We are born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of a loud noise.
So, where did all the fears come from that we carry now? A number one fear of adults is public speaking. Why is that?
Some of my clients have shared early school experiences of being laughed at when speaking up in the classroom. Many have related that they weren’t able to have a voice in their own home. Others were constantly being corrected by authority figures when they did speak. Some do not feel heard in their current relationships and often quit trying to communicate. These are just a few examples that led them to the fear of speaking in public.
Regardless of our age, when we experience impactful, hurtful, shocking and painful experiences, whether large or small, our body responds in a protective way. The brain directs us to go into flight or fight. We either withdraw and run away or become more aggressive physically or verbally. We often become speechless because the logical part of us leaves and the emotions take over. These experiences accumulate over time, sometimes years. Our bodies hold on to these memories until we change the pattern.
One of the best ways to change the habitual, unhealthy pattern is to seek out a form of touch therapy. Touch is a viable/powerful form of communication that we experience long before we learn to talk. It reconnects the logic with the emotional. When our stomach aches, one of the first things we do is try to create comfort by placing our hands on it.
As one of my clients said, “It is one thing to talk about my fears or anxieties, but with the additional use of touch, I can actually feel my body’s response. I understand what is really happening so much faster!”
The simultaneous use of listening touch and verbal dialogue in the Rubenfeld Synergy Method does allow client sessions to be unique and powerful. There is no template that is followed. It is the use of intuition, being in the moment with the client, listening, and allowing the body to speak!
In some forms of bodywork, the goal is to break down the client’s armour. As a Synergist, my approach is to “melt” it with my open hands in listening touch. My purpose is to communicate patience, caring, and a willingness to wait for the client to initiate the change process.
It may sound rather strange, but our body is communicating to us all the time. It loves it when we pay attention to it, especially when it is hurting, or we are in fear.
This is not a radical approach to therapy. In fact, when clients comment that it looks and seems “simple” it’s because it is so natural. It respects the wholeness of the client as having thoughts, emotions and somatic experiences – and having the will to explore, expand, and express oneself through these avenues.