What are the Havening Techniques?
The Havening Techniques are a healing modality that is designed to help individuals overcome problems that are the consequence of traumatic encoding. The Havening Techniques belong to a larger group of methods called psychosensory therapies, which use sensory input to alter thought, mood, and behavior. The Havening Techniques are a system comprised of protocols and methods that uses touch as a therapeutic tool, which we call Havening Touch®. The Havening Techniques have three (3) distinct applications—the first is for emotional disturbances and encoded psychological trauma; the second is for wellness, stress management, and peak performance; and the third is a self-help tool. Therefore, The Havening Techniques can be used within a psychotherapeutic setting with professional mental health care clinicians who have been fully trained and certified in The Havening Techniques. In addition, The Havening Techniques can be used by non-licensed practitioners as a protocol for coaching sessions or as a tool in allied health care practice by individuals who have been fully trained and certified in The Havening Techniques. The Havening Techniques can also be used as a self-help technique and shared with family members and friends.
What types of problems do the Havening Techniques address?
The consequences of traumatic encoding and stressful life events can be physical and psychological. While we can't provide any guarantees, The Havening Techniques have been shown to help with phobias, chronic pain, distressing memories (broken relationships, shocking news, loss, embarrassment, etc.), victims of natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, etc.) and man-made events (war, fire, assault, home intrusion, etc.), anger, fear of abandonment, grief, cravings, PTSD, panic attacks, emotional eating, and many other problems.
Are the Havening Techniques just a distraction method?
No, but distraction plays a role in The Havening Techniques. Each distraction component has a biological correlate. This means there is a purpose to each action. Our experience is that most clients do not believe it will work and are astonished when it does. The strangeness of the method and its effects on their mind makes them ask the following questions.
Are the results of a session of The Havening Techniques permanent?
While the Havening Techniques is a relatively new healing approach and has yet to be fully researched, we've observed that after successfully applying The Havening Techniques, it appears to be permanent in most cases. This is because The Havening Techniques are designed to alter the biological structure of the brain. The occasional return of symptoms implies either the traumatic core has not yet been found or the problem has been encoded in a different way. In particular, addictive and obsessive/compulsive behaviors, certain pain syndromes, and vasovagal (e.g., fainting) issues often need reinforcement or cannot be treated at the present time. No healing method or therapy works for all problems.
Are the Havening Techniques a form of hypnosis?
No. The Havening Techniques do not involve a hypnotic trance. The client is always aware of their feelings, thoughts, and surroundings and participates fully in the process.
Exactly how do the Havening Techniques work?
We believe the consequences of trauma and stressful life events are stored in the brain and are activated by conscious or inadvertent recall. Once this recall occurs, symptoms are generated. This activation also makes the pathway that generates these feelings subject to disruption (see Primer for details). The Havening Techniques are designed to disrupt this pathway through a process called synaptic depotentiation; literally, it is as if we darken a room by pulling a plug on a lit lamp. Although we can’t provide any guarantees, the emotions and sometimes even the ability to recall the memory can be extinguished after performing The Havening Techniques.
What if my client or I feel uncomfortable about touching?
Havening Touch involves a simple touch of the hands, upper arm, and face. Even though a trusted practitioner will be performing Havening Touch, it is essential as part of the informed consent process that permission be obtained for this aspect of the session. There are certain circumstances where the practitioner or the client may not wish to touch or be touched. This is not a problem, as the client can self-apply Havening Touch. These techniques are demonstrated in the videos.
How are the Havening Techniques different from TFT, EFT, and EMDR?
Even though these approaches look similar, the Havening Technique appears to produce a more rapid response and cause less distress for the client than TFT, EFT, and EMDR. In large part, we believe this is due to the comprehensive understanding of the underlying neurobiology for the Havening Techniques. In addition, the Havening Techniques have different modalities that make it possible to accelerate healing. In short, the Havening Techniques have been designed as a powerful, biologically engineered healing method. EFT and TFT are innovative energy oriented therapy, coaching, and self-help techniques based on the newly emerging field of energy psychology. Energy psychology methods are designed to assess where the body's energies are blocked or not in harmony and then correct and balance the flow of these energies, thereby aligning the body's natural energies. They use the ancient Chinese meridian system with a gentle tapping procedure, which stimulates designated end points on the face and body, while saying specific phrases and focusing on issues of emotional intensity in order to release the intensity and re-frame the issues.
Are the Havening Techniques dangerous?
Every healing method has side effects, and it is possible to experience negative side effects with the Havening Techniques. Therefore, if you have experienced a serious trauma or have a psychological disorder, we recommend using the Havening Techniques only with a professional mental health care provider who has been fully trained and certified in the Havening Techniques. Potential risks with using the Havening Techniques include in-session abreactions (crying, anger, physical movements), post-havening lightheadedness, and rarely, a worsening of symptoms or emotional numbing. These last two effects can be a consequence of bringing to awareness long since forgotten but biologically active memories. These should be treated by a qualified mental health care practitioner. In addition, highly traumatized individuals who use anger as a defense may become agitated by the premature removal of their protective anger and may increase their distress. If you choose to use the Havening Techniques as a self-help tool, it is possible to experience some emotional distress and/or physical discomfort, and additional unresolved memories may surface during or after using the Havening Techniques that can be perceived as negative. Emotional material may continue to surface after using the Havening Techniques, indicating other issues may need to be addressed. If you inadvertently experience any distressing reactions or negative side effects, you are strongly advised to stop using the Havening Techniques and seek appropriate professional help.
Are the Havening Techniques easy to learn?
Yes. The Havening Technique protocols and methods are easy to learn. The difficult part, which takes practice and skill, is locating where the core elements of the stressful event or trauma lie. Like all healing methods, experience, skill, proper training, and intuition play a major role.
How can I learn more?
One should start with purchasing and studying the educational material available on this website. This package will give you the opportunity to learn how to apply the Havening Techniques. Like any other skill, the more often you use it, the better you can become. From time to time, the website will offer ideas on how to overcome complicated issues.
How do I start?
Please start by finding the open-minded skeptic in yourself. After learning the Havening Techniques, educate yourself as to what your legally defined scope of practice is, if you want to use it in a professional therapeutic setting. For example, if you are a licensed mental health care professional, you may use the Havening Techniques to treat psychological disorders. If you are a professional coach, you can use the Havening Techniques to help clients achieve their goals and for peak performance. Of course, the Havening Techniques are also available to you as a self-help tool. If after learning the Havening Techniques, you believe it is something you would like to incorporate into your practice, we invite you to enroll in our Havening Techniques Certification Program, which will give you the right to advertise and identify yourself as a certified Havening Techniques Practitioner. Please remember that “Havening Techniques” and “Havening Touch” are registered trademarks and can only be used with permission. Therefore, you cannot legally use the trademarks or any derivatives thereof in any advertisement (website) or represent in any manner you use the Havening Techniques unless you are certified.