What’s in it for me?
You might ask yourself. Let us take a good look at that.
Consider what’s “up” for you, sitting right there, or persistently nagging at you in the background. Battered self esteem, relationship issues, unwanted feelings and emotions that take too much of your energy and attention, uncertainty about the future, career issues, unfulfilled plans and dreams? Life Stress Reduction, (dealing with whatever issues may be “up” for you, the first phase of Applied Metapsychology, addresses all these and more, using techniques to unburden us of those things that tend to pull us down and waste our energy.
First, you find a practitioner. https://www.tira.org/find-a-practitioner/
In this online world, geography is no longer an obstacle, though time zones may be a factor, and certainly language is an important consideration. (At least some Applied Metapsychology services are available around the world in a dozen or more languages.)
Next, you will do an interview together to learn more about how this method works and to give your practitioner information about you, your life, your issues, and what you hope to achieve in doing this work. From the information you provide, your practitioner will devise a case plan, specifically tailored for you. As you work together, session by session, through your plan, you will start to notice real results in how you feel, in your relationships, and in your effectiveness in life. Life Stress Reduction is complete when you are satisfied and feeling done.
What do I need to know about being a “viewer” (client) in these sessions?
This method is not the same as therapy. If you have had therapy before, you may have had your therapist give you advice, challenge your perception of your life, or give you interpretations of what you have told them. In Applied Metapsychology sessions, you are the expert on your own experience. The facilitator (practitioner) is the expert on holding the safe space for you to do your work in the session and on the techniques that will help you to get to the bottom of the issues you want to address. Dr, Frank Gerbode, the founder of this subject, refers to this work as education rather than therapy. He wanted to get away from the medical model and from viewing a client as someone who has something wrong that needs to be fixed. Rather, he states that a Socratic method of education – asking questions to draw out the knowledge the “student” already has – provides a more beneficial model. Again, that is why we call the client the “viewer” and the practitioner the “facilitator”.
You already have the wisdom and knowledge inside you to resolve the mental and emotional things that are hurting or bothering you. You just need the safe space of a person-centered session and the right questions to get the job done. Your facilitator guides you. You do the work. When you reach an end point, you know that this is something you have done yourself. No one has done it “to” you or for you.
Speaking of what has been done to us, here is another key element in the success of this method.
- Addressing not only what has been done to us
- But also things we have done that we regret and
- Harmful actions we have witnessed between two or more other people, and finally
- The things we have done to ourselves without any “help” from outside
This produces a more profound effect than if we were to only consider what has been done to us.
AMP sessions are not fixed in length. Instead, they employ the principle of taking each separate viewing action to a “flat point”, which is to say, a point where there is no more emotional charge available to be addressed on the subject or, ideally, to a full “end point”, where you feel brighter, all your attention is freed up from the item or issue being addressed, and often you have had some insight or new realization. Sessions typically last one to two hours, though they may be shorter or longer.
We need to be in a good physical condition to do this work. Even though we are sitting in a chair, viewing is actually quite strenuous work at times. Keep in mind that this is real work, meant to accomplish something real, not just tiptoeing around the edges. Being well nourished – not just not hungry in that moment, but with good general nutrition habits – and well-rested, gives us the energy we will need to do the work. Refraining from alcohol and recreational drugs gives us the clarity of mind and ability to focus that we need to be successful in this work. If you take medications that affect your mental state, be sure to consult with your facilitator about this. Some medications do not interfere with viewing while others may do so.
Dr, Gerbode talks about the concept of “engagement” in his book, meaning how much of ourselves we put into an activity. How invested are we? How committed to a good outcome? Every element of an AMP session exists to promote your effective engagement:
- Freedom from distractions (including from your facilitator!)
- The security of the person-centered space
- The fact that you will be working on what you most want to work on
- The fact that you can take as much time as you wish on each viewing activity, no more and no less
- The practice of carrying each viewing action to a success or end point
Each of these things helps maintain engagement in the work of the session.
Are TIR and Applied Metapsychology for Everyone?
Actually, no. For a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker, a patient may be anyone who walks in the door.
In the realm of Applied Metapsychology, including TIR, more requirements are necessary for viewers. For people not able to meet these requirements some consultation work, making plans for actions to be taken in life with the help and support of an AMP practitioner in the role of a consultant, rather than a facilitator, may lead to their being able to become a viewer.
In addition to needing to be able to be well-nourished, well-rested, and not under the influence of any substances that might interfere with the session work, a viewer needs the ability to mentally focus, to look inward into their own mental/emotional world, and to answer questions, for viewing to work. Some mental conditions make this impossible, due to the person being unable to focus and stay with a technique long enough to get to an end point. Traumatic brain injury may preclude someone’s ability to be a viewer. When in doubt as to whether you qualify to be a viewer, consult with a facilitator.
What results can I expect?
Referring back to Chapters 2 and 3 we see that traumatic and otherwise unpleasant events can have the effect of bringing us down the Emotional Scale into the not-so-fun realms. Of course, each emotion is valid in itself and there is a time and place for all of them. Still, we hope to be able to move on the scale as appropriate, not to be stuck in some painful or discouraged place. Viewing past painful or unpleasant incidents with TIR reduces their emotional charge and their effect on us. As past incidents get taken care of to the point where they have no power over us, we naturally rise on the Emotional Scale. Life becomes more pleasant and more rewarding.
Complex situations can be dismantled through a variety of techniques. Life Stress Reduction has dozens of other techniques besides TIR, each suited for addressing some aspect of life. Each produces an end point unique to you. End points add up over time to less stress, more awareness, and a more rewarding life.
Beyond Life Stress Reduction:
Self Actualization and Exploring Your Potential
From the tira.org web site – used with permission
Once you complete Life Stress Reduction, you have the option to move on to the Ability Enhancement viewing “curriculum” (so called because this work is framed as an essentially educational activity). It is done in one-on-one sessions and covers broad aspects of living (see the outline of all the sections below) in quite some depth. You uncover and address areas of emotional charge that were previously hidden from view, and you exercise fundamental abilities to strengthen them and make them more fully and immediately available to you.
Ability Enhancement provides a great adventure, with many insights along the way. Upon completion, you can look back and see how far you have traveled. From a new perspective, life looks much more inviting and rewarding. You can go through the Ability Enhancement a number of times, at different stages of life, or whenever you are interested to take another trip through and see what you can see now.
Ability Enhancement is done in sections, so it fits well into the demands of life, enhancing the quality of life as you go.
The Sections of the Ability Enhancement
The Help and Control Section
Within the person-centered model of metapsychology, help is defined as “assisting someone to accomplish something that they intend to accomplish.” This is distinct from trying to force someone to go in a direction they don’t wish to go, in the name of “help”.
Handling emotional charge that has built up on help and control is beneficial in life. Successful human development from childhood to adulthood depends upon the individual learning to establish autonomy while still being able to relate to others effectively. People report that personal relationships and work relationships improve as a result of this section of the viewing curriculum. Completing this section allows one to feel comfortable and safe with both giving and accepting appropriate help.
Ideally, we are able to control (being a successful parent, teacher or manager depends on this) and accept control when appropriate. This is to say, we are able to be causative and responsible in life, while also allowing others to be the same. Being able to accept control does not mean accepting abuse or other inappropriate control; it means comfort with positive control. While many people resist the whole concept of control, it is actually bad control, either in being forceful or negative, or in the form of poor management that we most often protest. If we have had a teacher who wasn’t good at controlling conduct and attention of their class, or a boss who did not give clear direction to the work, we have experienced bad control. Freedom from emotional charge on the subject of control, both in giving and receiving, allows one’s life to run more smoothly and effectively.
The Memory Enhancement Section
It is hardly surprising that memory is dulled and encumbered by past traumatic incidents. Some of these incidents may have been addressed during Life Stress Reduction, but probably far from all. By addressing relatively pleasant memories as we do in the Memory Section, we can do a lot to reorder our mental world and make it more accessible. Recalling pleasant memories is therapeutic in itself and opens up one’s history to easier recollection. Being able to think about the past without triggering past traumas is another benefit of the Memory Enhancement Section.
The Communication Section
Communication is the key to resolving difficulties. Our contacts with other people are usually one of the most problematic aspects in life. Enhanced ability to communicate improves the quality of life substantially.
Everyone has the ability to communicate. Removing emotional charge on the subject, and exercising that innate ability, brings it more fully under our command. As in all sections of the viewing curriculum, the subject is addressed in a variety of ways. When communication goes very well, it provides one of the greatest joys of living.
The Resolution Section
Major aspects of life that disturb us are conflict, inconsistency, incompatibility, misalignment or incongruity; in other words, problems. When faced with an incongruity that is of concern, such as the desire to be a good team member, conflicting with the desire for complete freedom to do what we want, we tend to fixate our attention on it. This section of the viewing curriculum develops an enhanced ability to inspect problems and a greater ability to resolve them. The result is a state of greater inner congruity or harmony, and also a greater degree of decisiveness: “resolution” in both senses of the word. Problems can exist in the realm of challenge, excitement and fun, once we have mastered resolving the more tedious sort. Problems of how to pay the rent or get along with difficult people can be tedious. The “problems” of learning a new sport or language or skill, when we have chosen to take on these challenges, are much more fun.
The Reconciliation Section
Ideally, we handle unwanted circumstances by facing the situation and communicating, leading to a resolution of the problem that is optimal for all concerned. In an unencumbered state, we will naturally act in the best way we can for the good of all, to the best of our knowledge and ability at the time. If weak in our ability to solve problems, we may feel “forced” to commit misdeeds. For instance: “I know if was wrong to cheat on the exam, but I didn’t think I could pass otherwise.” “I know it’s considered bad to hit children, but I had to teach them to obey.” Once the Reconciliation Section is completed, we are free of the guilt and hostility arising from past misdeeds and the secrecy that often surrounds them.
Regretted statements and actions tend to reduce our awareness and abilities. The Reconciliation Section clears off emotional charge concerning these things, leaving us much more able to perceive and to think clearly. Great relief usually accompanies clearing up these regretted actions. The world actually seems to be a brighter place and the people in it seem to be friendlier and easier to understand.
The Resilience Section
Any lack of ability to communicate effectively, to resolve problems, or to proceed through life without committing misdeeds against self or others is bound to affect a person’s resilience. Insufficiency in these basic skills of life leads to interpersonal upsets and even upsets with ourselves. With these previous areas substantially discharged, we can productively address past upsets and the subject of change.
When our communications with others are clear and forthright, we tend to feel better about them and about ourselves. Upsets become less likely and we are better able to bounce back from misunderstandings. This ability to bounce back after an upset provides energy to relationships with others and also with ourselves. The more thoroughly we have resolved the negative charge from previous traumas and upsets in our lives , the more resilient we become.
The Resilience Section addresses all aspects of change and upsets. Since life itself is full of change, general resistance to change tends to make life unpleasant and difficult. Enhanced ability to resolve upsets and to tolerate and even welcome change makes life more livable and enjoyable.
The General TIR Section
In Life Stress Reduction, we may have addressed traumatic incidents that were currently triggered and causing us distress. The Ability Enhancement viewing curriculum may bring other traumatic incidents into view as layers of emotional charge peel off. Once the Resilience Section is completed, we take a good look at past traumas that may not have been addressed to this point. We may also look at any unwanted feelings, emotions, sensations, attitudes and pains that have not yet been addressed. The work done during the viewing curriculum allows us to get to traumatic incidents that had not been accessible before. Completion of this section brings about a feeling of comfort and well-being.
The Rightness Section
Finally, we get to the last section of the viewing curriculum, the Rightness Section, which addresses poorly understood and false information as well as fixed ideas of various types. Confusion and fixidity impede mental functioning. Clearing them off restores clarity and flexibility. Because of pain, force, and confusion, we may have seized on certain ideas as fixed guideposts in life. These ideas are not changeable by reasoning alone because they are held in place by emotional pain that results in an unwillingness or inability to face certain things. All the work that has been done up to this point on Ability Enhancement has eliminated enough emotional charge to permit us to address fixed ideas directly.
All sorts of fixed ideas affect our ability to be right; the more rigidly fixed our ideas are, the less often we will actually be correct in our thinking. Sorting out these fixed ideas allows us a new freedom to simply be, in the present moment, and to allow others to simply be, as well. The end point of the Rightness Section consists of an enhanced clarity of thought and cognitive ability: a new higher plateau of ability to perceive, to act effectively in the world, to interact with others, and to enjoy life.
With the freedom of perception and action achieved by going all the way though the Ability Enhancement viewing curriculum, we are set to get even more from subsequent trips through, if we wish, and we are more likely to obtain insights from living itself.
After completing all the Ability Enhancement sections, you may wish to try techniques and programs from Explorations in Human Potential.