07 Apr Core Transformation for Trauma/PTS
“Core Transformation has changed my life! After many years of talk therapy that did nothing, I am amazed at the dramatic shift I’ve had not only in the areas you and I worked on, but other areas of my life as well. I am finding troubled relationships suddenly improving. It has been an empowering experience. Thank you so much Mark for your gentle persistence and great patience.”
~ Greta Campbell*
Tale of the Day: Advanced Core Transformation
Core Transformation can often get powerful and even profound results in a single session. However sometimes it takes more than one session, and when that’s the case, often getting the same profound results involves using some of the advanced CT formats shown in the story below. For Greta, the results she described happened through a series of four Marathon CT sessions (some sessions we divided into two meetings to avoid going 4 or more hours straight). This session series was a compelling example to me of how Core Transformation often works even with the most challenging of situations. However, for it to work it takes some “advanced nuances.”
When I read her background form, Greta wrote that her overall goal was “Peace,” and to “get rid of the fears in my life, move forward in my life, be able to deal with trials as they come up.”
She wrote she’d experienced significant problems along these lines for 30-40 years. In her family of origin, Greta had long been the “scapegoat” and “dumping ground,” for many toxic emotions. She experienced low self-esteem and an inability to stand up for herself. She struggled with guilt and shame, not feeling acceptable, and taking on too much responsibility. She had an intense fear of the night and the dark. When her partner left for business trips, she said she had to leave the lights on all night long, and found it very difficult to sleep.
There was plenty of trauma in Greta’s past to account for her current challenges—a voyeur, being stalked, harm from trusted figures of authority, multiple accidents, allergic reactions, and even once being held at gunpoint while a friend was raped in front of her. She’d been in talk therapy for many years, without resolution.
Because she lived in New York—far from my Colorado office—and preferred not to meet on Zoom, I met with Greta over the phone. We zeroed in on a starting place—the most important thing she wanted to change first. She chose the feeling of guilt she still carried from something she’d done a long time ago. As we began the process, there were (not surprisingly) a LOT of inner parts involved!
This first session with Greta lasted over 2 hours and still didn’t finish with all the parts involved, so we booked a time the next day to continue. It took a while, but the next day we were able to finish the work on this issue, getting to Core States and then integration for all the remaining parts. She had shifted to a resourceful and relaxed state around this first issue of guilt. However, we both knew we were just getting started.
After this, Greta had the trust in both me and the process to begin working with the deeper issues she’d come to resolve. That was our agenda for the next 3 sessions. When we worked on the first of these—the fear she felt at night when home alone, I noticed a pattern emerging. As we followed the Core Transformation process with one part, and were approaching its Core State, another part would emerge and object: “No, you can’t have that, it’s not safe!”
Following the Core Transformation format, we thanked this new part for coming forward, and began working with this second part. But soon a third part interrupted—it also didn’t feel safe. So we switched and began working with the third part, only to have a fourth part interrupt with another objection about safety.
Given the traumas of her past and the difficult relationships in her family, it isn’t surprising that there were a lot of parts concerned with safety, however it was beginning to look like this might be an endless cycle of parts interrupting each other due to emotionally-charged concerns of safety. There’s no way we could ignore or over-ride these concerns. However it began to appear that the usual Core Transformation method wasn’t going to work. At this rate I doubted whether we’d ever get to any part’s Core State, which is of course the key to the process working. So what could I do?
Luckily, one of the advanced Core Transformation formats is designed to address just this kind of scenario. I told Greta, “I’ve noticed that many parts have come up, all wanting safety, and it makes sense there are many parts wanting to make sure what we’re doing is safe, because a lot of things in your past weren’t safe situations. So I’m wondering if all of these parts that want safety would feel a lot safer doing this process together as a whole group?”
She checked on the inside, and reported back:, “Yes, they like that idea!”
“Ok great, so let’s invite all these parts that want safety—both the ones who have made themselves known to us, and the ones who haven’t yet—to come forward in whatever way feels safe to them. You may have a sense of them all gathering around a table, or in a meadow, or around a campfire or something like that….”
Greta said, “I just got this funny image of… it’s like about a dozen Michelin men appeared—you know those grey snowman-looking guys that are the mascot for Michelin tires?”
“Yeah, they’re all gathered in a group and ready to do this together.”
“OK,” I said, “And if any other parts want safety as well, they can join in too.” With this suggestion, she reported that a few more parts jumped in.
Then I proceeded to guide her group of parts through the Core Transformation process all at once, at the unconscious level. “They know what they want,” I said, “so you don’t even need to know at a conscious level. The important thing is that each of these parts steps in and experiences in its’ own experience, what it is that it wants. And they can all do this together, as a group, so it’s safe to do so.” She reported that her parts did feel a lot safer doing it this way, and the process went smoothly without further interruptions until the whole group of parts accessed their Core States together. We continued through to the end of the process in this way.
After this session, Greta reported that she was able to relax and sleep peacefully with the lights out—even when alone when her partner went on business trips. Based on how vigilant her safety parts were, and how each would be interrupted by yet another part concerned about safety, I doubt this issue would have been resolvable without working with a group of parts at once.
Do you use Core Transformation, either with yourself and/or with clients?
Do you want to learn this and other Advanced Core Transformation formats that can make you more successful, confident and effective in responding to whatever challenges your clients pose for you?
Together with Tamara Andreas, I look forward to teaching the first ever Advanced Core Transformation training Live Online beginning May 2nd, 2020. This will function just like an in-person training, with live demos, Q & A where we can all see and hear each other, and even “breakout rooms” where you will pair up for exercises. In this live online training you’ll learn how to work with trauma, you’ll learn multiple ways of working with groups of parts, and you’ll learn other important advanced Core Transformation formats such as working with health issues and much more.
Learn more and register for Advanced Core Transformation
In total I worked with Greta on 4 issues she wanted to resolve, each taking 1 or 2 multi-hour sessions to work with all the parts involved around that issue. These were marathon sessions, but by sticking with the process and using some of the advanced formats that were tailored to her needs, we reached profound transformation of her trauma that I believe would not have been possible otherwise.
I hope you’re able to join for the Advanced Core Transformation training where you’ll have the opportunity to take the power of Core Transformation yet another layer deeper.
*Name and identifying details have been changed to protect anonymity.