Touch is a powerful healing tool. For many years touch was disconnected from the healing work of psychotherapy. Now thanks to deeper understanding from neuroscience, we are seeing the efficacy of integrating self-applied touch into the work of psychotherapy.
The havening touch is an actionable tool that we can invite into both our self-healing program and into therapeutic work that works to shift the way our brain is functioning in the moment. The havening touch involves a gliding touch over the brow and cheekbones, crossing the arms to the shoulders and gliding downward to the elbows in a moving hug, and gently rubbing the palms together as if washing hands. Through our largest sensory organ, our skin, the havening touch allows us and our clients to engage with our physiology to promote healing and rapidly shift into a greater state of physical and emotional calm.
How Does Havening Work?
Our skin has tiny receptors embedded in it called C-tactile fibers that transmit the sensory information from touch on our skin to our brain. This is how your brain interprets the sensations you’re experiencing. Some receptors respond to fast touch, and others to slow touch. These receptors are what create the unpleasant sting of a pinch versus the soothing comfort of a tear being wiped away.
The havening touch uses the power of soothing touch to transmit information up to our insula as well as different areas in our prefrontal cortex to shift the way our brain is interacting with the present moment.
How Does It Benefit Our Clients?
Soothing touch has been shown to:
Decrease the presence of cortisol and norepinephrine in the brain, two excitatory neurochemicals that cause us to feel anxiety and stress.
Increase oxytocin, a neurochemical that plays a critical role for our brain and body in feeling safe and connected to others and the world.
Decrease blood pressure.
Enhance heart rate enhances heart rate variability – a valuable reflection of how fluid and responsive we are able to be to the world around us.
Create a prosocial sense of connection to and engagement with self,
Support building an intentional and mindful connection with the brain and body.
An added benefit of the havening touch is that it is simple. It does not require a lot of executive function or attention to maintain, which means our brain can be engaged in other cognitive activities while we apply the touch. This combination is what empowers the Havening Techniques protocols exponentially whether it be self-healing protocols like CPR for the Amygdala or the Creating Possibilities Protocol, as well as the more in-depth clinical healing protocols that work with developmental trauma, chronic pain, optimal performance, etc.
Integrating the havening touch with other therapeutic interventions, such as mindfulness training, parts work, and even during the process of cognitive challenging in CBT allow the body and nervous system to remain grounded and soothed while the thinking mind is more accessible and present in the healing work. When the body is soothed and regulated, the thinking brain works better.
See how easy it is to utilize the havening touch in this brief video:
The havening touch is an actionable tool to incorporate into your own healing program and bring it into your therapeutic space. It is a powerful way to support your brain and your body in being actively engaged in the healing journey and enhance positive clinical outcomes by integrating insights from neuroscience.
Create New Pathways to Sustainable Change in Your Clients' Lives
If you treat clients who experience anxiety, trauma, depression, pain, panic or any other stress-based disorder, then no doubt you’ve had moments of feeling helpless watching a client paralyzed by their harmful core beliefs or triggers of traumatic experiences.
Wouldn’t it be great having highly effective easy-to-use tools that directly address the emotions keeping your clients stuck in painful pasts and unable to realize a brighter future?
Utilizing similar mechanisms as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Havening Techniques are a new suite of neuroscience-based interventions designed for fast and effective treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and other fear-based disorders such as anxiety, panic disorder, and phobias – whether your clients are in session, at home or on the go – whenever difficult emotions come at unexpected times!
Join Havening Techniques Certified Trainer and Global Director of Continuing Education, Dr. Kate Truitt, for this must-see webcast and discover her secrets for creating a gentle, clientcentered approach to trauma-informed, neuroscience-based, and resiliency-focused care.
Dr. Kate Truitt is a neuroscientist and clinical psychologist with an MBA in Healthcare Administration. She has dedicated her life to advancing the treatment of trauma and stress-related disorders. Dr. Truitt is the founder and President of Dr. Kate Truitt & Associates - a neuroscience-based group therapy practice in Pasadena, and the CEO of the Trauma Counseling Center (TCC), with offices throughout Los Angeles. She founded Viva Excellence to provide cutting-edge training and seminars globally that bring together the newest advancements in the fields of neuroscience and resiliency, as well as stress and trauma treatments. Her clinical practice, scientific studies, and trainings are specialized in the treatment of PTSD/Complex Trauma, panic disorders and anxiety, phobias, as well as other stress-related disorders. Her research is on brain health during the recovery process, treatment outcomes, and provides trainings on trauma as well as personal empowerment. Dr. Truitt founded and is the Chairman of the Board for the Amy Research Foundation, a 501c3 organization to advance research into the innovative treatment realm of neuroscience-based mental health treatment. She is also a Certified Trainer as well as the Global Director of Continuing Education for the Havening Techniques.
Dr. Truitt knows that when we choose to let every moment of adversity strengthen and empower us, we are choosing to be our strongest and most empowered selves. Her treatment model consists of three core pillars: trauma informed, neuroscience based, and resiliency focused care, which empowers clinicians to become proactive guides in the client's transformational journeys as they seek and obtain their fulfilled life.
Learn more about their educational products, including upcoming live seminars, by clicking here.