The Havening Techniques® are an approach to dealing with trauma and anxiety that combines very gentle exposure therapy along with calming touch and 'brain-games' to keep you calm while a traumatic memory has been activated in the background.

The basic idea behind this set of techniques is that many times when you are in a constant of vigilance or stress, it is because of an old, traumatic memory. These memories can come from small t traumas: small, repeated issues like being told you aren't good enough, are too X or too Y, from having a parent who was absent or alcoholic, among many other issues. They might also stem from big T traumas like suicide, abuse and others.

Such memories are stored in the amygdala, so that they are constantly active. Your brain checks all in-coming inputs against these memory templates, and if it finds something similar, it puts you on alert. This activates your sympathetic nervous system, and cuts off your rational brain.

Activating such memories, and either being able to stay with the emotions that come up as you are also creating a space of calm through the Havening Touch and the therapeutic space, or letting yourself move away from those emotions through various brain-games that stimulate your mind, body and imagination in different ways, allows them to be reprocessed. In this way, they are then stored in a different part of the brain: in long-storage rather than in constantly active 'current' storage.

It is possible that this approach also helps by bringing your prefrontal cortex into play at a time when normally the amygdala would try to turn it off and keep you in fight-flight-freeze. This helps build your inner resources, so that they more quickly come online in future situations, as well as helping in the therapy taking place.

All this makes these techniques very effective at changing old behaviours and patterns, so that you can move forward with greater calm and a sense of confidence.