PTSD and Repetition CompulsionThis repressed energy and dissociation causes the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When a person cannot return to normal functioning they often develop a repetition compulsion in an attempt to resolve the problem.
A repetition compulsion is concept mastery gone awry. Concept mastery is one of the major ways in which human beings learn. If a person is trying to learn a task and does not quite complete it appropriately he or she will have a tendency to keep trying until they figure out the solution to the problem. This healthy tenacity helps us develop and grow as individuals and as a species.
When PTSD Turns Into An ObsessionThis healthy tenacity however can at times turn into an obsession. This is what occurs in a repetition compulsion. A person will try to solve the problem in the same fashion over and over again without making any changes to their strategy in the fruitless attempt to master the situation.
They often become desperate in their attempt to complete the action and solve the problem. They fail to realize that something is wrong with their approach. There is often a blind spot where the solution resides. Instead of looking at the problem in a different fashion and discovering a new way to respond, the person attempts the same technique over and over again which results in repeated failure and frustration.
This psychological dilemma is best illustrated by a sad, but all too common tendency. When a child has been sexually abused by a parent the child will dissociate, which essentially creates a hypnotic experience. The child will remember on some level and in great detail everything that has occurred. He or she will remember how they felt like a victim. They will remember what they were dressed in, the time of day, and the furniture in the room. They will also remember what the abuser was wearing, what tone of voice was used, and a number of other details.
The child will then have essentially two models of behavior. One will be a victim, and the other will be an abuser. This will be especially confusing because the abuser might well be seen as quite loving in other situations. The child will then want to find a black or white answer to their confusion. This concrete and absolute thinking is characteristic of a child’s thinking under the age of twelve.
The way a child attempts to resolve this conflict is to internalize the two models. Essentially a civil war develops when one part of the child feels like a good person who has been victimized and the other part acts like the original abuser and tells the child that they are worthless. The problem has no resolution however, because the two sides are usually equally matched.
It sets up a hot spot where increased psychic energy resides. It also sets up a double goal. The child will feel they are loveable and want love, but also feel unlovable and want to be rejected. This conflict will be mostly subconscious. Consciously they will move towards success and love, but usually because of their blind spot they will either act in a way or connect with a person who fulfills their subconscious desire or rather conviction that they are unworthy and either fail or get rejected.
In the failed attempt out of this stalemate they often subconsciously recruit a third person. Although, an abused child will identify with both the abuser and the victim, they usually specialize and follow one model more than the other. Therefore, a person who identifies more with the victim is drawn towards an abuser as if by radar and an abuser is drawn towards the victim in like manner. Often, even if aware of their blind spot and consciously trying not to repeat they are invariably drawn into the same snare or repetition compulsion.
NET™ or Neuro Emotional Technique™ theory postulates that we create our own reality and that we are responsible for our own story. This means that even if the story of past abuse when a person is a child is accurate and valid we are still responsible for repeating it if we do not deactivate the repetition compulsion and neutralize the energy that is stuck.
This is why NET™ Neuro-Emotional Technique™ is so effective for the problem of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and repetition compulsions. PTSD is about delayed grief or to say it another way energy that becomes stuck. A large part of this traumatic energy gets stuck in the body and NET™ is incredibly effective in relieving this energy. It seems to have the effect of allowing the client to reestablish homeostasis and therefore drain the energy and original belief behind the repetition compulsion.
When used in tandem with insight oriented therapy to understand the reason behind the self-destructive behavior, and EMDR to assist in shifting the short term memory loop of the trauma to long term memory, NET™ seems to complete homeostasis by bringing the body back into balance. This has been a major breakthrough in the treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.