Emo Direct Exposure involves directly experiencing an activity and the related feelings, allowing them to be there without trying to get rid of them or keep them.
Emo Direct Exposure is the Emoclear spin on research-validated "in vivo" exposure. In vivo exposure is a very effective method for desensitizing performance anxiety, public speaking anxiety, panic, social anxiety, Low Frustration Tolerance, and other high arousal situations. What sets Emo Direct Exposure apart from standard "in vivo" exposure is the use of comfort making and resistance suppressing techniques during direct exposure along with the No Intention Intention of fully feeling a feeling and allowing it to be there without trying to get rid of it or keep it.
Warning: Folks with a history of mental illness, PTSD, or panic are urged not to use these techniques without a therapist. If you decide to do these processes you will agree to absolve the webmaster, the webhost, Emoclear.com, and Steve Mensing of any responsibility for the application or misapplication of these processes. There is always in any process the possibility that someone could experience some discomfort.
Prior to doing the emotionally charged activity, use the SUD (Subjective Units of Distress) scale to rate your current distress from 10 down to 1, with 10 being the most distress and 1 being no distress.
Measure your progress in lowering your distress during the activity with the Subjective Units of Distress (or SUD) scale, which rates the level of distress during processing of intense or attention-grabbing emotions. You can access the scale by clicking here.
Stop the process when you are down to 1 on the SUD Scale or have no more distress.
Emo Direct Exposure Process:
1. Choose an activity where you experience highly charged emotions (Anxiety, fear, panic, anger, a phobia, PTSD, an activity you avoid, social anxiety, Low Frustration Tolerance, public speaking anxiety, shame, embarrassment, or some other highly charged emotions). Create comfort (Choose one or two of the following: tongue relaxation, use the Dive Reflex, or breathing into the heartbeat area for several deep breaths). Choose to do one or two of the following prior to the activity:
Relax your tongue: Relax your tongue by tensing it first and letting it relax and flatten against the bottom of your mouth. [This maneuver isn't to be used for prior to any activity where you will speak (Public speaking anxiety or social anxiety)]. This maneuver suppresses emotional resistance and leads to a more comfortable experience.
Use the Dive Reflex: See the instructions for the Dive Reflex.
Basically hold an ice bag to your face from your scalp line down to your lower cheeks for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This stimulates
your vagus nerve and turns off flight/fight overwhelm.
2. Do the highly charged emotional activity from start to finish while you fully feel your emotions and allow them to be there without trying to get rid of them or keep them. Let yourself fully feel them: Do the highly emotional charged activity from start to finish while you fully feel your emotions and allow them to be there without trying to get rid of them or keep them. Let yourself fully feel these emotions.
If at anytime during the process you begin to feel very overwhelmed, you can break the overwhelm by using the Shrunken Head: Simply rub your palms and fingers briskly together while you suck in your lips and cheeks hard and feel your feelings. This will stop the flight/fight signal to your brain and lead to a major reduction in overwhelm.
If you find yourself rapid breathing or hyperventilating, add in slow 4x4x4x4x breathing. Here you breathe slowly from your belly while you inhale for a slow 4 count, hold for a slow 4 count, exhale for a slow 4 count, and inhale again for a slow 4 count. This will calm you and halt any hyperventilation.
3. Repeat the highly charged emotional activity from start to finish until it is completely desensitized: Repeat the highly charged emotional activity from start to finish until it's completely desensitized. Check it after each cycle with the SUD (Subjective Units of Distress) scale.
Always hydrate yourself prior to doing this direct exposure work, and never do this work when you're tired or ill.
If you are working with PTSD, panic, or facing a phobia where you don't have to talk, repeat the 26-letter alphabet from A to Z during the activity. Keep repeating the alphabet slowly and with some articulation during the entire activity. Repeating the alphabet aloud will help keep you in the present and make the process a bit more comfortable due to your divided attention.
Take care, Steve