The world is transitioning from pandemic to endemic status. But the spread of covid-19 remains unabated. Many of us know someone who has tested positive and there is still an alarming number of hospitalisations and even deaths. So what will life look like when covid-19 becomes endemic? Will we have a clean break from this disease or is it here to stay?
Changing Attitudes To Mental Health
There are of course positive legacies too. A.I. is revolutionising many industries and hybrid working has become the norm. One positive change from living through the two-year pandemic is our attitude towards mental health and therapy. We have been granted permission to talk about our emotions, and discussions about negative feelings including anger, grief, insomnia, anxiety, and depression are more common and less stigmatised. Another change is that companies are recognising the need for corporate mental wellbeing. Visiting a therapist is seen as a positive proactive response and an increasingly normal way to address workplace stressors and personal issues.
Integrative psychotherapeutic approaches, which are multidisciplinary and flexible have been replacing the traditional and more rigid treatment plans. Most therapists today do not tie themselves to a specific methodology but select from a range of techniques to help their clients. One emerging technique that, helps clients rebuild shattered lives and find hope and meaning for a better future is Ego State Therapy.
What Is Ego State Therapy
Surprisingly, this technique, originally developed by John G. Watkins and Helen Watkins, is not known to many therapists. In an effort to remedy this we invited, Peter Mabbutt, President of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and Head of Academic at LSCCH to provide an overview of this sometimes overlooked therapy and how it can help you in your practice and with your future clients. Ego state therapy conceptualises the mind as a constellation of sub-personalities that create a “family of selves” which work together to create the person we are.
How It Works?
There are various types of ego states generally classified into three groups, the executive state, surface state, and underlying state. The executive state is the dominant ego state which determines a person’s personality.
This executive state is not static and can change in response to different situations becoming either protective or reactive to perceived threats. It works in conjunction with the other surface states and there may sometimes be a group of surface state sub-personalities that collaborate or not to influence a person’s behaviour.
Working in the background is the underlying state. This state is a composite of good and not-so-happy memories. It also holds onto unresolved or trauma-based feelings, Each emotional state represents a part of the personality with a discrete role and each state can communicate with the other states.
It is a common mistake to think of Ego State Therapy as a theory of personality. It is a powerful technique that, offers therapists a framework to communicate directly with the deep-seated dysfunctional emotional states and provides an elegant method to restore emotional balance.
Ego state therapy is not a first-line therapy, but it does integrate well with many psychotherapy techniques such as:
Inner Child Approaches
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This makes it a perfect addition to any integrative psychotherapy practice and one that can help the client reduce internal conflict, achieve emotional balance, and establish an ego states balance and emotional healing.
Ego State Therapy, when used effectively, offers therapists a precise and powerful technique to treat many challenging disorders. It gives a voice to deep-seated emotional conflict, brings resolution to clients with compulsive disorders, and is a helpful addition in the management of addictive and dissociative illnesses.
It integrates well with other forms of therapies and is an excellent tool for insight, empowerment, and change.
Don’t worry if you missed the preview with Peter Mabbutt, it is still available here for a limited time.