Managing Takeovers

Somatic Personal Practice

Rosalie’s Protocol for Intense Takeovers

This is a protocol that I created on the fly for a client who was repeatedly taken over with intense somatic experiences that either shut them down or caused them to do things they didn’t want to do (eg food, addictions, reactive behaviors, etc). When something intense and overwhelming takes you over:

Pause as best you can.

Say out loud or in your head, “OK I can see that something has taken me over”

Now you have the awareness that you are being taken over but the thing that’s taken you over also has a lot of force behind it. It’s not going to just let go and give you yourself back. It’s not going to just surrender.

Next, relay to yourself whatever this force is telling you, like “It’s saying ‘I’m a failure’”

or “It’s saying ‘This is too much’” or “It’s saying ‘There’s no way through’”

or whatever the message is that comes with this intense takeover.

And now say to yourself “There’s a good chance that what this force is telling me isn’t exactly true and maybe it isn’t true at all. But this thing is concerned about something real.”

So now you want to say to this part is taking you over, “I know you are concerned about something that is real or potentially real. Whatever it is that you are concerned about, I would like to understand that better.”

Next, there’s some place this takeover is taking you, maybe to hide or to lash out or to engage in some sort of soothing but unhealthy behavior. If you know that this force is going to win and you are going to eat the chocolate or hide under the covers or whatever the action is – if you know that is inevitable at this point, then you can say something like, “OK, I guess we’re gonna do some version of what you want me to do but I am going to slow it down. I’m going to watch while it is happening.”

And then while you do some version of the thing that this force is compelling you to do, as much as you can slow your pace and notice what’s happening in your body. “I’m doing this thing you insist I need to do but I’m just going to keep slowing it down. I’m going to keep being curious and watching.”

Next, count to 100. The intention is to make some space for the place in you, the part of you that knows that you actually are cared for, loved, watched out for and that knows you are going to make it through whatever this is. It’s like making an inviting space for the essential or spiritual things you know, the truth about who you are and what you are, truths that are bigger and deeper than the chaos of this bizarre ordinary reality.

Next, pat yourself on the head, forgive yourself and say “OK I’m going to go do something neutral or supportive. A prayer or a practice or taking a walk or a distraction or maybe just lying here. And it’s ok for me to do that.”

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