Reclaiming and restoring your state through embodiment practice

March 22, 2019

I got schooled recently on EMBODIMENT.

LOVE LOVE LOVE how smart and committed my clients are to waking up from the bad dream of who they think they are.

Mired in complex trauma, treatment-resistant depression, relationship discord or any number of the wounds and challenges that bring people to our office, the bottom line is they want to feel better.

This particular client is no different.

She takes seriously the embodiment aspect of AAIT as a vigorous advocate of her home practice.

It’s clients like this who can teach us the most if we really LISTEN.

This woman brilliantly articulated the challenge of LEADING herself through acceptance and integration if the tethered charge hovered with a SUDS (subjective units of distress) of around six.

This makes PERFECT sense, doesn’t it?

In those situations, she could only FOLLOW. When the SUDS is high, it can be VERY challenging to both LEAD and FOLLOW simultaneously which is a necessary dynamic in solo practice.

How true is this for most of us? Mostly true. In fact, over the years, I have found that one’s ability to engage in solo practice with higher SUDS levels increases with practice.

In my book, I’d say she’s doing pretty dang good restoring her state at a SUDS of 6 or more.

I’ve long thought that there are some situations that we just need a solid therapeutic container to do the work we need to do. But sometimes, oftentimes, we don’t. It’s yet another reason I ADORE how empowering AAIT is.

Anyway, I was insensitive to the subtleties of cognitive and emotional challenge of leading and following ourselves into and through triggered territory.

Her insight speaks to the real value we offer people as guides who are familiar with the territory, knowing where to place the next step. When it feels like you are being led blindfolded and backwards into a dark and tangled ravine, we want to have a companion, a strong and trustworthy guide. Even that is hard and sometimes terrifying.

This again speaks to the importance of the therapeutic alliance, a strong collaboration.

Tuning into where each client’s limits are with their ability to simultaneously LEAD and FOLLOW may just help us set our clients up for greater success in their embodiment practice at home.

It’s worth recognizing that leading yourself when learning new things is quite challenging. It follows that using challenges and stressors that have a SUDS of 2 or 3 could help in their DISCOVERY that they can begin reclaiming and restoring their state.

Being able to restore one’s state from a SUDS of 3 to 0 is no small thing and may increase that felt sense of confidence that can accompany DIRECTED AWARENESS.

Teaching our clients to regularly assess their SUDS levels could help track a personal understanding of when they need the support of someone LEADING them.

With research, perhaps we could gain better understanding of what AAIT practitioners see anecdotally, a gradual increase of the capacity to simultaneously LEAD and FOLLOW with higher SUDS level.

Follow your curiosity about AAIT and register to join me on Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 for a virtual OPEN HOUSE to learn more about the AAIT Clinical Fellowship and discover how it could revolutionize your practice.

P.S. AAIT Practitioners — you see the polarity here, right? Integrating leading and following may increase the SUDS level capacity for solo practice.


Melanie McGhee Comment
SUDSVirtual Open House

1 Comment

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