Emotional Triggers Treatment (ETT) and Depression
Written by Dr. Jennifer Agosta
Hello there everyone, and thank you for coming to our website ! This blog is part of a series about how Emotional Triggers Treatment addresses different issues. In a previous blog, I wrote a little bit about how Emotional Triggers Treatment can lift or reduce anxiety, and this time we will look at how ETT works to lift or lessen depression.
First, let’s acknowledge an important difference between two types of depression. One of these is “situational depression,” which is tied to a recent life event that has been deeply stressful. This is often a loss of some kind, like the death of a parent, or a major life change, such as the last child leaving home. The other kind of depression is not tied to current life events, and is simply ongoing, though it may have its own ups and downs. ETT can help with both these types of depression by shifting the way that the brain views events and manages associated feelings.
At one time, ongoing depression was felt to be a “mood disorder,” at least partly caused by biochemistry, an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. While many still feel that this is the case, we also know now that depression can be more complicated: the chemical imbalance may have gotten set up in our brains long ago, due to ongoing stressors or traumatic events in childhood. This kind of chronically stressful childhood experience is now called Adverse Childhood Experience, and can contribute a lot to the development of the brain and its settings, or baseline chemistry.
Yet, from another point of view, both types of depression can be seen as “a call inward,” a call from the deeper self to come inside and handle what the subconscious may no longer be able to manage without our full presence. In situational depression, the call may be telling us that we need more time to accommodate a change, or more time to grieve, for example. In ongoing depression, we may need to address experience that may have come long before the depression. There may be family dysfunction, trauma, or a series of circumstances that we never had a chance to fully deal with. From this perspective, depression might even be viewed as a helpful indicator that there may be issues inside that the emotional brain or the deeper self is requesting help with.
ETT approaches depression by allowing the emotional brain a chance to process, respond to, and complete any experiences that have been left unfinished and are preoccupying the deeper self. The ETT intake session is a general discussion about when, how, and possibly why, the depression began, and what other feelings and events seem associated. Then, in the ETT session itself, the practitioner guides the client through a series of guided imagery brain exercises that allow the emotional brain to complete, close, and refile those experiences that make up the beginning kernel, or the deep roots, of the depression. Once the root experience that has given rise to the depression is reformulated and the events are refiled, the emotional brain no longer holds the same content. The brain then begins to run a bit differently, and brain chemistry has the opportunity to shift.
From our point of view, depression can often be an opportunity to find, complete, and refile an experience or set of events that the emotional brain had been holding open and unresolved. ETT guided imagery exercises help resolve and close those experiences, leaving the emotional brain clearer. Clients find that as the emotional brain clears, the mind quiets, and they have more vitality and more focus.