Emotional Triggers Treatment (ETT) and Anger
Written by Dr. Jennifer Agosta
In this blog in our series on how Emotional Triggers Treatment (ETT) reduces or resolves different conditions, we are going to be talking about ETT and anger.
Anger is associated with the fight part of the Fight or Flight response. It is a deep response that mammals have, and is associated with threat to survival, to safety. The threat may be a violation of the body, intrusion into home, a menaced food source, and the anger response is a big part of what has kept our species going.
As useful as anger has been through time, however, we don’t want want anger as our ongoing companion. Being angry all the time, or much of the time, crowds out other experiences, and other emotions. Anger that is ongoing and/or out of control leaves us stuck in an ongoing Fight-or-Flight state. This is not good for the brain or the nervous system, clouds our judgment and our capacity for clear thinking, and deeply affects our relationships.
While anger is associated with several “underlying” issues, such as depression, alcohol abuse, and grief, for example, it can also be set off by various stressors - family concerns and financial worries are common triggers. Even chronic stress itself can give rise to anger that becomes unmanageable. ETT lifts or reduces anger by using a series of guided imagery exercises that allow the emotional brain to address and clear both the root cause of the anger, and the anger itself.
Through the guided imagery exercises used in an ETT session, the emotional brain first has an opportunity to finish and close in its own way whatever has been causing the anger. The anger-causing situation may be current, or old - the emotional brain may be holding on to contents from long ago that it never got the opportunity to complete. The brain exercises allow the completion of that content, so the irritant itself is dissolved or reduced, and its potential to trigger anger is drained of much of its charge.
The ETT session also allows the client a chance to get rid of the anger itself, as well as dissolving or reducing the anger-causing irritant. To get rid of the anger itself, ETT uses guided imagery brain exercises that are similar though not the same as those used to address the cause of the anger. After ETT, clients find they are not as deeply or as frequently triggered into anger. Emotions become manageable, not overwhelming, and the mind feels quieter and clearer.
Some clients find that the ETT Intake Session and a single ETT Work Session is enough. Others may benefit from a series of up to 5 ETT Work Sessions. The number of sessions appropriate for a client depends mainly on two different aspects of the treatment, One aspect that determines how many sessions will be beneficial is the underlying condition(s), or how many “roots” are giving rise to the anger. The other determining factor is whether the initial Work Session clears enough that the client then becomes aware of deeper layers that might be addressed through further sessions. This is always discussed with the practitioner, and practitioner and client decide together whether more sessions may be beneficial.