to work with me on this or if you are somehow drawn to the Transformation Healing process, please contact me on 00 353 87 629 7207 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a Free 15 minute consultation to see how this could help you.